Yes, green tea does have caffeine but there are specific factors that can influence how much of it is present. As long as you stick to recommended limits for daily caffeine intake and avoid consuming other caffeinated drinks, green tea should be safe.
However, different cultivars and production methods can vary the caffeine content of a cup. To help you decide which tea has the least caffeine, consider these factors.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in many popular beverages like coffee, sodas and energy drinks. It can help boost energy levels, focus and mood* and is an effective ingredient to use in tea when combined with L-theanine. However, too much caffeine can be counterproductive by causing uncomfortable side effects like jitteriness and insomnia*.
The good news is that you can avoid most of these unpleasant side effects by choosing a tea with the least amount of caffeine. This can be accomplished by knowing how the tea is grown, what part of the tea plant is used and by how the tea is brewed.
Green tea leaves contain less caffeine than the same type of leaves used to make oolong and black tea. In addition, white tea contains the lowest level of caffeine because it is made from the first buds and tips of the Camellia sinensis plant harvested early in spring.
When it comes to how the tea is brewed, the most important factor is the water temperature and steeping time. A hotter water will extract more caffeine from the tea leaves than a cooler one. This is why we recommend using filtered water to brew all our teas.
Unlike apples or tomatoes, which have many different varieties that are similar but vary in shape, taste and other qualities, green tea has only a few cultivars that are widely used. Each of these has its own unique characteristics that affect the flavor of the finished tea, including the raspberry green tea, peach green tea and lemon green tea.
Some cultivars have more caffeine than others. The most popular is the Yabukita cultivar, developed in 1908 by a Japanese farmer. It can grow almost anywhere, and it is frost resistant and hardy. It also has a very strong flavor and yields high amounts of tea. Yabukita is the main cultivar used for sencha, matcha, and other green teas made in Japan.
Other cultivars are less common, but they offer some great options for those who want to reduce their caffeine intake. Okumidori and Saemidori are two of the more popular less-caffeinated green tea cultivars. These both produce teas that have a light, fresh taste and are more suited for cooler climates.
Overall, most green teas have about half the amount of caffeine found in a typical cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage. However, it is still a good idea to avoid drinking too much caffeine at one time, and stick to the recommended limit of 200 mg per day for adults. This helps to avoid the negative side effects that caffeine can have, such as jitters and anxiety.
Generally, herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint are naturally caffeine-free. However, green teas made from the Camellia sinensis plant contain varying amounts of caffeine depending on when they’re harvested and how they’re prepared. The caffeine content of a cup of green tea can range from 12 mg to 75 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces of water, and it depends on the type of tea, brewing method, serving size, and other ingredients.
The best low-caffeine green teas are made from the stems and twigs of the Camellia sinensis plant, rather than the leaves. For example, kukicha, a Japanese green tea, is commonly known as “Twig Tea” for the stems it’s made from, which have very little caffeine. Another option is Hojicha, which is roasted instead of steamed, so most of the caffeine is burned away during the roasting process.
The amount of caffeine that’s safe to consume daily varies from person to person, but 400 milligrams is generally considered a healthy daily intake. Overuse of caffeine can lead to negative side effects, including jitters, anxiety, headaches, increased heart rate, and insomnia. It’s important to drink only what your body needs and to keep in mind that some people metabolize caffeine more slowly than others.
A large part of green tea’s caffeine content depends on the harvesting process. Tea leaves are typically harvested in the early spring, when the plant’s first downy, furled buds and tips are still developing. The tea leaves produced in these conditions tend to have lower caffeine levels than those from later harvests.
When it comes to harvesting, other factors can influence a tea’s caffeine content, too. Shaded teas like gyokuro and matcha have higher caffeine levels than unshaded teas, as the shading causes stress on the plants, which results in increased levels of caffeine, L-theanine, and chlorophyll.
The steeping method and duration can also impact a tea’s caffeine level. Hotter water and longer steep times can result in a stronger, more concentrated cup of tea that may contain more caffeine than a lighter, less potent version.
A final factor that can significantly lower a tea’s caffeine level is the amount of leaves used. For those with a particular sensitivity to caffeine, using loose leaf tea can help limit their exposure by reducing the quantity of leaves they consume. Teas made with stems can be a great option for those looking to cut down on their caffeine intake as well, since they’re usually lower in caffeine than the leaves themselves. Teas such as kuki hojicha use only the stems of the tea plant, resulting in a milder, more comforting flavor with lower caffeine levels.