How Much Caffeine in Tea: Answering All the Basics

caffeine in Tea

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a drug found in things like coffee and tea that can make you feel more awake and alert. It does this by binding to certain parts of your brain that help you stay awake and less sleepy.

Moderate caffeine intake can have protective effects against certain diseases such as coronary heart disease, Parkinson's disease, and some cancers. 

However, excessive consumption can lead to negative side effects like jitters, anxiety, and elevated blood pressure.


How much is too much caffeine?

The safe amount of caffeine varies from person to person because everyone's body processes it differently. As a general rule, adults should limit their caffeine intake to 400-500 milligrams per day, while pregnant women should stick to 150-200 milligrams. 


Children under four shouldn't have caffeine, while older kids can have 1 milligram per 2.5 kilograms of body weight.


Having more than 1,000 milligrams of caffeine per day can be harmful, and 10,000 milligrams can be deadly.


Tea is actually a hydrating drink, even though caffeine is a mild diuretic. This is because tea has more water than caffeine, so it still hydrates you.


Espresso shots have around 70-80 milligrams of caffeine, while coffee has 80-120 milligrams.


Comparison of  Caffeine in tea vs coffee

The caffeine content in different varieties of Teas

Tea Type

Caffeine Content (per 8-ounce/240 ml serving)

Black Tea

25-48 mg

Green Tea

25-35 mg

White Tea

15-30 mg

Oolong Tea

37-55 mg

Herbal Tea 



Caffeine in different varieties of caffeine

Coffee Type

Caffeine Content (per 8-ounce/240 ml serving)

Brewed Coffee

95-165 mg


63 mg (1 fluid ounce)

Instant Coffee

30-90 mg

Decaffeinated Coffee

2-5 mg (varies significantly)

The effects of caffeine differ between tea and coffee primarily due to the presence of theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in tea. 


The caffeine content in tea leaves generally ranges from 1% to 5% of their weight.


How much caffeine is in a cup of tea?

It's hard to say exactly how much caffeine is in tea because it can vary depending on the type, how it's processed, and how it's brewed. 


On average, a cup of tea has around 10-60 milligrams of caffeine. To have the maximum recommended amount of caffeine in a day, you'd need to drink about eight cups of tea, even if it's a high-caffeine type.


How much caffeine is in black tea?

Black tea usually has about 30-60 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup, but this can change depending on the type of black tea, how long it's brewed, and how hot the water is.


Some black teas can have more caffeine (up to 70-90 milligrams) while others may have less (around 20-30 milligrams).

How much caffeine is in Green tea?

Green tea usually has around 25-35 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup, but this can change depending on the type of green tea, how it's brewed, and how long it's steeped. 


Overall, green tea has less caffeine than black tea and coffee.


Effects of Caffeine on Tea

Caffeine in tea is generally safe in moderate amounts for most people. In fact, theanine in tea can help you relax and reduce any negative effects of caffeine, like anxiety or jitters. 


Tea also has EGCG and polyphenols that can make the caffeine less intense and spread out over time, unlike coffee.


However, having too much caffeine or being sensitive to it can lead to side effects like a faster heart rate, anxiety, trouble sleeping, digestive problems, increase in urination, headaches, and migraines.


The bottom line 

Tea's lower caffeine content compared to coffee makes it a milder option for those sensitive to caffeine. Tea's additional health benefits, such as antioxidants, make it an appealing choice.


 However, individual preference and health considerations should ultimately guide the decision between tea and coffee.


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