Spilling the “Tea” About the Caffeine Content & Health Benefits of Green Tea

You’ve heard about all the health benefits of green tea– so you made the switch from coffee and you feel great! But what exactly are those benefits, and how much caffeine are you actually cutting?

Honey, here’s “the tea” on your cuppa Matcha, Houjicha, Bancha, or Genmaicha.

Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

You hear people say they switched from coffee to green tea because it’s healthier… but what kind of power do these little tea leaves actually possess?

  • The polyphenols in green tea help reduce inflammation and possibly even combat and prevent certain types of cancer.
  • The caffeine combined with green tea’s amino acid L-theanine can help increase brain function and give you a more steady, mellow “buzz” than coffee.
  • Some studies show that green tea helps boost your metabolism and aids in weight-loss, but that could depend on your body type. It’s worth a shot though, right?
  • The antibiotic effect of green tea on mouth bacteria helps keep your teeth and gums strong and fights bad breath!

Of course, you will have to do a little experimenting of your own to see how making that switch affects your personal health and cognitive function. A lot will depend on which tea you use, how much you drink, and what you’re putting in it!

How It’s Made: The Change is in the Process

The process of drying green tea is what gives it the signature green coloring, as opposed to the various shades of brown from most black and oolong teas. Green tea leaves are dried, and sometimes steamed, but not fermented or oxidized like blacks and oolongs.

Skipping this fermentation process leaves green tea with fewer tannins and less caffeine than its black and oolong companions. This is what also gives green tea its signature flavor.

The Caffeine in Green

Caffeine content in green tea varies from one type to another, ranging from about 15 milligrams to over 100 milligrams, like in Matcha.

Still, this is less than your typical cup of coffee , which hits at about 150-200 milligrams.

If you’re trying to limit caffeine consumption, you can go with decaffeinated green tea. However, the process of removing the caffeine, called “effervescence,” also removes up to half the antioxidants.  

TIP: To maintain the healing power of green tea and cut caffeine, drink “twig tea,” or Kukicha tea, made of the naturally lower-caffeine plant stems. Click To Tweet

More Tips to Limit Caffeine

Besides drinking Kukicha tea, here are some other ways to help minimize green tea caffeine.

  • Choose green tea blends vs. straight-up green teas
  • Avoid powdered green tea
  • Drink sun-grown teas, which tend to have less caffeine than shade-grown
  • Decrease brew time or tea-to-water ratio
  • Drink whole-leaf green tea instead of bagged teas

You can always also check the nutrition label on your packaged teas to get an idea of caffeine content. But most of all, pick one that you enjoy. Tea time should be a pleasure, not a chore.

Want to learn much more about the history and benefits of green tea?  Check out our post on the health benefits of green tea.

Melinda BryceMelinda Bryce is a writer in the health and wellness field with a focus on holistic health, diet, nutrition, and recipe development. 

Find out more about Melinda and see more of her posts here.

 

 

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