Is There Caffeine in Green Tea?

Is there caffeine in green tea? Tea lovers are probably interested to know the answer to this question. The answer is yes— in fact, all teas derived from the Camellia sinensis leaf contain caffeine, and green tea, no matter how healthy it is, is definitely not an exception. But before you panic about this, you need to know that you don’t have to worry too much about the caffeine in green tea. Continue reading on to know more about caffeine in green tea and how you can reduce the amount of this substance in your favorite drink, or totally avoid it.
 
The tea flush, which consists of the terminal buds and the leaves adjacent to it, contains the highest concentration of caffeine in green tea, and in all teas made from Camellia sinensis. It is also the part used for making high grade tea, as it contains catechins and theanine— the polyphenol antioxidants where most of the green tea’s benefits are derived. Theanine is an amino acid which is actually considered to be an antagonist of caffeine in green tea, as it exudes a calming effect on the brain, as opposed to the “hyper” effect produced by caffeine. Because of this, unlike in black tea, the side effects of caffeine in green tea are few and very mild in nature, with only headaches and nervousness being reported.
 
Yet if you still worry about the caffeine content of your beloved green tea, there still are a lot of things you can do to minimize or avoid consuming too much caffeine from green tea. One way is to buy decaffeinated green tea. There are two methods used for decaffeinating green tea— one being through the process called “effervescence,” and the other one being the “natural decaffeination process.” The former is actually healthier in terms of removing caffeine in green tea, as it is able to retain 95% of the healthy tea polyphenols versus the 30% left using the other process. So, the next time you shop for your green tea, be sure to buy the decaffeinated one, and don’t forget to check the decaffeination process used.
 
Another way to avoid caffeine in green tea is through using loose tea leaves, since tea bags contain high amounts on caffeine. Moreover, tea leaves tend to produce more flavorful, great-tasting, and healthier tea. And the additional advantage is that, it will allow you to adjust the amount of leaves brewed in your tea, thereby also adjusting the amount of caffeine that you drink with the tea.
 
Furthermore, compared to other compounds found in the tea, caffeine is much faster to dissolve. So another way of minimizing your intake of caffeine in green tea is through soaking the tea bag in hot water for around 30-45 seconds, and then discarding the liquid. Doing this will eliminate as much as 80% of the tea’s caffeine content. And you don’t have to worry about the flavor or taste of the next infusion as this method has very little effect on that.
 
Lastly, drinking your tea while it’s hot is also a way to minimize the effects of caffeine in green tea. Hot temperature allows the theanine molecules to bind to the caffeine molecules, thereby reducing its effects. On the other hand, letting your tea cool off will cause the theanine molecules to break down and release the caffeine molecules.