Does Green Tea Have Caffeine?

Green tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world, besides water, because it has been shown to offer a lot of health benefits. But does green tea have caffeine? Many people are concerned with the negative effects of too much caffeine, like heart palpitations and elevated blood pressure, so the question, does green tea have caffeine? is definitely a valid one.

Green tea does have caffeine, but the more important question is, how much caffeine is there? Green tea contains a significantly lower quantity of caffeine than coffee, colas, and other teas, such as black or oolong tea.

The amount of caffeine in green tea depends on the variety of tea plant, how it is produced, and the way the tea is prepared. Steeping time, the temperature of the water, and the number of times a batch of tea leaves has been used changes the caffeine content. On average, a cup of green tea contains 3–30 mg of caffeine. Black tea has 30–60 mg of caffeine. A can of cola contains about 34 mg of caffeine. Coffee has the highest amount, with 65–100 mg in instant coffee and some drip-filtered coffee going as high as 200 mg per cup.

However, the caffeine in green tea affects people differently than the caffeine in coffee. Caffeine in green tea is believed to help boost metabolism and blood circulation, and unlike other caffeinated beverages, green tea does not raise blood pressure. Caffeine from coffee gives drinkers a jolt, but green tea has a soothing and calming effect, thereby avoiding that “caffeine shock.”

For those people who are sensitive or intolerant to the effects of caffeine, or for pregnant women who must monitor their caffeine intake, there’s a way to remove much of the caffeine in green tea while preserving its health benefits. These are the steps recommended by physician Dr. Andrew Weill to reduce the amount of caffeine in green tea:

  1. Infuse the tea for forty-five seconds in hot water (not boiling), and after that pour off the liquid.
  2. Add more hot water, and steep normally to brew a cup full of green tea.

Following these steps removes up to 80% of the caffeine. Most of the caffeine is released in the first 45 seconds of infusion, so only a very small amount will remain for the second infusion. This process alters very little of the tea’s aroma and flavor.

So to answer the question, does green tea have caffeine? Yes it does, but only in small amounts—too small to cause serious side effects. So unless you’re seriously intolerant or sensitive to caffeine, add a regular cup to your daily diet. You will be glad you did.