Green Tea Caffeine
4 Sure-Fire Ways To Minimise Side Effects

Green tea caffeine is like an onion, surrounded by layers of myths. Are you ready to unpeel the layers to reveal its inner core?



green-tea-caffeine

While it is mild, it never ceases to confuse. You may have heard of the following before:

"Green tea contains little or no caffeine."

"Soak it in hot water for 30 seconds. That will remove the caffeine"

"Try a decaffeinated green tea. It has all the nutrients minus the side effects"

Unfortunately, all of above are unsubstantiated claims, half truths that suit the marketers. The real truth is more complex. Like an onion, you have to peel through the layers to find it ...

You see, it is not just about the level of caffeine, but the right balance that distinguishes a superlative from a mediocre tea. Do you know why your soothing cup of tea feel so good? Why it stimulates and calms at the same time?

Green Tea Caffeine Tip #1:
Choose Your Decaffeinated Carefully

Decaffeinated green tea contains less than 5 milligrams of caffeine a cup. For many individuals, it can seem an attractive alternative. However, speak to most experienced tea drinkers, and you will find that most of them prefer naturally caffeinated tea.

There are 3 reasons why decaffeinated green tea is not the preferred choice of many tea drinkers.

First, studies conducted by the US Department of Agriculture found that decaffeinated green tea contains less than a third of the catechins in regular tea. This is bad news. Catechins are the main antioxidants. Without catechins, you are missing out on green tea's health benefits.

Second, it is difficult to enjoy a cup of decaffeinated green tea. They either taste too light or too metallic.

And last, moderate consumption of caffeine has been found to be good for health. Decaffeinated green tea drinkers are missing out on the caffeine health benefits.

Tea Caffeine Benefits - Why It Can Be Good For You

So, does it mean that you should avoid decaffeinated products altogether? Not at all. Read my best products review guide to find out more!

Decaffeinated Green Tea - Natural Versus CO2

Green Tea Caffeine Tip #2:
Avoid Teabags

green tea caffeine

Tea comes in many shapes and forms. How you brew your tea has a big influence its caffeine content.

In Asia, people drink loose green tea. They infuse these higher grade leaves a few times.

In Western countries, people drink teabags. These teabags are made of tea dusts, which are lower grade than loose tea. We normally use the teabag once before discarding.

Therefore, Western culture is to make 3 cups of tea from 3 teabags, while Asian culture is to brew loose tea leaves 3 times.

Here is an interesting finding. An US study found that teabags give twice the amount of caffeine as loose tea leaves. To quote Scientist Hicks from his 1996 study:

Extraction of caffeine ... was higher from the teabags than the loose leaves.

Loose green tea not only tastes better, it is healthier. Because it can be infused several times, it can also save you money!

Green Tea Caffeine Tip #3:
Skip First Infusion

It is called the Hot Wash, a popular DIY decaffeination method. You can do it easily. Simply soak tea leaves in hot water and throw away that first brew.

Green tea caffeine is quicker to dissolve than other compounds. According to Hicks, it takes 5 minutes to remove 70% of the caffeine.

The hot wash method does not work with all kinds of green. If you are drinking a high quality green, throwing away the first infusion can seem wasteful. And it doesn't make any sense because a high quality green is very soothing anyway.

If you are drinking a low quality green, the second infusion can taste too bland to make it worthwhile.

Caffeine Free Tea DIY

That leaves us with the next method – which is my favorite!

Green Tea Caffeine Tip #4:
Theanine Decaffeination

green tea caffeineWhile most people talk about caffeine, few people are aware that green tea contains an amazing compound called theanine that has a wonderful calming effect.

To me, it is one of nature’s bounties, and certainly green tea’s greatest gift.

Black tea and green tea both contain a significant level of caffeine, but green tea is usually perceived to be less stimulating.

Part of the explanation is theanine, which helps the mind to concentrate on the task at hand, but does so in a calming and relaxing way.

Scientific studies performed using electroencephalography discovered that theanine decaffeinates tea naturally.

If about 8 times as much of theanine is given than caffeine, the effects of caffeine is completely blunted.

Few people in the West know about theanine, but tea tasters know for a long time that tea quality correlates most strongly with theanine.

Green Tea Caffeine Content - Theanine Decaffeination

Unfortunately, average green tea sold in the West contains less than 10 milligrams of theanine a cup, too little to make much difference. For a truly soothing cup of tea, you may want to check out a high grade green tea from either China or Japan.

Tribute Dragon Well Tea - Finally! The Best Green Tea Revealed

HQ's tea garden is situated at the top of Lion Peak Mountain and is one of the chosen tea gardens to supply the Chinese White House.

New! Comments: Like This Story? Leave A Comment!

Also In This Section...

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea caffeine occupies a sweet spot between green tea and black tea. How best to enjoy it without the side effects.

White Tea

You may be surprised to learn that according to a Chinese study, white tea caffeine can be as high as any other types of tea.

Caffeine Free Tea

Learn how to make caffeine free tea yourself at home using the hot wash method.

Green Tea Without Caffeine

More tips to minimize caffeine side effects.

References

Hicks M.B. Hsieh Y.-H.P. Bell L.N (1996). Tea preparation and its influence on methylxanthine concentration. Food Research International, Volume 29, Number 3, April 1996, pp. 325-330(6)

Rogers PJ, Smith JE, Heatherley SV, Pleydell-Pearce CW (2007). Time for tea: mood, blood pressure and cognitive performance effects of caffeine and theanine administered alone and together. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008 Jan;195(4):569-77. Epub 2007 Sep 23.

Desai MY, Armstrong DW (2004). Analysis of derivatized and underivatized theanine enantiomers by high-performance liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure ionization-mass spectrometry. Rapid Commun Mass Spectron. 2004; 18(3): 251-6.

Kakuda T, Nozawa A, Unno T, Okamura N, Okai O (2000). Inhibition effects of theanine on caffeine stimulation evaluated by EEG in the rat. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2000 Feb; 64(2): 287-93.

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