Elements of Tea: Caffeine

November 14, 2012

Caffeine is an alkaline that acts as a stimulant and can be found in an assorted array of seeds, leaves, and some fruits where it actually functions as a natural pesticide towards unwanted insects. It has the ability to temporarily ward off drowsiness and to restore alertness. It increases concentration, as well as flow and clarity of thought, and is especially recommended on long cross-country drives as well as late night cram sessions before midterms (as our intern knows very well).

How much caffeine does tea have?

The amount of caffeine in the tea that you drink (i.e. the liquid) depends a great deal on how long you steep your tea, how many leaves you use, and the type of tea leaves used.

Most studies that we have come across steep each tea according to how a normal consumer would steep at home. As a result, you will see longer steep times for black tea than for green tea, etc.

The result is that in some studies, black tea has more caffeine than sencha green tea, whereas in other studies it may be reversed.

Two things are consistent though: Gyokuro and matcha have an overwhelming larger amount of caffeine, and bancha / houjicha has consistently less caffeine.

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