A little bit about Green tea
Deriving its origin from Camellia sinensis leaves, Green tea is mostly known for its health benefits. It has antioxidants such as Catechins, Polyphenol, L Theanine, and others. Green tea is infused with such antioxidants because it undergoes the process of fermentation in small amounts which in turn, preserves most of the antioxidants in the leaves. These antioxidants make Green tea a very healthy drink.
It is seen that many times Green tea has proved to help treat skin cancer, reduce body fat, hair regrowth. Green tea is said to have anti-atherosclerosis, anti-inflammatory, and anti-myocardial infarction properties. Green tea is mostly prepared by the process of steeping and brewing. The brewing time of Green tea varies from 3 to 4 minutes, depending on its type.
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical that has a direct effect on the human nervous system. Caffeine is known to remove most of the tiredness and lethargy. The scientific reason is that caffeine acts like a natural barrier which does not allow adenosine to affect the brain.
Adenosine, on the other hand, acts like a neurotransmitter which removes all the drowsiness and relaxes the mind and body. This relaxation further leads to sleep. As soon as caffeine is absorbed in the blood, it increases the level of adrenaline present in it which later increases the activity of the brain making the consumer more alert and active.
Caffeine in Green tea
The short answer to “Is there caffeine in Green tea?” is no. There is indeed some amount of caffeine present in Green tea. The amount of caffeine present in Green tea is quite less when compared to caffeine’s quantity in different coffees, soft drinks, energy drinks, and others. In every 8 ounces of Green tea, there is 15 to 50mg of caffeine present.
The maximum limit for caffeine intake for an adult per day is 400mg but a cup of Green tea has significantly lower amounts. Therefore, the intake of Green tea does not have side effects unless a person is highly sensitive to caffeine. In this case, there are also alternatives to make Green tea completely free from caffeine.
Caffeine is not added artificially to Green tea, it occurs naturally depending on various factors, for example, it usually happens that Green tea bags have more Caffeine content in them than loose Green tea leaves. This is because the tea present in tea bags is crushed and powdered. Therefore, caffeine can easily be infused into the bloodstream of the consumer.
If we take another example, then it is also seen that older Green tea leaves have less caffeine than the younger ones. Other factors such as farming techniques, a variety of plants, and others also play an important role. The small caffeine content in Green tea is an important reason why we have a soothing effect on our mind when we consume it. It is mostly because the caffeine present in Green tea combines with the antioxidant, L-Theanine, making a person comparatively more focused and alert.
Caffeine in Green tea vs Other teas
Almost every tea contains some amount of caffeine it but it is significantly lesser than the caffeine in coffee. The caffeine content of different teas in comparison to Green tea is as follows:
Caffeine in Green Tea Vs Black Tea
Both Green tea and Black tea derive their origin from the Camellia sinensis plant itself but surprisingly they have different caffeine content. The main reason behind such difference is the process of oxidation. Black undergoes a long, extensive process of oxidation, whereas Green tea, not so much.
A cup of Green tea contains 9 to 50mg of caffeine per cup, whereas a cup of Black tea has 42 to 72mg of caffeine. There is a huge difference in caffeine content. This often makes Green tea the preferred choice and Black tea a refreshing drink for a pick me up. However, Black tea has its benefits just like Green tea.
Caffeine in Green Tea Vs Oolong Tea
Just like Black tea and Green tea, Oolong tea is also made from the same plant. Oolong tea has approximately 25% more Caffeine than Green tea. This is because Oolong tea again goes through more fermentation and processing than Green tea. We are aware of the fact that oxidation ultimately leads to the removal of water content from the leaves.
This makes Oolong tea comparatively more concentrated which further leads to more Caffeine in it. Although, when compared to Black tea, both Green tea and Oolong tea have less caffeine.
Caffeine in Green Tea Vs White Tea
White teas are made by the process of withering. They have a sweet taste and a flowery aroma. On the other hand, Green tea has a particularly grassy, creamy taste. Both teas have different caffeine content. White tea certainly has lesser caffeine than Green tea. A cup of White tea has 9-15mg of caffeine whereas, on the other hand, Green tea certainly has a higher content of caffeine.
Both the teas have a very considerable amount of caffeine in them which usually doesn’t hamper the mind as much making them perfect choices for those who are trying to limit their caffeine intake.
Caffeine in Green Tea Vs the famous Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is just another form of Green tea that usually has amino acids, more antioxidants as well as more caffeine. This is because Matcha Green tea is crushed and powdered, therefore, Matcha tea has more caffeine than Green tea. Notably, one cup of Matcha has about 280mg of caffeine, whereas, on the other hand, a cup of Green tea contains a lot less than that of Matcha Green tea.
Though Matcha Green tea has high caffeine content, it is still less than the maximum limit of caffeine per day which is 400mg, and given that it has tons of health benefits, people are really enjoying this drink.
How to reduce caffeine content in Green tea?
There are many ways in which we can reduce the caffeine present in Green tea. Here goes,
- Starting with the harvesting and processing, according to “Journal of food engineering 94(1), 105-109, 2009”, it is observed that extraction in high temperature leads to less caffeine in the tea. But of course, we can’t really control that ourselves.
- Loose Green tea usually has less caffeine than crushed, powdered, or bagged Green tea. So certainly opt for Loose-leaf Green tea over tea bags.
- Having decaf Green tea is also helpful as they have no caffeine.
- Brewing tea for a longer time ultimately results in more caffeine. Brew your tea for not more than 4 minutes at most for lesser caffeine and also a more pleasant taste.