How Much Caffeine Is in Green Tea?
If you regularly drink green tea, you might wonder if the caffeine content of your favorite beverage has an impact on your health. Green tea typically contains less caffeine than its cousin black tea, and its caffeine content is much lower than that of coffee.
Decaffeinated green tea has little if any caffeine at all. When you consume the decaffeinated leaf in a powder, in other words consuming the entire leaf, drinking decaffeinated tea is beneficial regardless. It is good to have such an option and we offer water process decaf made with certified organic Japanese green tea.
But, what if you are not sensitive to caffeine–do you need to worry about caffeine in green tea? The decision you make if you choose regular or water process decaf is up to you. The pourpose of this page is to provide you information so that you can make a well-informed decision.
How Much Caffeine Is in Japanese Green Tea?
Green tea comes from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis, which produces a small amount of caffeine naturally during its cultivation. The amount of an antioxidant called catechin stored in tea leaves is linked to the caffeine content of the final blend. Different methods of harvesting and producing the tea impacts the plant’s catechin production and its caffeine level.
When tea leaves are fermented, they lose catechins. Japanese green tea is produced without fermentation, so it is high in catechins and low in caffeine. However, there are several different methods for preparing tea, and the caffeine content varies depending on how the tea plant is cared for and how the leaves are treated after harvesting.
The caffeine content of brewed green tea is about 28 mg for 8 oz, whereas the same size brewed coffee would contain about 96 mg of caffeine. The actual number depends on whether the green tea is Sencha or Matcha. Some Matcha teas can contain enough caffeine to rival coffee, but these blends are made from the same plant as low-caffeine Sencha.
Green Tea, Oolong Tea, and Black Tea are produced from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis, which contains caffeine naturally. The fermentation and finishing process make the unique flavor and nutrition in each type of tea. Green Tea is not fermented at all. Oolong tea is half fermented. Black Tea is nearly completely fermented. This fermentation process, or oxidation process, changes the natural substances in tea leaves, such as Caffeine and Catechins. “Catechins” are the most prominent antioxidants and the reason Green Tea has been in the center of scientists’ attention. Green tea leaves contain the highest amount of Catechins, because the fermentation process decreases Catechins in the tea leaves.
Caffeine and Catechins (EGCG) relationship in tea leaves
Oxidation decreases Catechins and EGCG in tea leaves. There are two ways to stop oxidation after tea leaves are harvested: Steam or Panning. Both methods kill the enzyme causing oxidation in tea leaves. Scientific tests show the tea steaming method offers higher Catechin & EGCG amounts than the panning method.
Typically, Japanese green tea uses the steaming method, and Chinese green tea uses the panning method. The impact on the leaf from steaming method is less than the panning method, and thus the steaming method preserves more Catechins in the leaves.
Caffeine in Green Tea
Caffeine amount in 8 oz of tea and coffee:
|Edible Green® , regular *||10mg|
|Edible Green® , decaf **||<3mg|
|Green Tea (brewed)||24 – 40mg|
|Black Tea||14 – 61mg|
|Coffee||95 – 240mg|
|Coffee, decaf||2 – 12 mg|
source: Caffeine amounts in other products are taking from mayoclinic.com.
* Edible Green® regular is Japanaese Sencha green tea powder. One serving of Edible Green®, 1/4 tsp. powder, contains about the same amount as in 1 bar of Hershey’s Chocolate (1.55oz), which contains 9 mg of Caffeine. Edible Green® regular offers about 1/10 of caffeine in regular coffee and offers much more Catechins than brewed green tea.
Exploring Japanese Green Teas and Their Caffeine Content
Tea products that come from Camellia Sinensis include black tea, pu-erh tea, oolong tea, white tea and purple tea. Japanese tea blends include:
1. Black Tea
Majority of tea production in Japan is green tea. Black tea made in Japan is a rare find. A prominent brew in Europe, the fermented leaves of black tea have more caffeine than green tea. Black tea blends can range in caffeine content from around 31 mg per 8 oz to as much as 86 mg, depending on how they are processed.
2. Matcha Green Tea
This Japanese green tea is shaded shortly before harvesting to alter the leaves’ chemical components. The shading technique and post-harvest treatments were invented in Japan and Matcha has been used for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. In the past decade, Matcha became popular for its unique sweet taste as a everyday tea or an ingredient of smoothies or baked goods.
Matcha contains a level of caffeine higher than other green teas that can also surpass fermented teas. The caffeine in Matcha starts at around 70 mg per 8 oz. It also contains a high level of amino acids and antioxidants.
3. Sencha Green Tea
This green tea is another traditional tea in Japan but contains a low level of caffeine. It is harvested from tea plants grown in full sun, steamed after harvested, and kneeded an rolled to shape the tea leaves like needles. Sencha tea is enjoyed as “loose leaf tea.”
4. Edible Green Sencha Powder Tea
Traditional Sencha leaf teas are ground so you can drink the plant matter and get the most from the teas’ antioxidants and nutrients. Edible Green Sencha powder looks like Matcha but it is NOT Matcha. The major benefit of Edible Green Sencha powder is to enjoy the green tea’s powerful antioxidants while consuming a lower caffeine count than Matcha. Sencha has about 10 mg of caffeine per 8 oz and is steeped with hot water.
5. Decaffeinated Edible Sencha Tea
Any type of decaffeinated green tea is treated with a chemical solvent like ethyl acetate or methylene chloride to remove the caffeine. Edible Green Sencha powder Decaf uses only water to remove majority of caffeine effectively.
Decaffeinated edible Sencha contains less than 3 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. In terms of the prescious antioxidants of green tea, Catechins or EGCG, the patented water process decaffeination process preserves majority of the healthful polyphenols in the leaf.
6. Brewed Green Tea
Brewed green tea depends on various elements, such as freshness, the amount you use in a cup, variety, types of green tea (yes, green tea is more than one kind). The amount of caffeine can be as high as 40 mg per 8 oz. Caffeine is much more easily steeped into hot water, than the other nutrition that you would like to consume for health, such as antioxidants, viamins, and minerals.
Matcha vs. Coffee
Coffee generally has more caffeine than Matcha tea. Some blends of Matcha are specially selected to be high in caffeine. For example, ceremonial teas are made by carefully choosing the most potent leaves. The way Matcha tea works on the body differs from the effects of drinking coffee due to its composition, however.
Unlike coffee, Matcha contains amino acids like L-theanine. This amino acid offsets caffeine’s negative effects, allowing you to drink Matcha without experiencing a caffeine crash. Drinking coffee regularly may lead to exhaustion from crashes and caffeine addiction, where your body will depend upon a dose of coffee to have a normal amount of energy. Matcha steadily releases caffeine, lowering the potential for addiction.
The health benefits of green tea surpass coffee in numerous studies. Matcha is high in catechins, including one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to act as an anti-cancer agent in the body. Coffee lacks these catechins. Green tea leaves have multiple catechins and antioxidants that coffee beans lack.
Matcha makes a good alternative to coffee, but remember Edible Green Sencha powder regular or water process decaf for less caffeine alternatives, and for a caffeine-free alternative, try roasted brown rice coffee with a similar taste.
How to Choose the Right Green Tea to Fit Your Lifestyle
If you’re concerned with limiting your caffeine consumption, some types of green tea have very little caffeine or are decaffeinated. You can enjoy the benefits of caffeinated green tea while feeling minimal caffeine effects.
Make the right decision for your daily routines by getting the type of tea you need. Green tea options with the most to least caffeine are listed below:
- Ceremonial Matcha: This type of tea is specially grown to be high in caffeine, making it a good choice if you’re looking for a caffeinated drink to give you energy without exhausting you.
- Regular Matcha: An affordable choice for everyday use, this type of tea is also high in caffeine.
- Edible Green Sencha Powder Regular: With just the right amount of caffeine to keep you alert, Sencha is a good middle.
- Edible Green Decaffeinated Sencha Powder: This tea is treated to have a low caffeine content.
- Brown rice coffee: This coffee alternative is made from pure brown rice, looks and tastes like coffee and lacks any caffeine.
Order Green Tea With SEI MEE TEA®
Green tea’s antioxidants make it a healthy beverage to consume regularly. We stock authentic Japanese green tea in both caffeinated and decaffeinated blends. When you shop with SEI MEE TEA®, you get green tea products packed with catechins.