Are you fond of matcha? Is your day incomplete without cups of oolong? We agree — tea is delicious. But some caffeine is higher in tea than others. Keep reading to learn about safe caffeine levels in tea.
Before Red Bull and Monster, before Coke and Pepsi, there was coffee. The caffeine in coffee was (and still is) a go-to source of energy for most people when they start their day. But, there was an energy drink that may have even predated the earliest dark brew beans.
Tea. That’s right, high caffeine tea can give you that perfect boost in the A.M. Because tea is less acidic than coffee, lots of people look to tea to get through their hectic days. Tea also offers a more understated energy boost.
How Much Caffeine Do Teas Have?
But what exactly is the caffeine content in loose tea and tea plants? Tea drinkers know caffeine content can vary depending on the types of tea they’re drinking.
Did you know the caffeine content in a given type of tea depends on how it’s processed?
Herbal tea leaves don’t naturally offer any milligrams of caffeine. That’s right, herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free. For reference, one cup of medium roast coffee contains 100 milligrams of caffeine.
Many teas come from the Camellia sinensis plant. Matcha teas, for example, can offer more caffeine than regular green tea.1 White, black, and green tea tend to contain up to 61 milligrams of caffeine per serving.2
What is the Relationship Between Caffeine and Heart Health?
Caffeine has been known to interact with heart health. However, the experts report heart health effects experienced by caffeine consumers at levels up to 600 milligrams a day are mild — and that’s almost 10 cups a day. Caffeine consumption at that level causes only transient, reversible effects.
The NIH review states the usual, moderate effects from sources of caffeine are not associated with increased risks of heart health issues. The following heart concerns are not an issue when consuming less than 600 mg a day of caffeine:
- Irregular heart rate
- Compromised heart function
- Blood pressure issues3
Can Caffeine Consumption Affect Blood Pressure?
To reiterate, consuming 600 mg or less of caffeine does not produce a persistent increase in blood pressure. People who haven’t consumed caffeine regularly may experience a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure.
But after caffeine consumption for a little while, you develop caffeine tolerance. And your blood pressure actually returns to its baseline.4
How Tea Drinkers Boost Their Energy and Alertness Evenly
One benefit of drinking quality teas, instead of drinking coffee, is that the caffeine levels in tea don’t cause that classic caffeine jolt. The energy you get from steeping tea leaves gives a steadier boost. Drinking coffee could lead to a caffeine crash. Organic teas and tea blends allow you to pace yourself.
Why do those who drink quality teas avoid the caffeine jolt and the subsequent caffeine crash? Turns out, when drinking coffee, the caffeine is released right away. But the caffeine in different types of tea is released over time. This has to do with the composition of natural chemicals in tea.
What’s Your Favorite High Caffeine Tea?
Well, how many cups of coffee do you drink in the morning? Three? Two? A half-caff? Caffeine content does tend to shift brand to brand, but to give you a general idea… here’s one established brand’s list of caffeine levels…
Caffeine Per 8 oz Serving:
- White Tea 30-55 mg
- Green Tea 35-70 mg
- Oolong Tea 50-75 mg
- Black Tea 60-90 mg5
Chai tea is a great tea for those looking for a mild boost. One study claimed the caffeine in chai tea is actually less than the limit of detection.6
Black tea blends and breakfast tea blends give you a coffee-like experience because of their bold flavors. Steeping your regular tea for just a little longer will give you the sensation of a darker roast, too. And oolong tea has a stronger flavor that coffee drinkers might like.
Can Herbal Teas Serve as Energy Drinks?
Yerba mate is a South American herbal tea, and it happens to be an ingredient in several energy drinks. Its smoky taste profile can satisfy those who drink coffee. And yerba has higher caffeine levels in tea than green tea.
This type of tea also contains theobromine. This compound can help boost energy, support endurance, and improve exercise performance.7
Peppermint tea is made by steeping the peppermint tea leaves in boiling water. Peppermint tea can be brewed using loose leaf tea or tea bags. Even though peppermint is caffeine-free tea, it can help with alertness.8
Let’s Hear it for Tea — A Great Source of Caffeine
In the end, you can ditch coffee, soft drinks, and other caffeinated beverages. Opt instead for Pu-erh or oolong for your morning treat. Give tea a go for your morning dose of get-up-and-go. Or stick with tea to make it through the last few hours of a grueling day.
Try a delicious infusion of tea. Not only is tea rich with antioxidants, but you might also experience sustained energy without crazy jitters!