Yes, green tea does contain caffeine. Content varies by the amount of tea used and the length of time the leaves are infused. All things being equal here is a breakdown of the caffeine content of green tea:
Percentage of caffeine in the following beverages:
- Coffee- 0.05%
- Black tea- 0.05%
- Gyokuro- 0.02%
- Sencha- 0.015%
- Hoji cha- 0.008%
- Genmai cha- 0.008%
Green Tea has four important constituents that all work together, caffeine, tannin, essential oils and vitamins. Many people may be surprised to hear that caffeine can actually be beneficial when taken in tea as it works slightly differently from the caffeine in coffee. The good news is caffeine in tea can stimulate the circulation and metabolism via the central nervous system. As more oxygen is pumped to the brain, mental powers are heightened, reactions speed up and muscle function improves.
The tannin in the Green Tea works alongside the caffeine, having a relaxing and stabilising effect. This means the caffeine is absorbed more slowly and prevents that “caffeine shock” we all know too well from coffee.
Green tea contains L-theanine. L-theanine is a healthy amino acid that is only found in tea plants and certain mushrooms. L-theanine directly stimulates the production of alpha brain waves which promotes a state of relaxed awareness, it has a calming effect on the body without making one drowsy.
“There is a way of naturally removing caffeine and preserving the health benefits. Steep the tea for 45 seconds in hot water and then pour off the liquid. Next, add more hot water and steep as you normally would to brew a cup of that tea. Up to 80 percent of the caffeine is released in the first infusion of water so only minimal amounts will remain when you add water the second time. This method eliminates very little of the tea’s flavor and aroma.”
This quote is from Dr. Andrew Weil who gave us permission to print this excerpt from his web site. Dr. Weil is an internationally famous physician and an expert on integrative medicine.