Caffeine in Tea

While many of us turn to tea for its calming effects, many teas contain caffeine, a natural stimulant. Because caffeine occurs naturally in the camellia sinensis tea plant, caffeine is found in all black, oolong, green, pu-erh, and white teas.  

While too much caffeine can make you feel wired, leading to anxiety and insomnia, it can be useful for helping to boost your energy levels as well as your mood, improving productivity and focus. Caffeine can help improve circulation, making it a great ingredient to give you a pre-workout boost. Caffeine is also associated with a reduced risk of certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and liver cancer.


Sips by is a personalized tea discovery subscription. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more here.

The truth is that most people do consume caffeine daily, whether it’s from coffee, tea, soda, or chocolate. A cup of drip coffee can contain anywhere between 65 and 120 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of brewed tea tends to be within the range of 15 to 70 mg of caffeine. A moderate intake of caffeine is about 200-300 mg per day, meaning that it’s safe to enjoy a combination of tea and coffee. Many teas are also blended with other herbal ingredients, which can lower their caffeine levels even more.

Tea is unique in its caffeine content because the caffeine in tea is thought to be absorbed more slowly than that in coffee, which means that you get a more sustained period of energy rather than a crash like you might with coffee. Tea also contains L-theanine, which is great because when it's paired with caffeine it has a calming effect, meaning that you'll be experiencing greater focus without feeling jittery.

Teas also differ by variety with regards to the amount of caffeine that they contain.  Matcha, a Japanese tea made from stone-ground green tea leaves that have been grown in the shade, has the highest amount of caffeine because you consume the full leaf, as opposed to just the steeped brew. However, the effect on your body is much different than coffee because matcha's other nutrients (L-theanine, antioxidants) create a smoother energy effect in your body, coupled with calm feelings of mental alertness. Black and pu-erh teas tend to have the highest caffeine levels of brewed tea, followed by oolong, and then green. While white tea is widely believed to contain the lowest caffeine levels, this is not always true (click here to dispel some popular myths about caffeine in tea!).

If you’re sensitive to caffeine or are wanting a before-bed sip, tea is still something that you can enjoy!  While decaffeinated teas exist, these have had their caffeine removed from them and are not naturally caffeine-free, meaning they still have trace amounts of caffeine in them. If you’re looking for a tea that is completely caffeine-free, you can turn to herbal teas, which are made from herbs, flowers, fruits, or spices rather than leaves the tea plant. 


HIGH CAFFEINE TEAS: These teas are higher in caffeine and are great to get your day started, or as a pre-workout boost.

MEDIUM CAFFEINE TEAS: These teas can help with focus, making a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up if you’re needing a caffeine boost.

LOW CAFFEINE TEAS: Because they contain a low amount of caffeine, these teas will give you a slight energy boost, but you still might want to be cautious if you’re sensitive to caffeine or before bedtime.


COMPLETELY CAFFEINE-FREE:   If you’re sensitive to caffeine or are looking to avoid it completely, these rooibos and herbal teas are completely free of any caffeine. These are also a great choice for kids looking to enjoy tea.


Subscribe to sipsby today and receive personalized teas each month - whether you love a caffeinated sip, are looking to stick to caffeine-free, or prefer a combination.

About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.