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Battle of the beverages — the caffeine content in each cup of tea

It’s the question our tea-loving experts receive at least once a day: “how much caffeine is in my tea?”

As fellow tea lovers who sometimes need an extra burst of energy in their morning cuppa, it’s a question we’re only too happy to answer. If you’re looking to jumpstart your day while avoiding the jitters, you’ve come to the right place.

What the science says

Caffeine stimulates our central nervous system, which is why it’s great in small amounts (giving us boosts of energy and a better sense of alertness) but can have adverse side effects like increased anxiety, headaches, and nervous jitters when it’s too concentrated.  

Because of this, the Food Standards Code of Australia recommends that the average adult consumes no more than 400mg of caffeine per day and 200mg of caffeine per serving

Luckily, all your favourite teas fly well below this recommended daily intake while still invigorating the body and mind. In fact, two grams of our most caffeinated teas contain roughly 50mg of caffeine per serve. At The Tea Centre, we consider an average serving of tea to be 200ml.

Coffee vs. tea

We can’t go talk about caffeine without mentioning coffee, especially since many of our sippers started their tea journey with the goal of finding a healthier alternative to this devilish brew!

Knowing the caffeine content in popular coffee drinks also gives tea drinkers context on how their favourite blends compare in terms of healthy caffeine consumption. 

According to Caffeine Informer, an Australian long black (pure espresso with water) can contain up to 150mg per 200ml while frothy coffees like cappuccino contain roughly 85mg per 200ml. To put that in perspective, a serving of tea like matcha contains around a third of a long black’s caffeine content while still providing similar or even better concentration and energy levels!

How does this work, you ask? Unlike coffee, tea leaves also boast an amino acid called L-theanine. Multiple studies on tea have concluded that L-theanine can assist in easing anxiety and relax the body without inducing sleepiness. In combination with caffeine, L-theanine can increase one’s alertness and attention span by offsetting the former’s negative side effects. 

Refreshing antioxidants are another bonus that tea leaves boast in comparison to coffee! The antioxidants in the tea bush (camellia sinensis) are flavonoids. One flavonoid in particular—ECGC—is particularly good at combating free radicals in the body.

Our list of coffee’s biggest tea contenders

Unfortunately, measuring the amount of caffeine in each cup of tea is not an exact science given there are so many variables to consider outside of looking just at the loose leaves. How many grams you brew, the steeping time, the serving size, and the tea supplier all factor into how much caffeine ends up in your cup of tea!

The Tea Centre suggests looking at the nutrition labels if you want exact information about the tea you currently have at home. 

Matcha

This green powder tea is the most popular alternative to coffee because its pure, unprocessed form means the caffeine content and other nutrients are less diluted in comparison to other green teas. You can get the good stuff and the ceremonial tea set to match here.

Assam breakfast blends

As a general rule of thumb, black brews are the most caffeinated teas. Within that, Assam loose leaf (assamica variety) is the boldest black tea of them all. Therefore, our Assam blends like Australian Breakfast and Irish Breakfast are the perfect coffee alternative.

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Pu-erh

A key characteristic of both raw and ripe pu-erh tea is that it’s fermented and matures for an extended period of time. Given this ageing process, ripe pu-erh in particular can boast a higher caffeine content in comparison to other Chinese black teas.

Yerba Mate

This South American brew is another tea that’s recently gained popularity. Despite not coming from the camellia sinensis tea plant, it also boasts a healthy dose of caffeine. To sip it the traditional way, you can also pick up yerba mate strainer straw from us here.

Going caffeine-free?

You don’t have to go completely cold turkey yet! If you’re looking to slowly wean off caffeine, we suggest our irresistible decaffeinated tea range. A common misconception with decaf beverages is that they are completely caffeine-free.

In Australia, however, any beverage that contains only 1–2.5% of its original caffeine content can be labelled as “decaffeinated”. Therefore, sipping on the likes of decaf Earl Grey or Broken Orange Pekoe is a good stepping stone on the way to going completely caffeine-free.

The only teas that are completely caffeine-free are our range of herbal tisanes. If you’re looking for a bold brew, our rooibos sips are considered a delicious substitute for black tea. 

 

Did you know The Tea Centre is currently releasing a new line of decaffeinated tea? You can explore our latest tasty brews to purchase here!

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