Does Tea Contain Caffeine?

Date: 1 April, 2016 | Category:

A question we are regularly asked at our Tea House is “does tea contain caffeine”? This question can be tough to answer, because every tea is unique. Indeed, at Kanuka we pride ourselves on sourcing our loose tea leaves from many different regions at different times of the year, which means every tea tastes distinctive but also that caffeine content is variable.

Many teas do contain caffeine in varying quantities, and many are caffeine free. Not all caffeine is the same either, and many teas give the drinker the buzz of coffee but without the negative side effects. What we hope to do here then, is to look at the caffeine levels in tea types, with suggestions for those of you craving a coffee-like buzz, and those of you who want to avoid caffeine altogether.

Caffeine levels in tea: Common myths

  • A cup of tea contains more caffeine than a comparable cup of coffee: only in dried, pre-brewed form does tea contain more.
  • Black tea has more caffeine than green tea: this varies from tea to tea, some have more and some have less.
  • Caffeinated tea is dehydrating: it matches water for hydration and vastly beats it for nutrition!

Which teas contain caffeine?

In answering the question “does tea contain caffeine,” one has to bear in mind that all teas are different. Most traditional teas, however, do come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis, which does contain caffeine. Yet the various products of the tea plant vary significantly in caffeine content. As a general guideline, all of our Classic tea range (apart from Rooibos) contains caffeine.

As the caffeine class on each product will indicate, however, the quantities vary. For example:

There are also many herbal teas which contain caffeine. A great example of this is our Brazilian Mate, which is often thought to contain the same levels as coffee.

Caffeine and Theanine – A Matcha made in heaven?

One significant advantage of Japanese Matcha tea and other green teas over coffee is that, whilst they do contain caffeine, it is offset by a secret natural ingredient: theanine. We all know the familiar ups and downs of a Coffee caffeine-kick, but a green tea buzz is a much more stable focussed boost. This is because caffeine and theanine synergise in the body, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve the tea-drinker’s mood.

If that doesn’t convince you to ditch your French-press and invest in a Matcha set, then perhaps the health benefits of drinking green tea will. These include suggested links with better long term brain health and implied reduced incidences of a number of cancers.

Nutritious teas without the caffeine content

If you prefer to drink your tea without caffeine but still want to get all the nutritional benefits, we sell a number of revitalising caffeine-free teas. Used in Ayurvedic healing, our Moringa Tea is naturally caffeine free and is believed by some to be more nutrient dense than Matcha. Although more tests need to be conducted, a recent study found it had antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties. Similarly, our Mulberry tea is rich in nutrients including phytosterol, which may reduce bad cholesterol in the blood vessels.

We hope this has helped those of you pondering the question “does tea contain caffeine?” Whether you are caffeine-free or a caffeine lover, join us at Kanuka for a revitalising tea.