Does Green Tea have Caffeine?

Good, old tea. It is a wonderfully comforting drink. Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot water over cured or fresh leaves. There are over 1000 types of tea, with Black, White, Green, Oolong, Yellow, and Pu’erh tea being the main ones or ‘true teas.’ Most types of tea are derived from a specific plant called the Camellia sinensis.

Besides ‘true teas,’ there are many varieties of herbal teas made from dried fruits, flowers, spices, or herbs. Rooibos tea, for instance, is a caffeine-free, herbal tea and is made from the leaves of an entirely different plant called the Aspalathus Linearis shrub, which grows in the Cederberg mountains of South Africa.

Where did tea come from?

It is a popular drink across the globe, second only to water. 

The UK population drinks over 100,000,000 cups every single day of the year. It is no wonder the Brits say no problem cannot be solved by a hot cuppa, or to give its proper name, English Breakfast Tea, which is usually accompanied by milk or cream and sometimes sugar or sweetener. In the United States, 85 percent of consumed tea is iced tea, which generally has added honey and lemon. While in Japan, matcha, powdered green tea, is traditionally prepared in a ceremony called temae, which takes inspiration from Zen Buddhism.

However, the beverage may have originated as early as 2727 BC. Legend has it the Chinese Emperor Shennong discovered tea when a few leaves from the Camellia sinensis he was sitting beneath blew into the hot water he was about to drink. Although this story is not a proven fact, tea containers have been found in tombs dating from the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), so China is widely accepted as the source of tea. Under the Tang dynasty (618-906 AD), tea became firmly established as China's national drink.

Where do tea plants grow?

Originally indigenous to China and India, the tea plant or Camellia sinensis is a tropical plant that thrives in warmer, humid climates. Tea is now grown all over the world if the right conditions are provided.

Read on to discover more about the caffeine in tea, specifically green tea, made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make black teas. Fun fact: world green tea production is expected to grow 8.2% annually to hit 2.97 million tons by 2023.

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in plant-derived products such as tea that can temporarily wake us up by speeding up messages through the central nervous system to the brain. 

Originally called ‘theine,’ caffeine was first discovered in tea in 1827. It was later shown that the ‘theine’ of tea was identical to the caffeine of coffee, and the term ‘theine’ was dropped.

How does it affect us?

Everyone metabolizes caffeine at a different rate. This means people can be differently affected by caffeine, with some being hypersensitive and unable to consume caffeine at all and others who can drink several cups of tea a day with no apparent side effects.

Does tea have caffeine?

Yes, tea is a caffeinated beverage. The amount of caffeine depends on the type of tea and how it is prepared and brewed. In general, black and Pu-erh teas have the highest amount of caffeine, followed by oolong teas, green teas, white teas, and purple teas. 

There are a few factors that affect caffeine content in tea:

  • The more tea leaves used, the greater amount of caffeine. 
  • Broken tea leaves found in a bag generally produce more caffeine when brewed than whole leaves.
  • The longer the tea leaves are brewed in hot water, the more caffeine is released.
  • Higher temperatures will increase the caffeine content as the hot water will release the caffeine from the leaves faster.
  • Tea made with older leaves usually has less caffeine than tea made with younger tea leaves.

What is the science of caffeine in tea?

Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It is found in over sixty plants, but it is mostly consumed in coffee and tea. Caffeine is a class of compound called Methylxanthines. The compound’s primary stimulant effect is that it attaches to receptors in your brain that are reserved for adenosine. 

What is adenosine?

As you burn energy, a byproduct is produced called adenosine. Throughout the day, adenosine levels build up and attach to receptors in your brain, which causes tiredness. But caffeine mimics the shape of adenosine and can attach to the receptors in place of adenosine. This relieves feelings of tiredness.

The benefits of a moderated caffeine intake include:

  • Relieved fatigue
  • Increased cognitive performance
  • Enhanced performance and endurance
  • Hydration

The drawbacks of too much caffeine are:

  • Jitters and anxiety
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Insomnia

How much caffeine is too much?

A general guide on maximum caffeine intake for adults would be 400mg a day, which is about three or four cups of coffee a day or eight cups of tea. Pregnant women are advised to limit their intake to 200mg a day, which is around 3 cups of tea. Tea is not recommended for young children.

How much caffeine is in green tea?

How much caffeine is in green tea?

Green tea contains less caffeine than black tea, with on average 35mg per cup. However, this can vary anywhere between 30 and 50 mg per cup. As the caffeine in green tea occurs naturally, the amount depends largely on the variety of tea plants, its growing conditions, and how it is processed and brewed.


What is green tea? 


There are different types of green tea, including sencha, tencha, fukamushi sencha, gyokuro, kabusecha, matcha, genmaicha, hojicha, shincha, and ichibancha. Each type varies in caffeine content. Powdered green teas like matcha have a higher caffeine content than both bagged and loose green tea. Did you know almost all tea grown in Japan is green tea?


Green tea has practically no calories when taken unsweetened. It is widely considered the healthiest tea to consume due to its various compounds and ingredients that can help the immune system, fight off infection, and lower the risk of diseases. Here are some of the benefits of drinking green tea, according to Healthline:


  • It contains healthy compounds such as polyphenols, which reduce inflammation and helps to fight cancer.
  • It may improve brain function due to its caffeine content. 
  • It contains L-theanine, which has anti-anxiety effects.
  • There is an increased chance of fat burning. Studies show green tea boosts the metabolic rate in some individuals.
  • The antioxidants in it may lower the risk of some cancers.
  • It may protect the brain from age-related diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
  • It may reduce bad breath because the catechins in green tea have benefits for oral health.
  • It may prevent type two diabetes as studies show green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
  • It may help prevent cardiovascular disease by up to 31 percent.
  • It may help you lose weight because it raises your metabolic rate in the short term and may help reduce body fat, particularly in the abdominal area.
  • It may help you live longer as it protects against cancer and prevents heart disease.


How is green tea made?

Green tea is made into non-fermented tea by halting the oxidizing action of enzymes on the raw leaves. In other words, it is made by picking the tea leaves and steaming and roasting them in their fresh state. 

Tea is grown as a bush around one meter high, so it is easy to pluck. Young bushes are planted approximately 1.5 meters apart in rows with a one-meter distance between each row. At some of the higher altitudes, terraces are built to avoid soil erosion. The bush is trained into a fan shape with a flat top and takes about five years to fully mature, but this is dependent on the altitude at which the tea is grown. 

Before they are plucked, the bushes are pruned by a method known as ‘lung’ pruning. The bushes are plucked, mostly by hand, every one to two weeks. 

What are the two types of traditional green tea?

For the Chinese style of green tea, once plucked, leaves are withered and put into a hot pan or rotating drum until the natural enzymes are neutralized. The leaves are then shaped by machine rollers or by hand pressure. The leaf is then dried. Chinese leaf styles are numerous and unique.

For the Japanese style, leaves are optionally withered and steamed for less than a minute to neutralize the natural enzymes. The leaves are then rolled or pressed and dried.

How to calculate the percentage of caffeine in tea

How to calculate the percentage of caffeine in tea

To brew tea, you steep it in hot water. Steeping is the process of extracting the flavor and health-promoting compounds from the solids used to make tea.

The longer a tea is steeped, the more caffeine is released. Because green teas are steeped for half the time as black teas, they have about half the caffeine.

5 minute steep – 50mg caffeine

4 minute steep – 40 mg caffeine

3 minute steep – 30mg caffeine

2 minute steep - 20mg caffeine

1 minute steep – 10 mg caffeine

For example, a 4 minutes steeped tea contains about 2% caffeine by mass, assuming each tea bag contained 2.25g of tea. To work out the percentage of each drink, divide the amount of caffeine by the teabag's weight.

Which has more caffeine, coffee or green tea?

Brewed coffee has significantly more caffeine than green tea. Green tea typically contains 30–50 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of instant coffee can contain anywhere between 27–173 mg. Plus, a plain, brewed coffee contains 102–200 mg, while an espresso comes in at the highest, containing between 240–720 mg.

Interestingly, coffee beans before they are brewed actually contain less caffeine than tea leaves. However, the brewing process releases the caffeine content in coffee that exceeds tea.

What is the difference between green tea caffeine and coffee caffeine?

The effects of caffeine in green tea and coffee are different on the body. The main reason for this is the presence of theanine in tea. Theanine is an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier and affects your mood to increase feelings of relaxation.

In combination with caffeine, theanine enhances positive aspects of caffeine, such as the improvement in cognitive performance. It also reduces the negative aspects like jitteriness. 

Therefore, caffeine in green tea provides a milder buzz than coffee, and the positive effects may last longer. For more regular caffeine consumption, green tea is a great substitute for coffee as it may help improve anxiety and sleep issues, particularly if you are sensitive to caffeine. 

Green tea also helps wean avid coffee drinkers off of caffeine. Coffee can become addictive due to the higher content of caffeine, and going without it can cause withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and a lack of focus. To replace coffee with green tea, which has a lower percentage of caffeine, helps the body adjust easier and lessens withdrawal symptoms. 

Additionally, while coffee does have several antioxidants, green tea typically has a higher concentration. The higher levels of antioxidants in green tea slow the absorption of caffeine into the body, resulting in a gradual increase of the chemical in the system and an extended period of alertness with no crash at the end.

What is a caffeine crash?

A caffeine crash can occur after drinking coffee, releasing caffeine rapidly into the body and affecting the nervous system. The resulting decline in energy is called a ‘crash’ and often leaves people craving another cup of coffee.

Why choose green tea?

Salada’s Green Tea's subtle notes, enhanced by natural flavors, are a reminder that taking care of yourself can be as simple and refreshing as green tea itself. The act of making green tea can become a calming ritual that has a powerful and everlasting effect on your body and soul. 

Whilst the caffeine present in green tea is perfectly safe, and much less invasive to the body than that found in coffee, some people would still rather give it a miss. This can be to prevent headaches, or as a means of naturally combating blood pressure related issues. If you prefer a completely caffeine free beverage, then we have you covered. We offer a decaffeinated green tea made with 100% natural spring water. If you like to take note of everything you’re putting in your body then this product is perfect for you; it is entirely naturally decaffeinated and really hits the pure taste of green tea. 

If you fancy a bit more depth and flavor in your hot drink, then make sure to try out our bestselling citrus medley blend. This drink is much more than a green tea; the handpicked green tea leaves are infused with real fruit juice for that added citrus flavor. It really elevates the drink as a whole, and prevents the flavor becoming bitter for those who aren’t accustomed to the undertones of a natural green tea. This is also great for those who are used to artificial sweeteners, as the natural sweetness of the tea blend will prevent the need to add sugar to your drink. On top of this, the blend is perfect for making a serving, or batch, of iced tea, with the orange flavorings making it the perfect refreshing beverage for a hot summer's day.

If orange isn’t really your thing, then the lemon or mango flavoring could be just your ‘cup of tea’. Add some natural sugar to the mango blend to fulfill that sweet craving in a healthy and natural way, and avoid the need to reach for that chocolate bar instead. Or, if you’re not feeling 100% your best, a mug of our ‘lively lemon’ green tea, with a generous dash of honey added to it, could just do the trick. Lemon tea and honey has been attributed to a multitude of benefits in the health and wellness world. These range from a natural soothing aid for a sore or scratchy throat to a non-medicinal treatment for acne and other skin related issues. The anti-inflammatory benefits of the lemon is also regularly used as a natural way to flush out toxins from the body. 

Another great product is our ‘Pomegranate Acai’ green tea; this is a completely unique tea blend that can only be purchased through Salada. The flavor is both smooth and comforting, and makes a great change from the standard green tea. With a beautifully strong aroma that will draw you in, making you feel instantly relaxed, the Pomegranate Acai is the perfect winter warmer. The natural sweetness prevents any added sugar being necessary, whilst the Hibiscus and RoseHip present in the blend adds health benefits beyond that of the tea itself.  RoseHip is a great booster for the immune system, and is regularly recommended for a natural treatment or remedy for those suffering with rheumatoid arthritis. 

The benefits of green tea really are endless. If you love trying out new tea blends, or are just looking to purchase your first natural green tea products, then Salada has you covered. They have a huge range of flavors, and you always know you’re getting the best natural ingredients possible.

April 05, 2021 — Alicia Avallone