Caffeine in White Tea


White and yellow teas are among the most subtle.

15 mgs/cup

Postby Trey Winston » Nov 2nd, '07, 14:20

Hi, snowfly.

I seem to recall reading that white tea contains about 15 mgs of caffeine per cup, which is less than other teas and much less than coffee.
The difference between the caffeine content in white tea and, say, black coffee is certainly easily felt after just one cup, at least in my experience.
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Postby ABx » Nov 2nd, '07, 15:24

I don't think there's any single rule of thumb that applies to all teas.

Factors like steeping time, temperature, types of leaf used, and processing can all make a difference. Studies that look at the dry leaf will usually say that they're roughly equal across all types of tea. Ones that look at the final infusion will generally show a step up in caffeine by the level of oxidation.

Take a look at this article - http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/p ... index.html

I tend to think that the more "oxidized" a tea is, the more readily the caffeine will extract into the infusion. There are some exceptions, however, such as silver needle, which seems to have a relatively high level of caffeine.

The difference is easy to understand when you know what "oxidation" entails; to oxidize a tea they bruise the leaf, breaking the cell walls and bringing the juices to the outside of the leaf, and then dried. Obviously this will leave all the chemicals that were previously on the inside the leaf much more readily available for extraction to the final infusion. If you then use hotter water and steep for longer, it's going to have an easier time getting what's left.

Conversely when the chemicals are bound up in the fiberous material of the leaf, and the leaf is only dried without much more processing of any kind, and then steeped in cooler water for shorter periods of time, then you're not as likely to get as much in the final infusion.

So the bottom line is that my experience, and research on the subject, seems to suggest that most white teas produce an infusion with less caffeine, and the darker teas tend to produce infusions with more caffeine - even if they dry leaf has the same approximate amount of caffeine. There are exceptions both ways in all classes of tea, but this seems to be the over-generalized rule of thumb that I have come across.

If you have questions about a specific tea, I am sure that people here would be happy to weigh in with their experience with it :)
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Postby Wesli » Nov 2nd, '07, 16:12

In my experience, white tea can go both ways in comparison to green. If I think that a white tea will have a very low caffeine content, then I wont even notice any caffeine. On the other hand, if I think that the white tea will satiate my caffeine craving just as much as green, then it will. The only thing I've noted is that white teas never seem to shoot me more caffeine than a good, green sencha.
These are just my experiences. My belief is that caffeine effects different people extremely differently. So to some people, coffee might not do much, but a bowl of matcha will be killer, and vice versa.
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Postby bambooforest » Nov 2nd, '07, 17:51

I have found that silver needle, from my personal experience, is very high in caffeine. Maybe as much as coffee. At least, that is what it seemed like to me. Other white teas may have different levels, but silver needle is comprised of the very early leaves and they are known to be higher in caffeine content.
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Postby ABx » Nov 2nd, '07, 18:37

Of course some teas have other chemicals that can change the effect of caffeine. L-Theanine can counteract caffeine to some extent, so those thick sweet teas could have more caffeine and you wouldn't feel it. Silver needle doesn't really have much of any, so you're going to notice it a bit more.
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Postby DMikeS4321 » Nov 2nd, '07, 21:00

ABx wrote:Of course some teas have other chemicals that can change the effect of caffeine. L-Theanine can counteract caffeine to some extent, so those thick sweet teas could have more caffeine and you wouldn't feel it. Silver needle doesn't really have much of any, so you're going to notice it a bit more.


Thanks for the info! I've read in the past about substances in tea that "buffer" the effects of caffeine, but I haven't been able to find it again.

Best Regards
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Postby Wesli » Nov 2nd, '07, 21:28

It's true. The thing I've noticed is that bitter teaz give me the jitters. Catechins perhaps?
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Postby ABx » Nov 3rd, '07, 01:40

DMikeS4321 wrote:
ABx wrote:Of course some teas have other chemicals that can change the effect of caffeine. L-Theanine can counteract caffeine to some extent, so those thick sweet teas could have more caffeine and you wouldn't feel it. Silver needle doesn't really have much of any, so you're going to notice it a bit more.


Thanks for the info! I've read in the past about substances in tea that "buffer" the effects of caffeine, but I haven't been able to find it again.

Best Regards
:)

Here's some more info:
http://www.naturalfoodsmerchandiser.com ... Screen=ART

Here's some general info - a biochemical study on tea that includes the chemical makeup and each chemical's contribution to taste and difference by type:
http://www.fmltea.com/Teainfo/tea-chemistry%20.htm
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Postby bambooforest » Nov 11th, '07, 18:31

I'm unsure if anyone has touched on this...

But something I find a little frustrating... Tell me, what good is knowing if green tea is say, "1/3 the amount of caffeine a single cup of coffee is" when we have no idea what their standard is for a cup of tea in terms of how much leaf was used.

Conveying the cup is 8 ounces demonstrates nothing. Some Japanese use 10 grams for around a 7 ounce pot. Then, there are other who use 2.3 grams per 6 ounces of tea...

Point is, different people use different measurements of leaf for their tea - it is by no means universal... So, if these studies do not convey how much leaf is used for a single cup, I'm at a loss as to know how much caffeine tea to coffee truly has.

Case and point, for some sencha's I use up to a gram per ounce. That works out to be 5 grams. If these studies are utilizing the strict English measurement of 2.3 grams per 6 ounces then I'm consuming over 2 cups in my single session.

Anyone have any thoughts on this, as to what these scientists gauge as a single "cup" in terms of leaf amount?

Just another tea mystery.
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Postby Wesli » Nov 11th, '07, 19:31

Well, we can be sure they're not measuring either of the extremes. Concerning green tea, they should be using neither 6 tsp/10 oz, nor 1 tsp to 10 oz. So it must be somewhere in between. I think 3 tsp/300mL would be a nice solid guess, with room for a deviation of a tsp or two. The results they give us aren't supposed to be strict definitions, but rather estimations for comparison of different caffeinated beverages.
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Postby Space Samurai » Nov 12th, '07, 00:45

There are two topics that whenever they come up in regards to tea make me stick my fingers in my ear and hum loudly...caffiene and "health benefits."
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Postby Wesli » Nov 12th, '07, 00:52

...says Mr. "Three bowls of matcha before bed."
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Postby Jindrovi » Nov 25th, '07, 03:38

Did someone buy the Silver Needle tea or Pai Mu Tan?

( http://www.adagio.com/teabags/pai_mu_ta ... f0e93a2555

http://www.adagio.com/teabags/silver_ne ... f0e93a2555 )

THANKS FOR ANSWER!!
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