The Monday Boost: Caffeine Amounts in Tea

  • June 15, 2009

On a Monday morning, particularly after a beautiful summer weekend like we had here in Seattle, a pick-me-up is usually in order. A cup of tea is a healthy way to get that needed boost. But how much are you actually getting?

All “true” tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and contains caffeine. The names White, Green, Black, and Oolong signify how the tea was processed. Twig tea (also called Kukicha) is made from the twigs, rather than the leaves, of the Camellia sinensis plant and contains very little caffeine. I wish we could tell you exactly how much caffeine is in a cup of tea, but it is simply not possible to be that precise! There are just too many variables – what field was the tea grown in, what time of year, how long had it been growing, how much rain was there, how long did you steep the tea, how hot was the water, etc. We can give a good estimate, though, as long as you keep those variables in mind:

Caffeine content per cup:

Coffee – 200 to 300 mg
Black tea – 60 to 80 mg
Oolong tea – 50 to 60 mg
Green tea – 35 to 50 mg
Genmaicha (Green tea with toasted brown rice) – 17 to 18 mg
Moroccan Mint Green (Green tea and herbs) – 17 to 18 mg
White tea – 30 to 50 mg
Decaf coffee – 2 to 6 mg
Decaf tea – 2 to 4 mg
Loose leaf Twig tea (from the stems of the plant) – 2 to 3 mg. The teabag version of Choice Organic Teas Twig tea also contains leaf so it contains more caffeine – 34 mg in our last test.

All true tea has caffeine, so the industry standard is that they do not require a caffeine statement on the package. You’ve probably noticed that coffee and chocolate also don’t state that they contain caffeine! Herbal teas, also known as tisanes, do not contain any Camilia sinensis. Most Choice Organic Teas tisanes are labeled as “caffeine-free”, the exception being our Yerba Mate, which is an herbal tea from South America that naturally contains caffeine just like tea or coffee. Our organic Yerba Mate is pure and untoasted for a mellow, woody cup. It’s one of my favorite selections for those days when I feel like I need an extra bit of energy.

Keep this list in mind when you’re looking to energize, and all your Mondays will be happy ones.


  • It was on a news cast that white tea would help you loose weight. Is this true?

    Ruby Howell — June 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm
  • The tea is very calming but does it have diet benefits

    Ruby Howell — June 23, 2009 at 1:04 pm
  • Hello,

    We would like to get some information on your Green Tea Powder(Organic and Non-Organic)

    They must meet our requirements before going any further

    kosher pareve
    no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, sulfites and hygrogenated oils etc….
    what is the minimum order

    Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

    Susan Suranyi
    Sample Dept.

    SUSAN — June 25, 2009 at 7:14 pm
  • Hi Ruby- we don’t make any claims about our tea, other than it being delicious, but there certainly have been studies about the weight-loss benefits of green and white tea. At the very least, they won’t do any harm.

    Hi Susan- I’ll pass your name and info onto our customer service department. Thanks for your interest!

    abbychoice — July 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm
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