Thursday, June 2, 2016

How Much Caffeine Is In A Cup Of Tea?

When most people think about measuring caffeine, they regularly use coffee (yuck, can't stand the stuff) as the universal measuring stick. Me, I'm a solid tea drinker. Breakfast, lunch, dinner... any time of the day is tea time for me. And yet, I never feel like I'm tweaking out or having a caffeine rush when I ingest tea. I've long known how much caffeine is in a cup of tea, but for the betterment of mankind...

...and to spread a little bit of 'Oh wow, cool' knowledge...

How much caffeine is in a cup of tea?

Well, the answer is surprising, but it'll all make sense by the time I finish explaining it.

When measured in their dry form, tea leaves actually contain more caffeine per gram than coffee grounds. And yet, it takes many less leaves to produce a single cup of tea. If you were to make an 8 ounce cup of tea, you would use approximately 2 grams of tea leaves to steep in the water. For the same size cup of coffee, you would need 10 grams of coffee grounds. As such, the increased supply of coffee grounds means more caffeine is brewed into the beverage. The final tally? That 8 ounce cup of tea has approximately 40 milligrams of caffeine. The 8 ounce cup of coffee has roughly 105 milligrams of caffeine. That's nearly three times as much! Coffee wins the caffeine race by a landslide.

Now, let's take this one step farther. The amount of caffeine in a cup of tea is also influenced by a few different factors. The location of the leaves on a tea plant helps to determine their caffeine content; younger leaves near the top have more. Also, steeping a tea bag longer in a cup of hot water also releases more caffeine. Generally, you should steep a tea bag for at least four to five minutes for optimum flavor. Finally, the type of tea you use also dictates how much caffeine you take in. White and green teas have less caffeine. Oolong tea has a moderate amount. Black tea has the most.

The chemical structure of Caffeine.

Also take note -- the antioxidants in tea slow down the caffeine absorption process in your body. As such, the caffeine is used at a much more gradual rate, meaning you don't experience an energy crash at the end. The caffeine will stay with you longer and have a more prolonged, less severe effect.

And there you have it! All you would ever want to know about caffeine in relation to tea. Doesn't this make you want to have a cup? I know I do!

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