One of the most common questions we get asked is which of our teas contain caffeine. Indeed, with the constant health claims made about various teas and infusions in the media, it’s unsurprising there’s some confusion.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine occurs naturally in some plants including coffee beans, tea leaves and cacao pods used to make chocolate.
Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant, making you feel more awake and alert. Once drunk, it usually reaches its peak level in your blood within one hour and stays there for an incredible four to six hours.
By dry weight, tea contains more caffeine than coffee, but a typical serving of tea contains much less, since tea is typically brewed more weakly than coffee.
How much is in your cup?
One of the biggest myths we’ve had people repeat is that green and white teas are caffeine-free – they’re not!
As explained on our tea production page, all ‘proper’ tea (i.e. not fruit or herbal) comes from one variety of plant, the 'Camellia Sinensis'. This means that all tea has roughly the same amount of caffeine.
However, caffeine content is not uniform even within the same types of tea, as it depends on tea quality, the age of the leaf and the conditions it has grown in. In addition, the way your make your tea also affects the caffeine content of your brew.
So, while green and white tea is steeped at a lower temperature and for a shorter time meaning that the caffeine has less chance to dissolve into the water, the leaves themselves are not intrinsically lower in caffeine.