When people first come to tea, they often arrive from the world of coffee. Many are either trying to avoid caffeine altogether or seek an alternative source for there morning cup. This leads to inevitable questions about tea and caffeine. While I tend to drink tea for taste, the caffeine can be a benefit on early mornings! As this is a topic of interest to many, I always educate myself through reading (remember – Google does not equal research!), obtaining further education through Specialty Tea Institute webinars, the World Tea Expo, and consultations with herbalists and naturopaths.
There is a lot of information on the web, some of it better than others.? A couple of points to keep in mind as you search for answers about tea and caffeine.
All tea contains caffeine
How the tea is brewed and the leaves you start with dramatically affect the caffeine in your cup
Tea is one of the very few foods that contain L-theanine – an amino acid that can counteract some of the caffeine effects
Caffeine in tea tends to be absorbed more slowly than caffeine in coffee
In general, Black Teas have more caffeine in the cup followed by Oolong, Green, then white teas. This assumes that the teas are brewed properly. For example, leaving white tea leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes will not only make a bitter brew it will also extract a lot of caffeine from the leaves.
L-theanine kicks in 10-20 minutes after consumption.? The net results is a reduction in some of the less pelasnt physiolocial effects of caffeine without a loss of a popular benefit – mental alertness. This is why tea is said to be stimulating yet calming.
So, whether you drink tea for taste, a boosts or both arm yourself with information so that you can make informed choices about tea and caffeine.
Monday starts the Chinese year 4646, the year of the Ox.? We’ll help celebrate by offerign specials on our Yixing pots and Chinese Teas.? Stop in and try some traditional chinese teas in handmade teaware.
For those of you who have had tea in England you know it is often just a teabag with not particularly great tea in it…? ? It seem sthat the British a slowly embracing good tea.
A recent Time Magazine article says “exquisite infusions were far removed from the bland British teabag — which can contain leaves from up to 60 factory farms. “I realized that Britain was drinking the equivalent of blended whiskey,” recalls Lovell. “We’d never tried the single malt of the tea world.”? ”
? The author goes on to mention Silver Needle which is one of the best white teas out there.? It is prized for its subtle taste and gentle lift.
We get a lot of questions like “what is the helathiest tea?”? We typically recommend people find the teas that they like and drink them regularly.? 4-6 cups per day? is recommended to get the maximum helath benefits.? ? The is a recent article on Canada.com whcih provides a nice summary of health benefits by “color” of tea.
? Some quotes from that article include:
? “Most people don’t drink enough to get the kinds of results seen in research studies”
“like its greener kin, black tea contains antioxidants”
“To get the most of tea’s benefits, drink it freshly brewed, rather than bottled. Let tea steep for a few minutes to release the catechins”
It is a nice read and supports the consensus that all teas are good for you in different ways.? It is great to have something that tastes good AND is good for you!
We tasted a *lot* of teas today focusing on the Sri Lankan (Ceylon) and Indian teas.? ? The Level III certification includes history, geography and chemistry.? In fact, the Sri Lanakn presentor is a chemist who drew wonderful diagram of not only the processing equipment but alsom explained the chemistry behind teas taste!? We tasted Assams, Darjeelings, Nilgiris and even a White Tea comparable to silver needle.? Amazing
We all took lots of notes on the material presented
? Every cup is meticuously analyzed as we expand our palates!