Caffeine in tea


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Caffeine in tea

Postby Charles » Feb 8th, '10, 12:19

I've written an article sharing the truths of caffeine in tea and dispelling some common myths. (http://www.tearetailer.com/article_35.html)

Are there any other claims you've heard or questions you have?
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Re: Caffeine in tea

Postby Pederson » Feb 8th, '10, 15:39

Well done. Normally I would be asking for sources however after a quick wikipedia scan, the related articles are all heavily referenced.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Theophylline. There's much belief that, although Theophylline (in tea, and Theobromine in Chocolate) do not have 'therapeutic' doses as per regular consumption, the small amounts that do exist interact with other Methylxanthine's in beneficial ways.

The chemical and biological interactions between tea and humans interest me greatly. Good article/read!
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Re: Caffeine in tea

Postby teop » Feb 9th, '10, 12:21

Industry misrepresentation of caffeine content in tea has long been a frustration of mine. It is refreshing to see a more founded presentation being provided to the public. I'm particularly happy to see that you deal with the false claim that one can decaffeinate tea at home with a 30 second steeping. Oh yes, and your chart of typical caffeine levels in different standard types of tea is very cool.

I'm going to go with Pederson's initial thought. I think a few links to further information would help interested readers continue learning more. These don't need to be to hard technical papers, but a few other good overviews. I recall that Cha Dao (over at blogspot) had a nice article on this topic back in February of 2008. Perhaps that could be a nice addition?

Also, I'd note that some herbal teas do have caffeine. Yerba Mate (one of my drugs of choice) springs to mind with its ability to carry quite a punch, assuming one does not descend into the caffeine / mateine debate.

You initially asked if there were other claims or questions. I think I'm coming up short. Overall a very nice article. Good job.
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Re: Caffeine in tea

Postby Pederson » Feb 9th, '10, 13:18

Yes! Mate! I forgot to mention that as it's also one of my semi-regular favorites. Quite the kick of Caffeine indeed.

I remember reading an awful lot about the 'mess' of the 'tea savant world'. Being that tea is a plant which can vary greatly from harvest time in a particular date and time. That combined with inaccurate labeling and categorization it's not only caffeine content/effect that is misinterpreted. Education (followed closely by respect/recognition for those whom cultivate/harvest) is the best way to combat this. And although this may sound a little cliche, everyone should at least give the wikipedia entry for tea (and it's subsequent pages) a decent read if you haven't already. I'm not sure whom put together the page, but it's certainly the most comprehensive and consistent source for information right now.
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Re: Caffeine in tea

Postby Charles » Feb 9th, '10, 13:39

I can certainly add a few citations. I was trying to keep the formality and science speak to a minimum.

As for caffeine in herbals, Yerba Mate is the only herbal that can claim this. Some vendors claim that Maté contains matiene a special variant on caffeine called mateine. Put simply, while it makes for a good Maté marketing tool, there is no scientific basis for this claim. That said, people often report a different feeling from the caffeine in Maté vs. the caffeine in tea or coffee. These differences result from the two other caffeine like compounds in Maté. Caffeine is a xanthine, a category of compounds that work as stimulants in the body. Maté contains three of these xanthines: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline - each with their own stimulative effects. In short, this "Herbal Tea" packs quite a stimulative punch!
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Re: Caffeine in tea

Postby Pederson » Feb 9th, '10, 15:02

Charles wrote:I can certainly add a few citations. I was trying to keep the formality and science speak to a minimum.

As for caffeine in herbals, Yerba Mate is the only herbal that can claim this. Some vendors claim that Maté contains matiene a special variant on caffeine called mateine. Put simply, while it makes for a good Maté marketing tool, there is no scientific basis for this claim. That said, people often report a different feeling from the caffeine in Maté vs. the caffeine in tea or coffee. These differences result from the two other caffeine like compounds in Maté. Caffeine is a xanthine, a category of compounds that work as stimulants in the body. Maté contains three of these xanthines: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline - each with their own stimulative effects. In short, this "Herbal Tea" packs quite a stimulative punch!

No need for citations, wikipedia agrees with and ref's everything you wrote. Either way though, it's great!

And yes, yerba mate. I remember my bodybuilding days when I searched up and down for this stuff as many said it's unbeatable for the 'cut' (weight loss after weight gain). However, Chocolate also contains the same xanthines (methylxanthines) Caffeine, Theobromine, and Theophylline. Perhaps that same 'feeling' consumers of Mate get is the same reported from proper cacao based chocolate. I remember a lot of testing/study being done on pure dark chocolate and bodybuilding before I 'left' primary because of it's anti-oxidants but also because of it's 'unique stimulant effect'; much like Mate.

Also, it may be interesting to note I had a Drugs and Behavior Psychology/Chemistry professor recently that seemed to have the belief of Coffee containing Caffeine, Tea Theophylline, and Chocolate Theobromine. And that, although the corresponding chemicals may not be the primary active ingredient, it's interaction with the primary substances (Caffeine, in the case of Tea, for example) would result in different (and far more beneficial) response. Mind you, I've had a hard time finding claims confirming this. However, there's no doubt to the substantially different effects of Coffee vs. Tea vs. Chocolate vs. Mate vs. etc.
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