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How Much Caffeine is in White Tea? 2024 Breakdown

glass cup of white tea with jasmine

Caffeine (serving: 8 fl oz)
25 mg
Caffeine (mg / fl oz)
Caffeine strength

White tea is the unsung hero of the tea world, with its minimal processing and delicate flavors. It contains many of the same potential health benefits as other teas, if not more due to its almost-untouched state. Whether you’re looking for a boost in antioxidants or trying to reduce your caffeine consumption, white tea can be a great addition to your daily routine.

But how much caffeine does white tea actually have? A cup of white tea contains between 15 and 35 milligrams of caffeine. Let’s take a closer look:

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What is White Tea?

White tea is a tea leaf product from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is where green tea and other teas originate as well. A plant native to China and parts of India, tea is a major exported good and an important part of history and culture in Asia. The Camellia sinensis plant has different varieties, which can change the tea’s flavors and notes.

White tea is harvested by collecting the closed buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant right before the buds open. The name “white tea” comes from the appearance of the buds, which have a hair-like texture on the outside. Processing white tea is almost always natural, like steam processing or dying in the sun. It’s as close to an all-natural tea as possible, with green tea following closely.

The use of teas in history goes back centuries, especially in countries like China, Japan, India, and many more. The first sign of tea cultivation in China is around 2700 BCE, though its use may go back even further. There are sources that say white tea was first cultivated in the 1800s, but others suggest it could be much earlier. However, modern white tea is different than the teas of the past, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact date of origin.

hot white tea in cup and white jug on wooden table
Image Credit: Worraket, Shutterstock

How Much Caffeine Does White Tea Contain?

White tea is not a highly-caffeinated drink like other teas and coffee, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily caffeine-free, either. One 8oz glass of white tea has around 15–35mg of caffeine, depending on factors like steeping time and the quality of the tea leaves. The usual size of a teacup is around 6oz, so you’d have around 20–25mg of caffeine per cup.

Theine, the caffeine in tea, is different than caffeine in coffee, so a low amount is not necessarily a bad thing. Like green and black teas, the caffeine in white tea enters the bloodstream at a slower rate. It doesn’t hit as strong as coffee but has a baseline effect, in that there’s no huge rise and fall that caffeine from coffee or energy drinks can cause. If you’re looking to cut down on caffeine, a switch to tea could do the trick.

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Caffeine Comparison

The caffeine in white tea is similar to other teas, but not so much with caffeine from coffee, soda, or energy drinks. If you’re looking to cut down on caffeine and switch to teas, consider a cup of white tea for a soft, steady caffeine buzz. Let’s compare the caffeine content of white tea to popular caffeinated beverages:

White Tea vs. Coffee

White tea: 15 – 35mg caffeine per 8oz
Coffee: ~95mg caffeine per 8oz

Coffee has a strong upper hand when it comes to caffeine content, containing almost twice as much per 8oz serving. The caffeine in coffee will give you a very strong, noticeable buzz, whereas white tea has a weaker and more steady effect.

White vs. Green Tea

White tea: 15 – 35mg caffeine per 8oz
Green tea: 30 – 50mg caffeine per 8oz

Although teas can vary in caffeine content for a variety of reasons, green tea generally has more caffeine. Things like tea quality, steeping time, and water temperature will change the caffeine levels, as well as the flavor notes.

White Tea vs. Black Tea

White tea: 15 – 35mg caffeine per 8oz
Black Tea: 25 – 45mg caffeine per 8oz

Black tea has the highest caffeine content out of most teas, so it may have double the amount of white tea. Black tea is usually what coffee drinkers try first since it’s got a high caffeine content, though it’s still much lower than the caffeine in coffee.

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Health Benefits of Drinking White Tea

Here are some great ways that white tea can boost your health and wellness:
  • White Tea Contains Antioxidants – White Tea naturally contains antioxidants, molecular compounds that help keep your body healthy and strong. Since white tea goes through very minimal processing, it may contain more antioxidants than other teas.
  • White Tea May Help with Weight Loss – Caffeine and green tea both have been linked to weight loss, so it’s no surprise that white tea may do the same. White tea also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may boost weight loss with its fat-burning properties.
  • White Tea is a Minimally Processed Product – For those looking to ditch processed foods, white tea is a great source of caffeine without additional chemicals or processing. It’s a great way to gain similar health benefits to green tea, but it’s less processed and has a softer, smoother taste.

What’s the Difference Between Green Tea & White Tea?

Black, green, oolong and white tea come from different varieties of the same plant, the Camellia sinensis plant. However, each type of tea goes through a process that drastically changes the flavor, nutritional benefits, and even caffeine levels. White and green teas are not nearly as processed as darker teas like oolong and black tea, so they’re often popular for that reason alone.

Although green tea is not as processed as black tea, it’s more so than white tea. Green tea has an earthy, almost grassy taste, while white tea is softer with a slightly sweet taste. It also may contain more health properties due to the minimal processing, giving it a possible advantage over the much more popular green tea.

green tea vs. white tea
Left: Green Tea, Right: White Tea | Image Credit: Worraket, Shutterstock

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Although it may not be as popular as green and black tea, white tea can provide similar health benefits as its more popular relatives. White tea can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, as well as a great alternative to coffee and energy drinks.

You may also be interested in: How to Make Jasmine Milk Tea at Home: Simple Recipe

Featured Image Credit: Soyka, Shutterstock


Jaimie Wisniowski

Jaimie is a freelance writer fueled by coffee, whether it’s hot, iced, or made from a local coffee shop. She enjoys writing all things coffee, especially if it means trying the latest coffee shop trends (hello cold foam!). After spending years writing poems, college essays, and short stories, it only a matter of time to turn writing into a career. Writing about coffee simply combined two of her favorite things! When she’s not drinking coffee by the minute and writing at her laptop, Jaimie spends time hiking, exercising, and living an active life. She also loves to snuggle up with a good book and her dog, Margo. If you catch her without a cup of coffee, she’s probably on her way to the coffee maker now.

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