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How Much Caffeine in Tea and Coffee

How Much Caffeine in Tea and Coffee

Caffeine Levels in your Morning Cuppa

Did you know that approximately 60 plants naturally contain caffeine? This includes nuts from the Kola Tree, often used in soft drink products. Also the Theobroma cacao tree, which produces the bean used as a primary ingredient in chocolate.

More famous, however is caffeine in coffee which is from the arabica plant, known as the ‘coffee plant’, caffeine is also found naturally in tea which is from the Camellia Sinensis plant; better known as the ‘tea plant’!

There has been literally thousands of scientific studies into caffeine content found in both tea and coffee. There has also been a vast number of myths circulating on the internet, regarding the exact quantity of Caffeine contained within these two treasured beverages. Here at the Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we deliver only the facts, so let’s explore the truth behind caffeine content in both tea and coffee, and why there is so much confusion!

Decaffeinated Tea

What is Caffeine?

First discovered by a German Scientist named Friedrich Ferdinand Runge in the 1820’s, Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in leaves and seeds, such as tea and coffee.

The name, Caffeine, derives from the German word “kaffee”, and the French word “café”, both directly translating to mean “coffee”. However, it is now clearly established that Caffeine can be found in a variety of products, originating from dozens of different plants. As well as its ‘natural form’.

Caffeine can also be artificially created and added to products, including diet aids and cold/flu remedies. In the wild, Caffeine can act as a natural pesticide in plants; protecting them from harmful bugs trying to consume its leaves and produce. Meanwhile, many individuals will consume products containing Caffeine to stimulate brain function, and ultimately, feel more awake in their day-to-day lives!

Decaff Green Tea and Coffee Blog Photo

How Much Caffeine in Tea and Coffee?

Decaffeinated teas and coffees are, quite literally, beverages which have had most of the Caffeine content artificially removed. This is known as a ‘decaffeination’ process, and was first conducted by German Coffee Merchant, Ludwig Roselius, in 1905. Roselius’ method used benzene, a potentially toxic hydrocarbon, to remove caffeine from pre moistened, green coffee beans. Today, however, there are four main methods used in the decaffeination process, as follows:
Methylene chloride processing:

  • This widely used processing method is often subject to much dispute within the worldwide tea and coffee industry. This is largely because the chemical, Methylene chloride, is directly used as a solvent to extract Caffeine from the raw materials, such as Loose Leaf Tea and Coffee. Typically, this method should extract between 96 to 97% of Caffeine content.

Ethyl Acetate processing:

  • Ethyl Acetate is a natural chemical found in many fruits, and is often deemed a more ‘organic’ method when applied to the decaffeination of teas and coffees. Similar to the Methylene chloride processing method, Ethyl Acetate is also used as a solvent to extract the Caffeine – accounting for between 96 to 97% of the content, this process is used on our Organic Jasmine Green Tea

Carbon Dioxide processing:

  • Often considered the safest of all the processing methods, pressurised liquid Carbon Dioxide is used to attract the small Caffeine molecules found within the teas or coffees. Since the flavour molecules are larger, they remain intact, which is why this process is well known to largely retain the flavour of the produce after the decaffeination. This removes between 96 to 98% of the content in teas and coffees.

Water processing:

  • Also known as ‘the Swiss water process’, this method is generally associated with coffee beans, rather than tea leaves (although, some tea companies are exploring this option). Hot water is used to extract the Caffeine, along with flavours, and almost everything else! The water is then put through a carbon filter, which retains most of the molecules. When the water is returned to the produce, it will once again soak up the extracted flavours. This final method can account for between 94 to 96%.

Caffeine Free Coffee

Tea or Coffees with No Caffeine?

Technically, none of them. All loose tea, tea bags and coffees must undergo the decaffeination process in order to conform with worldwide standards of what constitutes as a ‘decaf’ beverage.

In fact, it must be stated that even with any decaffeinated beverage, be it tea or coffee there will always be traces content within the chosen product. While these teas and coffees are labelled “decaffeinated” – they are not completely “caffeine free.” On average, approximately 5-10 milligrams of Caffeine will remain in any beverage you decide upon, while around 95-98% will be removed.

If you wish to go without Caffeine entirely, please browse through our wide selection of Herbal Teas, such as our Peppermint Tea, our Chamomile Tea, or even our Rooibos Tea! Alternatively, you may decide upon one of our Fruit Tisanes, including our brand new Red Berry Fruits Pyramid Tea Bags, or our Apple Crumble Fruit Tisane!

Decaffeinated Green Tea

Types of Tea and Caffeine

Any tea originating from the Camellia Sinensis plant will contain Caffeine, even White Teas, which contain between 15 to 39 milligrams per cup. Whether you choose Black, White, Yellow, Pu’erh or Oolong; every single tea has traces of Caffeine. In recent years many people have been drinking Green Tea for its well publicised health benefits, we are often asked, "does green tea have caffeine" the answer is "yes"

All of these Types of Tea have a surprisingly similar amount of Caffeine, but when a tea is steeped for five or more minutes in boiling water, it will likely transfer a far larger quantity of Caffeine per cup. If you steep your tea whichever type you decide upon for an estimated two minutes, you are less likely to obtain as much of the Caffeine content.

Decaff Coffee Beans

What has More Caffeine Tea or Coffee?

Believe it or not – it depends on your perspective! The quantity of caffeine in coffee - specifically in dry form - is less than the quantity of caffeine in an equal weight of tea leaves. However, as a result of getting more cups of tea from a unit quantity of black tea than from an equal quantity of ground coffee beans - when brewed. The quantity per cup of tea is less than that of an equal cup of coffee.

On this basis, the average cup of black tea contains approximately 40 milligrams, while an average cup of instant coffee will likely contain upwards of 105 milligrams! So, do not be fooled by sensationalist reporting from many media outlets – they do not give you all of the fact, we do!

Decaff Coffee

 

Is Consuming Caffeine in Tea and Coffee Safe?

Yes, absolutely. However, you may wish to take into account the potential effects it can have on your body. Depending on how sensitive you are to Caffeine. Teas and Coffees that have not been decaffeinated, are known to occasionally cause jitteriness, or even restlessness while sleeping.Further to this, the Caffeine content found in these teas and coffees can also dehydrate you.

That being said, L-theanine, an amino acid found within tea – has been largely associated with the reduction of stress and the promotion of relaxation, while also working closely with the Caffeine content found in these beverages. The Antioxidants found in tea also slows the absorptionand resulting in a gentler increase of the chemical in your system and a longer period of alertness!

If you are pregnant, however, NHS Choices recommends that you limit your Caffeine intake to no more than 200 milligrams per day which is the equivalent to two cups of coffee. Do not worry if you occasionally exceed this recommended limit, but it is always advised that you contact your midwife, or any other healthcare professional if you have concerns.

Again, all decaffeinated beverages are safe to consume. It must be noted, however, that all decaffeinated teas and coffees have been less widely studied than their ‘regular’ counterparts.

If, like a substantial proportion of the population, you are especially sensitive to Caffeine, consuming decaffeinated teas and coffees is not necessarily the answer. Even the minimal amount of Caffeine found in these beverages can lead to problems. Further to this, Antioxidant compounds, such as flavonoids, are in generally lower quantities after the decaffeination process has taken place.

This, however, does not mean that decaff teas and coffees are completely without their health benefits! In fact, according to the USDA Nutrient database, decaffeinated teas, in particular, contain almost zero calories or fat, when taken without cream or sweeteners! That means that when consumed alongside a healthy and active lifestyle, decaff tea may have the ability to aid with the weight loss process! So, that ‘summer body’ may still be in reach, if you decide to make the switchover!

Decaffeinated Earl Grey

Decaffeinated Tea and Coffee Online

Peaked your interest? It is time to try some of the Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company’s very own decaffeinated brews! First exploring our decaf tea section, why not keep things simple with our delicious Decaffeinated Tea? This Ceylon Orange Pekoe has an enticingly dark loose leaf, as well as a wonderfully rich aroma wafting from your cup!

Perhaps you are feeling a little more adventurous? Then you simply cannot go wrong with our Strawberry Sencha Decaffeinated Green Tea! This soft Green Tea has been decaffeinated using the popular Carbon Dioxide method, and is scented with the scrumptious taste of summer strawberries.

Moving onto our coffee selections, we of course have our classic Decaffeinated Coffee, for those wishing to be a little more traditional! This Colombian medium-roasted brew has an excellent full body and an irresistible flavour. Alternatively, you could try Decaffeinated Water Processed Coffee! Also from Columbia, as well as being equally full-bodied, this delightful beverage has rich, sweet overtones that dance on your palette, long after you drain your morning cup!
Regular or Decaf? – The choice is yours!

Whatever you decide upon, please rest assured that we are here to accommodate all your beverage needs, as well as providing you with all the relevant information for you to make the decision that is right for you, and your family!

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