Although it is now grown in many parts of Asia, green tea originated in China. It comes in so many varieties that you could get through several cups of your favourite one before you finish naming them all. All the current green tea varieties, however, share the fact that they come from the tea plant Camellia sinensis.
Green Tea’s Caffeine Content
The types of green tea will vary in flavour, aroma and caffeine content due to different growing conditions, when they are harvested, processing, brand and brewing time. Generally speaking, the longer you brew your green tea, the higher caffeine content you end up with.
These factors and the wide selection of green tea make pinpointing its caffeine content a bit tricky. It is best to think of average values to get an idea of how much caffeine there is in green tea.
On average, an 8 fl. oz (236 ml) cup of green tea contains 25 mg of caffeine. Compared to the average cup of coffee, you have to drink three cups of green tea to equal the caffeine content in one cup. That’s because an 8 fl. oz (236 ml) cup of coffee typically gives you anywhere from 100 mg to 200 mg of caffeine. Put simply, green teen has much less caffeine in it than coffee does.
(Another good comparison to consider, is that there are popular anti-sleep aids with roughly 200 mg of caffeine in each tablet.)
Back to comparing green tea with coffee – let’s say you can’t start your morning without two cups of coffee and decide to switch to two cups of green tea instead. Right away, you are cutting your caffeine intake by at least 70%!
This type of green tea comes from Japan and is made by grinding green tea leaves into a fine powder. To make a cup of Matcha tea you combine the powder with hot water to produce the increasingly popular frothy, bright green beverage with its naturally rich and sweet flavour.
Caffeine in Matcha tea stands at 70 mg per 8 fl. oz (236 ml) cup. If you intend to make Koicha (thick Matcha tea), then you will need twice the amount of Matcha tea powder and will end up getting twice the amount of caffeine. That puts you squarely in the realm of coffee in terms of caffeine content. Matcha tea, however, is extremely high in antioxidants because you consume the whole leaves instead of just brewing them.
Matcha tea powder can even be used to make green tea ice cream, lattes, smoothies and other desserts and drinks.
So what’s the final word on green tea’s caffeine?
You can go ahead and enjoy your green tea and all its benefits knowing you are not overloading on caffeine. Green tea gives you a much smaller, steadier and gentler caffeine boost than coffee, creating stimulation which can aid concentration while helping you to relax and unwind. Regular green tea also contains less caffeine than Matcha tea which still has less caffeine than coffee.