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How Much Caffeine is in Green Tea? Surprising Facts You Will Love Learning!

How Much Caffeine is in Green Tea? Surprising Facts You Will Love Learning!

Oct 02, 2022

Johnathan Milton

Have you ever come across the popular myth that says, Green tea is free from Caffeine! Well, it's a myth indeed and you are going to learn the correct green tea facts right from the basics. Green tea is a healthy beverage that is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants. These compounds help reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and eliminate free radicals in the body. But many people who start to consume green tea don't consider its caffeine content. In fact, the healthy image of this tea is so popular that some never ever ask the question, how much caffeine is in green tea?

Does Green Tea Contain Caffeine?

All teas, whether black, white, green, or oolong, come from the same plant called the Camellia Sinensis. So yes, green tea does contain caffeine. This is a naturally occurring stimulant present in tea and over 60 different plant species, including cocoa and coffee. But the answer to how much caffeine is in green tea comes down to a number of factors. Firstly, there are various types of green tea such as sencha, bancha, matcha, etc. All these types have different amounts of caffeine in them. 

According to Mia Syn, MS and RDN, "The most common type of green tea available is sencha tea. Sencha tea has a moderate amount of caffeine and is made through the most common processing methods in which the leaves are steamed and rolled." And that's not all. Besides the type, factors like harvest time, brewing time, brewing temperature, brewing method, and amount of tea leaves used all affect how much caffeine in green tea

Even though this tea contains caffeine, the exact amount differs because of various factors, which we will discuss shortly. But first, let us understand what exactly this compound is and why it does what it does. 

What Is Caffeine And What Does It Do To You? 

Before understanding how much caffeine is in green tea, we must first understand what this compound is. It is a naturally occurring chemical found in various plants' leaves and fruits. Things like coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocoa, energy drinks, energy bars, and chocolate bars (sometimes) all contain caffeine. This is also found in some non-prescription medicines, such as slimming tablets or cough syrup. Moreover, this  is present in additives such as Guarana, which is a natural caffeine source. Chemically speaking, caffeine is a stimulant. It is proven to increase wakefulness and activity in your nervous system. It also increases heart rate. But the question is, how?

It works by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain and other organs. Adenosine is an organic compound responsible for making us sleepy. When it blocks adenosine receptors, the chances of adenosine binding to the receptor decrease. As a result, the nerve cells are stimulated, and the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) is released. The release of this hormone increases heart rate, blood flow to the muscles, and blood pressure. Epinephrine also causes the liver to release glucose. Furthermore, caffeine increases dopamine levels, and all these things come together to make us feel wakeful and energized. This is absorbed quickly in the body, and its effects show up anywhere between 5 to 30 minutes after its consumption. These effects can last up to 12 hours, depending on the individual. In small doses, this wonderful compound can make you more focused and refreshed. But there's also another side to the picture. 

Over-consumption of caffeine can make you anxious, jittery, and sleepless. Moreover, since it is a drug, our bodies can develop tolerance to caffeine. Look for the following symptoms if you feel like you may have over-consumed caffeine. 

  • Increased body temperature
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent urination
  • Heart palpitations
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Excitability 
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Trembling hands
  • Spike in energy levels followed by a crash and tiredness. 

Factors That Determine How Much Caffeine Is In Your Green Tea?

As already discussed, various factors affect how much caffeine in green tea. Let us look at those factors. 

How Tea Variety Affects the Caffeine Content in Green tea

There are various types of green tea, and they all have different amounts of caffeine. The types include 

  • Sencha tea
  • Matcha tea 
  • Jasmine green tea 
  • Mint green tea, 
  • Genmaicha green tea 
  • Gunpowder green tea

In most cases, tea manufacturers indicate the approximate amount of caffeine contained in these teas.  However, this is just one form of classification of this tea. 

Green tea can also vary in caffeine content depending on how it's packed. Bagged teas usually have more of this compound compared to loose tea. Since the leaves in bagged tea are smaller in particle size, the caffeine is extracted more efficiently from the leaves. Because of this, powdered green tea might contain even more caffeine than bagged or loose tea leaves. 

The Impact of Harvest Time of Tea Leaves

The caffeine content in your green tea also varies depending upon when the tea leaves were harvested. Tea leaves harvested at a young age contain more caffeine content than the ones harvested at an older age. 

How Temperature Affects the Caffeine Content in Green tea

Temperature plays an important role in determining how much caffeine in green tea there will be. Higher temperature extracts more tea out of leaves; however, brewing tea at a higher temperature for a long time can affect the taste negatively. The key is to steep these tea leaves at temperatures of about 150-160 F for 2-4 minutes. 

The Impact of Brewing Time

The longer you steep your tea, the more caffeine it will extract. However, steeping for a long time can damage the taste profile of the tea as well. Majority of the time, oversteeped teas will be more bitter in taste.

The Impact of Brewing Method

There are many brewing methods in tea such as hot brewing, cold brewing, western style brewing, and Chinese style brewing to name a few. Based on these brewing styles, the water temperature and the brewing time can vary, which will then affect the amount of caffeine extracted into your tea. In general, cold brewing of tea extracts less caffeine as compared to hot brewing. 

How Much Caffeine Is in a Cup of Green Tea

As we've already shown, many factors determine how much caffeine in green tea there is. However, to make things simple, the amount of caffeine in an 8-oz (230 ml) cup of green tea is about 35 mg. It is an average figure, and caffeine can range between 30-50 mg per 8-oz cup. 

Should We Worry About How Much Caffeine Is In Green Tea

Well, it depends. It is safe to consume 400 mg of caffeine per day, and this includes caffeine from all dietary sources such as coffee or chocolate. So, make sure to keep your green tea intake as well within this limit as you enjoy your tea. In general, one or two cups of tea are safe to consume under many conditions, unless you are sensitive to caffeine. However, if you are pregnant, you should not consume more than 200mg of caffeine per day, so it is time to be cautious about what you are drinking and eating. 

Green tea is a healthy drink that contains safe amounts of caffeine for human consumption. If you're still concerned about the caffeine content in your tea, you can find decaffeinated green teas that are available from many tea producers today.

Final Words

Whether you're just getting into green teas or a habitual tea consumer, knowing how much caffeine there is in your cup and what factors affect it can help you fine-tune your drinking habits according to your preferences. However, we can confidently say green tea is a healthier alternative to coffee and black tea, as it promises many amazing health benefits without overwhelming you with caffeine. The key is to consume it in moderation. At Tea J Tea, we hope to pack some of the most exclusive green tea varieties along with irresistible pastries for you to enjoy.

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