You’ve probably heard that green tea is a healthy beverage, packed with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can boost your overall well-being. But does green tea have caffeine, and if so, how much? The answer might surprise you.
While green tea does contain caffeine, the amount can vary significantly depending on the type of green tea, the origin of the leaves and even the brand of tea (assuming it’s not loose leaf).
In this article, we dive head-first into the world of green tea caffeine. From exploring the different types of green tea and how they’re processed, to comparing the caffeine content of green tea to other beverages, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the stimulating compound in your favorite brew. So whether you’re hooked on Japanese sencha midori or enjoy a daily cup of Lipton green tea, this article is a must read.
Caffeine Content in Green Tea
Green tea has been enjoyed for thousands of years thanks to its delicate flavor, refreshing aroma, and potential health benefits. But contrary to popular belief and unlike many other teas, green tea does in fact contain caffeine.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the different types of green tea and how their caffeine content can vary. There are many varieties of green tea available on the market, each with its own unique flavor and potential health benefits. Japan and China are the 2 biggest green tea producers in the world. We’ve broken down the most popular types.
Caffeine In Japanese Green Tea
- Sencha: Hugely popular among fans of Japanese green teas, sencha is known for its grassy, vegetal flavor and is middle of the road when it comes to caffeine content.
- Matcha: The most well known of green teas from Japan, matcha is made from ground green tea leaves and is popular worldwide. It has a vivid, bright green color and a distinct, umami flavor. Matcha is higher in caffeine than most other types of green tea.
- Shincha: Shincha is made from the first flush of tea leaves that are harvested in the spring. It has a recognizable and delicate, sweet flavor and low caffeine content.
- Hojicha: Hojicha is famous among the Japanese green teas because of how it is processed. It is roasted over charcoal, which gives it a distinct, toasty flavor. As with shincha, it’s caffeine levels are lower than average.
- Kabusecha: This mild and sweet green tea is made using plants that are partially shaded from from the sun. It also has a slightly lower than average caffeine profile.
- Gyokuru: Bursting with floral tasting notes, gykoru is low in caffeine but high in flavor. It is made from tea leaves that are shaded for several weeks before harvest.
|Type of Green Tea||Caffeine Content (mg per 8 oz serving)|
Caffeine in Chinese Green Tea
- Dragonwell: This type of green tea is grown in the Zhejiang province of China and has a flat, long leaf shape. It has a gentle, sweet flavor and a low to medium caffeine content.
- Longjing: Also originating from the Zhejiang province of China, it has a similar flavor to Dragonwell tea. Likewise, it’s caffeine content is on the low-medium side.
- Bi Luo Chun: This delicious green tea from Jiangsu province in China is known for it’s light but sweet flavors. It has a low caffeine content.
- Mao Feng: Mao Feng means fur or hair in Chinese and when you see the leaves you undserstand why, thanks to the small hairs found on the dried leaves. It comes from Anhui province in China and has a lovely sweet aroma and vegetal flavor. Like many Chinese green teas, the caffeine content is medium.
- Gunpowder: Coming from Zhejiang province in China, gunpowder tea has a strong, smoky flavor. It gets its name from the way the tea leaves are rolled into small balls that resemble gunpowder. Gunpowder green tea has a medium caffeine content.
- Jasmine: Jasmine tea is a mix of green tea leaves that are scented with jasmine flower. It has a delicate, floral flavor. Jasmine tea does have caffeine, even though many drinkers believe it to be caffeine-free. The strength depends on the specific blend made by the producer.
|Type of Green Tea||Caffeine Content (mg per 8 oz serving)|
|Bi Luo Chun||10-20 mg|
|Mao Feng||30-40 mg|
Caffeine In Supermarket Green Tea Brands
- Lipton Green Tea: This is a popular brand of green tea that is widely available in grocery stores and other retail outlets. Lipton offers a number of different green tea blends, including classic green tea, mint green tea, and lemon green tea. The caffeine content of Lipton green tea varies depending on which blend you buy.
- Twinings Green Tea: This is another popular brand of green tea that is available in many stores. Twinings offering includes a classic green tea, jasmine and green tea with mint. Again, each of the different varieties has a different amount of caffeine.
- Bigelow Green Tea: Bigelow is a well-known brand of green tea that can be found in many households. As with most other brands, they offer an array of green teas. Included in their line up is a traditional version, as well as varieties infused with lemon and mint.
- Tazo Green Tea: If you’ve ever had green tea in Starbucks, you’ve probably had a tazo, their proprietary brand. The Tazo teas come in a number of different flavors, each of which has a unique amount of caffeine.
|Brand||Blend||Caffeine Content (mg per 8 oz serving)|
Is Green Tea A Good Caffeine Alternative?
Caffeine often gets a bad rep, and as a result, many people seek out a healthier alternative to caffeine rich beverages like coffee and energy drinks. Green tea is often cited as a potential option, due to its lower caffeine content and famed health benefits. But is green tea truly a good caffeine alternative?
While green tea contains caffeine, the amount does tend to be significantly lower than coffee, sodas and energy drinks such as Red Bull or Monster. On average, an 8 oz serving of green tea contains around 20-30 mg of caffeine, which is far less than the 80-100 mg found in a typical serving of coffee. However, it is worth noting that some types of green tea, such as matcha (not to be confused with a matcha latte), can have higher caffeine content.
Where it gets interesting is the potential health benefits. The caffeine in green tea is combined with a group of compounds called catechins. Some studies have suggested that the combination of caffeine and catechins in green tea may result in a more sustained energy boost and increased mental alertness, compared to the rapid and short-lived effects of caffeine alone. Ever need another coffee 10 minutes after your last one?
In addition to its energy-boosting effects, green tea has a number of other widely touted benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, which may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Green tea has also been linked to improved heart health, weight loss, and lower risk of certain types of cancer. So is it a good alternative? The answer is a resounding yes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does green tea contain caffeine?
Green tea does contain caffeine. On average, a serving of green tea contains between 20-30 milligrams of caffeine. That being said, some types of green tea, such as matcha, often have higher levels of caffeine. It is important to be aware of the caffeine content in your green tea, particularly if you are sensitive to caffeine or trying to limit your intake.
Is matcha green tea higher in caffeine than other types of green tea?
Matcha green tea is higher in caffeine content than other types of green tea. A typical serving of matcha contains around 35-60 mg of caffeine. This is almost double the caffeine in regular green tea drinks or those mixed with mint or lemon.
Are there decaffeinated options for green tea?
Yes, there are decaffeinated green teas. This type of green tea is made by using a chemical process to extract the caffeine from the leaves. It is worth noting that decaffeinated green tea may still contain trace amounts of caffeine. If you are after a 100% caffeine free beverage, herbal teas or fruit teas may be a better option.