Caffeine…it perks us up, gives us a spring in our step and makes it that little bit easier to get out of bed in the morning. That’s why so many of us reach straight for a strong cup of black tea (or coffee) the moment the dreaded alarm sounds.
There may be times when you don’t want to experience the stimulating effects of caffeine though. Perhaps you’ve decided to eliminate it from your diet? Or maybe you’re simply trying to cut down. It could be that neither of these apply to you, but you know that brewing a fresh cup of tea at 10pm as you watch TV is probably not going to result in the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had. In these situations, you might find yourself searching for a suitable alternative to a good old English cuppa.
That’s where green tea comes in.
Fresh, fragrant, delicate on the palette and tasty, green tea is a great alternative to black tea, but there’s a lot of confusion around whether green tea is caffeine-free.
So, does green tea contain caffeine?
…actually, yes it does.
It’s a common misconception that green tea has no caffeine in it, but in fact, that’s not the case. All teas, including green tea and black tea, come from the same plant (Camellia Sinensis) and the form they ultimately end up in, is all down to where on the plant the leaf is picked from. The teas that result will all contain caffeine, just not in the same levels.
So where did the idea that green tea is totally free from caffeine come from? Well, we don’t really know, it’s possible that the boundaries got blurred when people recognised that green tea didn’t have the same ‘wide-awake’ night-time effects as black tea or coffee. That’s because – while green tea DOES contain caffeine – it’s in smaller amounts than black tea, and certainly a lot less than you would find in a cup of coffee.
So, how much caffeine does Green Tea contain, exactly?
One cup of green tea contains approximately 25mg of caffeine, compared to around 50mg in black tea. So if you were to drink the same amount of green tea each day, in place of your usual black tea, you could potentially be reducing your caffeine intake by up to 70%. We know what you’re thinking – 25 plus 25 doesn’t equal 70! It doesn’t of course, but it’s all down to other variables, such as the amount of time you leave your tea to brew. The longer you brew, the more caffeine seeps in, making the overall caffeine content, and therefore, the reduction from switching teas, greater. This works the other way too of course, so it’s not preferable to over brew your green tea either. In fact, it’s never preferable to over brew tea and we are firm advocates of getting your cup just right!
So there you have it. Yes, green tea does contain caffeine, but in lower levels than black tea, coffee and many other hot drinks. If you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake opt for some tasty green tea. Check out our range of loose leaf green teas here.