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How much caffeine is in my tea?

For years, tea consumers have been consistently told caffeine levels depend on tea type - white, green, oolong, black, dark.

For years, tea consumers have been consistently told caffeine levels depend on tea type - white, green, oolong, black, dark.  For example, “black tea has more caffeine than green tea and green tea has more than white tea.”  In recent years, with further research, these previously known "facts" have been gradually debunked.

The truth is, you cannot truly know how much caffeine is in your tea unless you scientifically test each tea in your cupboard. This involves chemically analyzing the brewed tea in a lab.

There are so many variables that affect the amount of caffeine that ends up in your cup. Even the same tea from the same tea farm year to year can vary in caffeine. Here are a few of the factors that can affect caffeine levels:

PLANT  What was the varietal of the Camellia sinensis plant that the leaves came from? Was the tea plant grown from a seed or was it a clonal plant? What was the age of the plant and the leaves when plucked?

GROWING CONDITIONS  What was the chemical composition of the soil that the plant grew in? Were any fertilizers applied to the soil and if so, what type? How much direct sun did the leaves receive before they were plucked? In what season were the leaves harvested?

MANUFACTURING  How long the tea was withered? Was the tea it fired or fermented after it was manufactured?

BREWING  How long did you steep your tea leaves? Did you use boiling water or cold water?

Even with all of the above aspects that go into determining caffeine levels there are some factors you have control over in increasing or decreasing the amount of caffeine the ends up in your cup. You can steep longer, use hotter water, or add more tea leaves to your brew. No matter how you brew, however, the amount of caffeine present in tea will always be less than coffee. Interesting to note is the similar wide variation of caffeine levels in coffee, as with tea.


Caffeine (mg)/cup


80 - 125


30 - 75

Soft Drinks

20 - 50

So the next time that you are wondering how much caffeine is in your cuppa, just know that you will get a great little caffeine buzz, no matter which tea you chose to brew.

Are you a coffee drinker trying to get into tea? Check out one of our favorite tea recommendations for you! (Link to Black Walnut Brownie)

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