How Much Caffeine is in Tea?

With a growing trend towards healthy eating and drinking, the caffeine content of the food and drinks we consume is increasingly coming into question. We know that tea and coffee contain caffeine, but maybe you are wondering just how much caffeine is in your cup of tea?

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant, which means it speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. It’s found in the seeds, nuts and leaves of a number of different plants, including the camellia sinensis plant (used to make tea), coffea arabica (used to make coffee), cola acuminate (used as a nut, tea or in soft drinks), theobroma cacao (the source of chocolate) and paulinia cupana (used as guarana in snack bars and energy drinks).

How much caffeine is in tea?

Tea leaves contain a variety of compounds such as minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and caffeine – all of which are naturally occurring. This means black, green and white teas all have caffeine as they all come from the camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas, such as peppermint and camomile, while generally referred to as ‘teas’ are in fact herbal infusions and not teas, as they are not derived from the camellia sinensis plant.

To give you some indication of how much caffeine is in your Nerada tea, here are the results per 200ml cup from our most recent Certificate of Analysis:

  • black tea contains approx. 28.12mg
  • green tea contains approx. 17.15mg
  • white tea contains approx. 31.32mg

Of course, there are variables at play when it comes to caffeine levels in tea. On average, black and green tea contain approximately the same amount of caffeine weight for weight (20-60mg/200ml), but less green tea is used to make a single cup compared to black tea. White tea has the highest caffeine content (30-80mg/200ml). Caffeine content varies depending on the weight of tea in the bag (for example, Nerada green and white tea have 1.5g per tea bag compared to 2g of black tea) and the brewing time.

That means, the more tea in the bag and the longer you leave it to brew, the more caffeine there will be in your cup.

Does tea have more caffeine than coffee?

The caffeine content in any beverage can vary significantly depending on the origin and how it’s produced and prepared.

Tea leaves contain 3.5% caffeine, while coffee beans have 1.1–2.2%. However, the coffee brewing process often uses hotter water, which extracts more of the caffeine from the beans. Typically, you also use more coffee beans than you’d use tea leaves for a single serving.

A study by Mayoclinic noted that there was more caffeine in a brewed cup of coffee than tea.

Similarly, a 2013 study in The Guardian found that two cups of tea was equivalent to one cup of coffee.

Caffeine’s Health Benefits

Caffeine sometimes gets a bad wrap, but it is popular in pre-workout supplements and studies have shown it can be beneficial. For example, research has been found that it may help conditions such as Parkinson’s and dementia.

People with high blood pressure are often advised to reduce their coffee intake, but studies have shown tea may actually help lower blood pressure. In addition, tea contains high levels of antioxidants, in particular, a specific kind of antioxidant called flavonoids that carry out important functions in the plant.

Cutting Down on Caffeine

Some people need to limit or cut caffeine out of their diet due to specific health issues or conditions such as pregnancy. An easy way to reduce your caffeine intake is to swap coffee for tea.

If you’re looking for a completely caffeine-free alternative, perhaps our Organic Herbal Infusion range is more your cup of tea?

How much caffeine should I consume each day?

The recommendations for the daily dose of caffeine very much varies by gender, age, body weight and an individual’s specific health conditions. Research indicates that for a healthy adult, a moderate caffeine intake (up to 400mg) poses no health risk if combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Don’t forget certain foods can contribute to your daily caffeine intake, so if you’re eating lots of chocolate or coffee-flavoured treats like energy bars or cakes, you will need to account for these too.