There are a number of factors which affect the amount of caffeine in green tea, although many people are under the impression that the caffeine content in green tea is minimal.
This is mainly due to the image that green tea has of being the healthier option, which in many respects it is. However, it does contain caffeine, albeit in smaller quantities than black tea.
Caffeine Content in Green Tea
The length of time that the tea is allowed to brew will affect the amount of caffeine in green tea. The longer the steeping time, the higher the caffeine levels in the tea.
As an average figure, there is approximately 25 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of tea. There have been studies which have compared the caffeine content in green tea to the content in black tea.
These studies show that when 1 gram of the dried variety of each tea are compared, for caffeine content green tea is lower with between 10 and 20 mg per 1 gram. The black tea showed between 22 and 28 mg per 1 gram.
There have been claims that green tea actually has more caffeine than coffee, but this is a myth. Green tea does contain L-theanine, which is an amino acid that can help people to feel a little more alert and help with concentration. This is probably the reason for this misconception, as people put the effect down to caffeine.
Green Tea with Lower Caffeine Amounts
There are varieties of decaffeinated green tea on the market. On average, these contain around 5 mg of caffeine per cup, and, while this may sound healthier, there are other factors to be taken into consideration.
Green tea with lower caffeine levels also has lower levels of catechins, which are the antioxidants, and therefore there are fewer health benefits to the tea. Some people also consider that some of the taste is lost in a low caffeine green tea variety.
One way of keeping the health benefits while enjoying lower levels of caffeine in green tea is to use a good quality loose tea rather than teabags.
It is common in regions such as Asia to use loose tea, while western cultures rely on the teabags. A recent study shows that caffeine levels from the teabags are higher, as it is mainly “tea dust.”
It should also be noted that in Asian cultures it is common to use the loose tea up to three times, which means that there are still antioxidant benefits, but the amount of caffeine in the tea is being reduced each time.
This loose tea also contains higher levels of L-theanine, which has the added benefit of helping to reduce the effects of caffeine in green tea.
Green tea has been used for medicinal benefits in parts of Asia for thousands of years, and it is known that it can help with a variety of conditions such as high cholesterol levels and an impaired immune function.
It is important to ensure that a good quality variety of the tea is chosen in order to maximize the benefits.