Does Green Tea or Black Tea have more Caffeine?
Made from the buds and leaves of Camellia Sinensis, an evergreen shrub from East Asia, green tea is a popular beverage among the masses. Unlike black tea and oolong tea, this one doesn’t undergo the same process of oxidation and withering.
The origins of green tea go back all the way to China, while the manufacture and production of this beverage take place throughout Asia. As it is the one that undergoes the least amount of processing, it contains high levels of polyphenols and antioxidants.
Tea also comes from Camellia Sinensis, with the major differentiator being the level of oxidation. The origins of this beverage go back all the way to Southwest China, where it was a medicinal drink. Tea was also a recreational drink among the East Asian countries.
For making black tea, manufacturers roll the leaves and expose it to the air. The goal is to start the process of oxidation, which causes the leaves to become dark brown. As a result, it causes the intensity of the flavors to increase.
The processing of green tea takes place in such a way that it prevents oxidation from taking place. As a result, the color of this beverage is of a lighter shade, when compared to black tea, even though they come from the same plant.
Every beverage has two sides
For a lot of people, there is a common question – does green tea or black tea have more caffeine in them? Caffeine is an addictive substance, which is why a large number of soft drink manufacturers add it to their beverages. For a lot of people who consume coffee or tea, they have to face withdrawal symptoms, when they stop drinking them. It is common to experience lethargy, sleepiness, irritability, and headaches.
You shouldn’t assume that the effects of caffeine are only negative, as there are plenty of benefits that it offers. For example, it improves your performance in exercises, increases metabolism, enhances your mood, and reduces fatigue. As a consumer, you should know the amount of caffeine present in the beverages you consume. Today, let’s take a closer look at these beverages and to understand the differences.
Green tea vs black tea – which has more caffeine?
When compared to the likes of coffee, the amount of caffeine present in tea is low. However, the level of this stimulant remains the same in a wide variety of teas all over the world. One major factor which influences the amount of caffeine present is the time taken to brew this drink.
Taking a look at the commercial tea products, you can see the difference between black tea and green tea. For example, when you brew black tea and green tea for a minute, they have 12 milligrams and 14 milligrams of caffeine. However something like ground tea will be quite different because you're drinking all of it.
Upon increasing the brew time to three minutes, the amount of stimulants in these beverages increases. The yield of caffeine is now 27 milligrams for green tea and 22 milligrams for black tea. However, if you brew these beverages for five minutes, there is a role reversal. Green tea only has 41 grams of caffeine, while black tea has 61 grams.
On average, 236 ml or 8 oz of green tea, when brewed will have 35 – 60 milligrams of caffeine. The same amount of black tea will have around 30 – 80 milligrams of caffeine. Keep in mind that this is when you brew the beverages for three minutes.
Factors that influence caffeine content
There are several factors that play a role in the amount of this stimulant in green tea and black tea. This compound is responsible for helping the plant defend itself against pests. Given below are some of the factors which play a role in the caffeine content of green tea and black tea:
Process of production
One thing is clear, oxidation isn’t the process that determines the caffeine content in green tea and black tea. It depends on roasting, which takes place during post-production. In hot water, you will observe that caffeine dissolves easily. At the same time, it starts to evaporate, when you start to roast the leaves.
Most of the tea you find in the market, don’t undergo roasting. However, the ones that do go through this process have lower quantities of caffeine in them.
Season of harvest
There are four seasons where farmers can harvest tea. Depending on when they pluck the leaves, the caffeine content varies. In general, tea from the summer season have the highest amount of caffeine. The level of this stimulant goes down when the farmers harvest tea in winter.
Tea grades refer to categories, which differentiate the tea leaves into different levels of whole and broken. The rule of thumb is that broken leaves will give you greater amounts of caffeine when you compare it to whole leaves.
When you take a look at teabags, they have higher levels of caffeine, as the tea leaves are broken.
Tea growing process
Another factor that affects the amount of caffeine is the way the farmers grow tea plants. If there is a lot of shade for these bushes, they will produce greater volumes of caffeine. There is an explanation as to why this process takes place. This is due to the change of chemicals and chlorophyll, which takes place during the netting process.
Tea plant portion
The younger tea leaves contain higher amounts of caffeine when compared to the mature ones. At the same time, the position of the leaf when it comes to plucking plays a role in determining the amount of this stimulant.
For example, the leaves closer to the bud have higher levels of caffeine. Similarly, if you consume the tea leaves, the caffeine content tends to be higher than those which require brewing.
Which beverage should you consume?
Both green and black tea offer plenty of health benefits when you add them to your diet. One thing is clear, there isn’t any apparent evidence that one beverage is better than the other, when it comes to caffeine content. On average, you shouldn’t consume more than 200 mg of caffeine in a day.