Second, only to water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. In 2018, the global tea consumption was calculated to be around 273 billion liters which are expected to reach 297 billion liters by 2021. More than 25000 cups of tea are consumed every second worldwide, which roughly amounts to 2.16 billion cups per day.
Among all the types of tea available in the market, Black tea is perhaps the most popular and widely consumed tea. Along with its popularity arises the questions ‘How much caffeine does Black tea have?’ or ‘Is Black tea good for health?’. We are here to discuss the same and related topics.
Black tea is a type of tea that comes from the tea plant Camellia sinensis and is more oxidized and processed than the other tea varieties (Oolong, Green, White, etc). It is usually stronger and more robust in flavor than the other teas.
How is Black tea processed?
The teas are named different (Black, Green, Oolong, and White) because they go through different oxidation and plucking processes. It is the process and the variety of the tea plant that defines if the tea is Black, Green, White, or Oolong.
Black teas are generally plucked the last, at the end of the harvesting period which gives the leaves enough time to grow and mature fully, which is why they have the highest caffeine content among the other teas.
During the production process, the Black tea leaves are allowed to totally oxidize before they are dried and heat-processed, whereas the Green and White tea leaves are oxidized the least. This is how Black tea leaves gain their rich dark brown to black color. Oxidation also causes the flavor profile to change into a strong, robust, and smoky taste.
What is Caffeine? What does it do to the mind and the body?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant and considered a type of drug to the Central Nervous System of our bodies. It is the most widely used psychoactive drug, commonly found in teas, coffee, and cocoa plants. When consumed, caffeine blocks the effects of adenosine (a neurotransmitter responsible for relaxing the body and the mind) and its receptors, preventing drowsiness induced by it.
Caffeine is called a psychoactive drug because its main effect is on the brain, stimulating the brain, thus promoting alertness, focus, and allowing the body to stay awake for a longer time. Caffeine is also responsible for stimulating certain portions of the Autonomic Nervous System.
The effects of caffeine begin after around 1 hour of its consumption, taking only about 20 minutes to breakdown and reach the bloodstream.
Does Black tea have caffeine? How much caffeine is in Black tea?
The caffeine content in Black tea is about 20 mg in every 100 grams of tea and approximately 47 mg in every 1 cup (8 fluid ounces or 237 grams). This makes Black tea one of the highest caffeinated tea barring some Matcha Green teas that contain about 130 mg of caffeine.
How many cups of Black tea per day is safe to drink?
The FDA has quoted 400 mg of caffeine as an amount usually not dangerous or with negative side effects, in ‘Black teacup’ terms, we’re talking about 7 to 8 cups per day. While the sensitivity to caffeine differs from person to person, in certain conditions people tend to be more sensitive to the side effects.
Other than when pregnant, under medication, etc., if your body doesn’t respond adversely to caffeine, it can be really good for you too!
Some health benefits of caffeine in Black teas-
Black teas are loaded with antioxidants that are a good way to keep the body away from cell damage which consequently decreases the rate of some chronic issues and abnormalities.
Tends to heart health:
Black teas contain flavonoids (a group of antioxidants) that provide support and tend to heart health. Flavonoids are also found in some vegetables, fruits, red wine, and dark chocolate.
The caffeine content in Black teas are good for increasing focus and improving concentration. Drinking Black tea in the morning will help you to boost your energy to a whole new level.
Improves digestion and reduces acidity:
Some people tend to feel acidic or they get acid reflux when consuming milk tea. Black tea without milk reduces this tendency of acidity, providing relief to the person and thus improving the digestive system. It is a self-tested, very promising benefit. Try it.
The caffeine present in Black tea is also a boon for reducing lethargy and fatigue.
Black tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the whole world and the number keeps rising each day. While drinking Black tea regularly is super healthy, drinking too much may not be a very good idea (10 to 12 cups a day).
Whereas, 5 to 6 cups each day is a safe number for all individuals (keeping in mind; people under medication, those who are pregnant/breastfeeding or allergic to any of the substances present in the tea should always be careful) and certainly consult a physician.
Caffeine is automatically associated with the negative side effects it has, more than the positive ones. But it is not always true, caffeine is only harmful when consumed in unusually large doses regularly.
Black tea enthusiasts, this is your green signal…drink on (wink wink).