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.