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101 W. Marcy St
Santa Fe, NM 87501

505-795-7724

Luxury loose leaf teas, handcrafted tea blends and fine tea ware. ArtfulTea: where the ordinary experience of drinking tea becomes extraordinary.

Tea Wisdom

Tea and Caffeine

Margaret Wack

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Whether you’re looking for a little boost in the morning, or are trying to steer clear of caffeine entirely, it’s always important to consider the caffeine content when selecting a tea.

Many people looking for an alternative to coffee turn to tea to provide a milder morning pick-me-up that still contains some caffeine. With about half the caffeine of a cup of a coffee, black teas can be a great choice for a delicious, stimulating brew. Other types of tea, including green, white, oolong, pu-erh, and purple, also contain varying levels of caffeine, while herbal and rooibos teas contain none.

Here at ArtfulTea, we carry teas with a wide range of caffeine levels, from hearty Indian blacks to caffeine-free tisanes and everywhere in between!

Caffeine and the Body

Caffeine can be a potent stimulant, with both positive and negative potential side effects. Many people rely on caffeine to jump-start their morning, and caffeine can be a great way to give your body a little energy boost and to increase mental alertness and physical stamina.

It’s important to keep in mind that people can have very different reactions to caffeine, with some able to tolerate very high amounts, and others able to tolerate very little, if any, caffeine. While everybody’s different, it’s a good idea to steer clear of caffeine in the evening so that you don’t disrupt your sleep, and to be careful when drinking caffeinated tea on an empty stomach. Many people are familiar with the increased heart rate and jittery feeling that comes with consuming too much caffeine, but even if you don’t experience any adverse side effects, it’s always best to practice moderation!

For those who want to keep their caffeine intake to a minimum, there are plenty of herbal options. While all teas that come from the camellia sinensis plant do contain some amount of caffeine, herbal and rooibos tisanes are a great alternative!

How Much Caffeine Is in Tea?

Black teas contain a moderate amount of caffeine, about half that of a cup of coffee. Indian black teas like Assam and Nilgiri, as well as hearty breakfast blends like Irish Breakfast and English Breakfast, contain the highest amount of caffeine. Chinese black teas like China Keemun and Lapsang Souchong, meanwhile, contain slightly less caffeine and are a bit mellower. Flavored black teas also contain slightly less caffeine, since additional ingredients are blended with the tea and somewhat dilute the caffeine content.

Pu-erh teas also contain a moderate amount of caffeine, similar to that of black teas. These aged, fermented teas, while stimulating, have a rich, earthy flavor with less acidity and tannic bite than black teas.

Oolong teas can range in their caffeine content, depending on their oxidation level and how they are processed. Heavily oxidized oolongs have a caffeine content similar to that of black tea, while oolongs that have undergone less oxidation have a caffeine content similar to that of green teas.

Green Tea is lower in caffeine, about half that of black tea and a quarter that of a cup of coffee. Matcha, made from powdered green tea, has a higher caffeine level, similar to that of black tea, because it’s more concentrated.

White and Purple teas generally have the lowest amount of caffeine, and are also very high in antioxidants, making them a great choice for those looking for only a little bit of caffeine but a lot of health benefits!

Mate, although not produced from the tea plant camellia sinensis, is high in caffeine, containing almost as much as coffee per cup. Sometimes called mateine, the kind of caffeine contained in mate is said to contribute to focus, clarity, and alertness, without the jitters that come from drinking too much coffee, making it a great alternative for those looking for a stimulant with fewer adverse side effects. It is traditionally drunk out of a hollow gourd through a straw known as a bombilla, but can also be prepared in the same way as other teas and tisanes.

Herbal and Rooibos tisanes, meanwhile, are naturally caffeine-free. These blends can be a wonderful alternative to traditional teas for those looking to avoid caffeine entirely, as well as a great option to enjoy in the afternoon and evening.

Whether you’re looking for a hearty, highly caffeinated morning cup or are interested in skipping caffeine altogether, there are a wide variety of teas to choose from. Whatever sort of tea you’re in the mood for, here at ArtfulTea we’re sure to have the perfect cup!

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