Caffeine is a much talked about chemical in tea leaves, and there is a lot of noise out there that misrepresents the truth about caffeine in tea. Caffeine, like everything else about tea, is a complicated subject. This is due to the multitude of compounds found in tea and the numerous processing techniques for different types and varieties of tea.
While we plan on putting together a more in depth analysis of caffeine in tea, here are some notes about this chemical that can help you make more informed tea buying decisions. In its most extremes, 5 grams of tea leaves contain between 10 to 60 milligrams of caffeine. This caffeine can be extracted in one or two infusions as it might be in the western style of brewing, or over the course of multiple infusions as you might by the gong fu style of brewing.
Younger leaves and buds contain more caffeine than lower, larger leaves. So, when deciding which tea to purchase, teas of mostly buds and young leaves will have more caffeine than teas made with the third, forth, or even fifth, larger, leaves. Bud teas are typically Whites, Greens, Blacks, Puerhs, while Oolongs are mostly lower larger leaves with less caffeine content. Puerhs, though they are mostly buds and young leaves are aged, and the caffeine breaks down over time, so there will be less caffeine in older Puerhs. Roasting a tea also lowers the caffeine content in the tea, so roasted oolongs would therefore have the least amount of caffeine. If you are worried about caffeine intake, matcha would be better avoided. However, it would be a great option if you desire the pick-me-up combination of the feel good duo of caffeine and Theanine.
If you have any more questions regarding caffeine, please let us know and we can help you choose a tea that best suits you, and check back for our update on this page!