Tea and Caffeine FAQ’s
I am often asked about the caffeine content in tea and how it compares to coffee. This is a very interesting subject to me and important to understand from a health benefit perspective.
First of all, it is a fact that there is more caffeine in tea than in coffee . . . by weight. That’s what is most important to understand. If you weigh the beans used to brew a cup of coffee versus the leaves used to steep a cup of tea you will find that the tea weighs significantly less than the beans. Therefore, you ingest much less caffeine from tea than from coffee.
Another important point is that the caffeine is absorbed differently from coffee than from tea. When you drink coffee, you get a quick “hit” from the caffeine and that hit is throughout your entire body. Which means your heart, lungs, and all other internal organs are feeling it. Then, within a short time your body crashes because the caffeine is quickly released as well.
When drinking tea, it takes approximately 4 hours for the body to absorb and release the caffeine. This makes the whole process much gentler to the organs. After drinking a cup of tea, you will slowly realize that you are more alert, able to concentrate and have energy and it’s also a slow process before you realize those feelings are gone.
Another caffeine related question I hear a lot is “how much caffeine is in any particular tea.” Unfortunately, that is hard to determine. The amount of caffeine in the tea is related to the growing conditions. The more shaded the tea bushes, the higher the caffeine content. The only way to truly know how much caffeine is in a tea is to have it sent to a lab.
One tea that you can be sure is high in caffeine is Matcha. During the growing season tea bushes used to produce Matcha are purposely shaded to increase their caffeine content.
Also, many assume that if the tea has a strong flavor that means it is high in caffeine, but this is not the case.
I prefer to choose a tea that I enjoy the flavor of rather than concern myself with the caffeine content. I do, however, switch to a decaf or herbal tea after 2PM because caffeine does effect my ability to sleep. You may want to do the same if caffeine affects you.
Cheers to a Cuppa,