So the big question... Does tea have more caffeine than coffee?!
Depending on how you look at the question, in terms of comparing a cuppa to drink of either tea or coffee, then no, coffee is more caffeinated. BUT (a big but!) when it comes to the leaves, tea leaves have more caffeine than coffee beans!
Woah! Say What?
If you think about it - coffee beans are brewed at a higher temperature with less water, so a cup of coffee has a more concentrated amount of caffeine in than tea.
The amount of caffeine in tea depends on the type of tea as well: black tea has the most caffeine in, then green tea, then white tea.
Continue reading to see us debunk common tea myths for you!
If you want to, a nice follow-up read is our ‘Is decaf tea better for you?’ article.
What has more caffeine: Tea or Coffee?
A nice and simple way to remember is a coffee cup generally has twice as much caffeine than matcha tea - which is the most caffeinated type of tea.
The amount of caffeine within a cup of tea that ends up in your body is influenced by a number of factors:
- tea leaf (black, green, white, etc.)
- age of leaf
- water temperature
- steeping time and many others.
If you are considering your caffeine intake, you could also consider how caffeine fits into your lifestyle, health and goals, as you could be surprised to find that caffeine in tea might actually be helpful!
Check out a few of our teas that contain different levels of caffeine - some have none at all:
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural compound found in plants like Camellia Sinensis plant (tea plant) and coffee beans. It acts as a stimulant in humans and is a natural pesticide.
The caffeine in the plants helps to kill all the pesky bugs that are trying to eat its lush leaves!
But not all caffeine is stored in similar amounts. The source of caffeine - be it the coffee bean, tea plant, kola nut or yerba mate plant - is what is responsible for causing the different effects the caffeine has on your body.
Which tea type has more caffeine?
All types of tea start as a leaf from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The type of tea which those leaves eventually end up as (black, green, white etc.) is influenced by their treatment once they are picked. This also influences the caffeine content.
The more processed the tea, the stronger caffeine it will have:
- Matcha is more caffeinated because the leaves are dried and then grounded to have this beautiful smooth powder, but that's how the caffeine is released the most.
- Black tea is the older Camellia Sinensis, which are dried until they turn black, which activates the caffeine molecules in the leaves as well.
- Green and white teas are not as processed - so the molecules of caffeine are not activated. And, green teas and whites are brewed for less time, and at 80°C water, rather than 100°C, so the leaves have less chance to dissolve in the water.
Then you get blended teas (our speciality!), which are different types of teas blended together, or teas blended with various ingredients. For all of our tea blends, the caffeine content is much lower than other teas out there because they contain other, naturally caffeine-free herbs and spices.
Although, some of the purest, unblended white teas - such as silver needles buds - have nearly as much caffeine in them as black tea. The fragile buds have a high level of caffeine, as it helps to protect the young leaves from pests and insects.
If you are wanting to avoid caffeine altogether there are plenty of options out there that naturally do not contain any caffeine at all.
Good news! Bird & Blend has one of the largest selections of totally decaffeinated tea in the UK! Any of our blends that are orange (fruit tea), purple (herbal tea) or red (rooibos tea) are completely caffeine free, unless stated on the packaging that it's blended with other types of teas.