what many erroneously believe, green teas do not necessarily have less, or more,
caffeine than black teas. Some will argue that green tea has 1/3 the caffeine of
black tea while oolongs are slightly more caffeine-rich with 2/3 the caffeine of
black tea, but this is simply not true. Caffeine content is not related to level of
fermentation; instead, it is more closely aligned to the type of leaf used.
The bud and first leaf of the tea plant contain the
highest concentration of caffeine, between 4 and 5% of the total dry weight, and
the second leaf contains about 3% of the total dry weight. Thus, the desired
"two leaves and a bud" plucking contains caffeine that is approximately 4% of the
dry weight. When these teas are infused for 5 minutes, 40-50 milligrams of caffeine
dissolve into the water.
The specific variety of tea bush that is used also plays a
major role in the amount of caffeine in tea. Green teas are generally produced from
Camellia sinensis sinensis shrubs (China variety), and these leaves have a tendency
to be slightly smaller than those produced from the Camellia sinensis assamica
shrubs (Assam variety) -- used primarily for black teas. These China varietal teas
may have a slightly lower caffeine content.
Per weight, coffee beans have less caffeine than tea leaves,
but more coffee grounds are used to brew one cup of coffee. Thus, while tea has more
caffeine by weight, it has less caffeine than coffee when infused. When compared with
a cup of tea, a cup of coffee can have two to four times as much caffeine.
"Upton Tea Imports was founded in 1989 with the objective of providing the North American tea drinker with
the finest teas available. We purchase teas from reputable brokers and estates worldwide, dealing only with
sources who are capable of providing top quality teas. We sell directly to the consumer, thus ensuring the
freshest product and fairest pricing."