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How Much Caffeine Is in Green Tea? What to Know!

tea pot and a cup of green tea

Green tea is said to be a popular hot beverage that is said to have numerous health benefits, especially thanks to the high ratio of antioxidants found in each cup. It is also touted as being a lower-caffeinated alternative to coffee and even black tea. People can still enjoy some caffeine but without the buzz and crash associated with strong coffee, for example.

Although the exact amount of caffeine varies by brand, as well as brewing method and time, you can expect somewhere between 20–50 milligrams of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup of green tea. It’s also worth noting that decaffeinated green tea is available for those looking to avoid virtually all caffeine.

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How Much Caffeine Does Green Tea Contain?

Typically, green tea contains less caffeine than black tea and considerably less than coffee and energy drinks. It does contain relatively high levels of l-theanine, however, which can promote alertness, and this leads some people to believe that it has higher levels of caffeine than other drinks.

As well as the type and brand of green tea brewed, there are other factors that determine exactly how much caffeine is in your cup. One of the most important factors is brew time. The longer the leaves or bag are allowed to sit in hot water, the more caffeine and other constituent ingredients are extracted. Therefore, if you leave the tea bag in for 3 minutes, you will get more caffeine than if you remove the bag after 2 minutes.

Generally, the figures we have used assume 2 grams of tea leaves are used with a 3-minute brew time and an 8-ounce cup.

a cup of green tea
Image Credit: Laårk Boshoff, Unsplash

Green Tea Compared to Other Hot Drinks

Green tea is a hot beverage that is similar to black tea. It is available as loose leaves or in teabag form. Typically, teabags will impart more caffeine because they have been crushed, so more of the caffeine is readily available. However, while green tea comes from a plant similar to black tea, it does contain a lot less caffeine and considerably less than is found in coffee. Decaffeinated green tea is available, but while a lot of the caffeine has been removed from the tea leaves, some does still remain.

Beverage Caffeine (per 8 oz serving)
Brewed coffee 120mg
Black tea 60mg
Matcha tea 60mg
Green tea 30mg
Decaffeinated green tea 7mg

Green Tea Brands

Different brands of green tea use leaves from different areas, of different ages, and they treat the tea leaves differently. As such, caffeine levels can vary from one brand to another.

Beverage Caffeine (per 8oz serving)
Stash Premium Green Tea 30mg
Herb Enterprise 20mg
Lipton 16.5mg
Celestial Seasonings 12mg
Stash Decaffeinated Green Tea 7mg
cups of coffee and tea
Image Credit: Joanna Kosinska, Unsplash

About Green Tea

What Is Green Tea?

Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plants. It originates in China, but its production has spread to many countries in East Asia. Although green tea is made from the same leaves as black tea, oolong tea, white tea, and yellow tea, it undergoes less processing, which means that it retains more antioxidants and has a unique flavor compared to these other hot beverages. It also has different caffeine levels.

What Are the Benefits of Green Tea?

There are many claimed benefits to drinking green tea. It is especially high in antioxidants when compared to other tea drinks, and it is believed to help with weight management, while also combating skin inflammation and type 2 diabetes. It may improve memory and prevent memory loss while reducing cholesterol and improving heart health.

green tea in a wooden cup
Image Credit: mirkostoedter, Pixabay

Is It OK to Drink Green Tea Every Day?

It is considered safe to drink green tea every day, and because it has lower caffeine content than coffee and even black tea, health experts say that it is safer to drink large amounts of green tea than coffee. The maximum daily recommended intake of this tea is up to 8 cups per day.

What Are the Side Effects of Green Tea?

Most side effects of green tea are associated with its caffeine content and will arise in most healthy adults after drinking more than 8 cups per day. Such side effects can include elevated heart rate, headaches, and shaking. Drinking decaffeinated green tea or reducing daily intake to a few cups per day should help alleviate the side effects of drinking green tea.

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Conclusion

Green tea is a caffeinated beverage made from the leaves of the same plant that is used to make black tea, oolong, and other teas. It has lower caffeine content than black tea, however, and considerably less caffeine per fluid ounce than coffee and highly caffeinated energy drinks. It is believed to offer certain health benefits, especially thanks to the high number of antioxidants it contains, although some side effects may be experienced if a person drinks too much of the drink because, while it does contain less caffeine than other popular hot beverages, it still contains around 20 milligrams per 8-ounce serving.


Featured Image Credit: Na visky, Unsplash

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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