Site-Wide Activity Forums Tea News and Information Busting the myth: Caffeine levels in white tea

8 replies, 8 voices Last updated by  riccaicedo 5 years, 1 month ago
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  • #6349

    Jackie
    Keymaster
    @jackie

    We’ve got a great discussion going on @wifeywoman‘s blog, but the article links and thoughts are worthy of their own forum post.
    For those who think white tea has very little caffeine, read this. For those who are in the know, read this anyway. It’s a very interesting post with a lot of good links to some seriously good tea writers.
    By the way, for those of you on twitter, the blog is written by @pearlfineteas. Great post guys!

    http://tealove.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/white-tea-and-caffeine/

  • #6350

    Charles
    Participant
    @charles.cain

    The key question is not the amount of caffeine in the leaf but the caffeine in the cup.  The reason they say that caffeine levels go Black>Oolong>Green>White is actually because the recommended steeping time and temperature are highest for black teas and lowest for white teas.  It is very true that caffeine in the leaf does not follow this pattern, but I’m guessing most people are more concerned with what they consume than anything else. 

  • #6351

    Gingko
    Participant
    @gingkoseto

    Charles made a good point about the caffeine in the cup of white tea in relation with the recommended steeping time and temperature.

    Also I think it’s hard to make any general statement about white tea, because white teas such as silver needle, sow mee and moonlight white are all vastly different in both leaf cell conditions (which determines how easily the cellular contents of the tea leaves can be extracted when the tea is steeped) and oxidation level (which may affect caffeine level).

    Besides, many instructions on lower steeping temperature of white tea are quite unconventional (I personally think the traditionally recommended temperature is hottest boiling water). If we consider different ways of brewing a white tea, then even from the same tea, caffeine level could be very different for different drinkers.

  • #6352

    Anonymous @

    Why would the steeping time affect the caffein level? (unless you were doing 10-30 second steepings like I do with Sencha)

    I thought most of the caffein was out of the tea in the first 60 seconds of steeping anyway? I’ve believed this for years and think I read it on an upton catalog about a decade ago. Is this not true?

  • #6354

    identitea
    Participant
    @identitea

    It’s all about the steep times when it comes to caffeine content because it takes time for the caffeine to be extracted from the leaves and go into the water.

    30 second decaf, white tea has less caffeine, oolong is best for weight loss… all of these false claims are used to market tea as a miracle drug.  I tend to shy away from companies who eclipse the awesome taste of tea with health benefits during promotion.

    Ugh, I feel like a broken record… just read this: http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/02/caffeine-and-tea-myth-and-reality.html

    By the way, I thought the “arguing with a Mormon” thing in @wifeywoman’s article was hysterical!  Ah, Mormons… they are so silly. 😉

  • #6356

    Gingko
    Participant
    @gingkoseto

    Yeah I think the chadao article is the best review on this issue so far. Not only it cites sources, but also it actually cites valid sources (a.k.a. peer-reviewed scientific publications), which is of great difference from many casual sources. Scientific research on tea is not perfect so far. But always better than non-scientific claims or pseudo-science.

  • #7048

    yaya
    Participant
    @yaya

    Funny, how a spam article (the one by sqyasasa) can bring a worthy forum subject back on the radar.
    While actual data about caffeine content of different teas is very rarely published, there used to be a webpage that listed the broadest selection of teas inclusive tested caffeine content. This page isn’t officially available online anymore, but thanks to the marvelous wayback machine, we can still see this valuable information:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20080517094052/http://users.argolink.net/purfarms/komchem/teacaff.htm

    There are some myth-busting results listed on this page, for sure. How about the fact that a GREEN tea (organic clouds of green) had the highest caffeine content of any tea in the test? Interesting…

  • #7181

    manx
    Member
    @manx

    This is great! At last some science and Tea! I read all comments and the two linked articles that in my eyes thoroughly debunks this caffeine myth.

    Some comments:

    Caffeine is released slowly and after 5-10 min you have the lions part in your cup. Traditional teapot steeping will release almost all caffeine, but Gaiwan style steeping 30 sek to minutes will give you less. But with a Gaiwan we steep the tea multiple times, so it’s no different in the end!

    No great differences between black, green, oolong, and white, but Matcha is different, it’s probably the caffeine king.

    Have had two Gaiwan sessions today and have been enjoying the slow and steady intake of caffeine and theanin.

  • #8292

    riccaicedo
    Participant
    @riccaicedo

    I’ve been reading a lot of Japanese green tea sites (in Japanese) and it seems to be common knowledge that buds have the highest concentration of caffeine. There is also a bud tea in Japan, mecha. Interestingly enough it’s not considered to be as good as gyokuro or high-grade sencha, even though the cultivation process is the same. The exact opposite of Chinese white tea, where it’s considered to be of highest quality.

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