For people who are health conscious but still crave to get that extra boost they’d usually get from a cup of coffee, tea is their best friend. Tea is made from the tea plant which is commonly found in Southeast Asia. It was first used by the Chinese and was first bought to Europe by the Dutch in the early 17th century BC. Reputed for its myriad of health benefits ranging from the antioxidants found in it to the mental and emotional calmness it brings it now being drank by the half of the world’s population from the Chinese, to the Japanese, the Indians, to the Americans to the British though it has never been able to overtake coffee’s popularity.
Still tea is a lot healthier as a substitute for your daily caffeine fix considering that its caffeine content is minimally lower as compared to coffee. Typically a single cup of coffee’s caffeine dose can be matched by three cups of tea. Switching to tea alone can drastically reduce your caffeine intake. However not everyone likes the taste of tea but fret not since tea has a lot of variants to choose from.
Typically there are four common variants of tea namely green tea, black tea, Oolong tea and white tea though all four variants come from a single plant, the tea plant. The caffeine content in tea however differs greatly from each variant, which includes the leaf variant, where it was grown and how it was oxidize. The dry tea leaf’s caffeine content depends on altitude, soil, cultivation practices, and position of the leaf on the plant.
Caffeine content in tea also depends on the method of preparation and contrary to popular belief caffeine content in tea cannot be distinguished by the color of the tea. Though black tea does have larger caffeine content than white tea, the reason behind this is because of the preparation method. Pale green tea Gyokuro which is a type of Japanese tea has more caffeine than Japanese lapsang souchong, a darker tea.
Another component in distinguishing caffeine in tea is how it was used. Typically the longer the steeping time the less caffeine the tea has. This is true when you are using tea bags which use a loose form of tea leaves. This basically means that the longer the tea has been allowed to steep the more caffeine it has. Infusion time however, is different when you use actual tea leaves rather than tea bags since tea leaves have not been processed. Thus, it has retained most if not all of its qualities including its caffeine content.
Of the four tea varieties, white tea has the smallest caffeine content at just 6-25 mg for every 8 oz while green tea contains 8 – 36 mg caffeine per 8 oz serving. White tea however has a slight edge to green tea because of the method of steeping involved. Of the darker colored teas Oolong tea has 12 – 55 mg caffeine per 8 oz serving whereas black tea contains 25 – 110 mg per 8 oz serving.
In the end, though whatever variety of tea you choose, you’ll still be making a wise decision for your well being. Remember, tea has good caffeine and it’ll give you the right fix you need to start your day.