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How Much Caffeine Is In Tea?

Updated on November 4, 2007
This kitty should switch to tea.  Visual from
This kitty should switch to tea. Visual from

Well, that depends what tea you are talking about. Anything that has leaves from the tea bush - whether black, green or white - will contain some traces of caffeine. Black tea contains the most, some more so than others. The name of the tea will give you a big clue. A beloved episode of Mad About You had Paul Reiser give Morning Thunder tea to Helen Hunt when she was desperate for sleep, because it was made by Celestial Seasonings (infamous for Sleepytime tea and other non-caffeinated herbal blends).

But even Morning Thunder does not contain as much caffeine as soda pop or coffee (especially espresso!). If you are looking to cut back on caffeine but still enjoy a refreshing beverage, then tea is a great choice.

Caffeine - You Love It, But It Doesn't Love You

Most of the human population consumes caffeine in one form or another daily. This makes it the world's most popular drug. Drug? Well, you won't black out and wake up in Atlantic City nest to a Barbie doll if you overdo it on caffeine, but too much will still damage your health. Any chemical that affects your behavior and how you feel is technically classified as a drug.

You can get addicted to caffeine easily. This writer happens to be caffeine-dependant, meaning that if I don't have at least four cups of black tea a day, I get migraines and the shakes. Yup - those are withdrawal symptoms. They can only be alleviated by - you guessed it - eating or drinking with caffeine in it.

It is because of this effect that some religious sects, like the Mormons, ban their followers from consuming any kind of caffeine. Caffeine is also found in chocolate and some painkillers.

This caffeine dependence disturbs your sleep patterns, which affects your body's overall health, including raising your blood pressure, causing digestive difficulties and mood swings. Cutting back on caffeine can help you feel better overall. I used to drink the equivalent of three liters of Pepsi per day, now I'm down to four cups of tea. And yes, I sleep better and have less stomach upsets. You need to be aware of how much caffeine you consume in a day.

The Numbers


Drip method 110-150

Percolated 64-124

Instant 40-108

Decaffeinated 2-5

Instant Decaffeinated 2


SOFT DRINK (12-oz. serving) CAFFEINE CONTENT (mg)

Jolt 72.0

Sugar-Free Mr. Pibb 58.8

Mountain Dew 54.0

Mello Yello 52.8

TAB 46.8

Coca-Cola 45.6

Diet Coke 45.6

Shasta Cola 44.4

Shasta Cherry Cola 44.4

Shasta Diet Cola 44.4

Shasta Diet Cherry Cola 44.4

Mr. PIBB 40.8

Dr. Pepper 39.6

Big Red 38.4

Sugar-Free Dr. Pepper 39.6

Pepsi-Cola 38.4

Aspen 36.0

Diet Pepsi 36.0

Pepsi Light 36.0

RC Cola 36.0

Diet Rite 36.0

Kick 31.2

Canada Dry Jamaica Cola 30.0

Canada Dry Diet Cola 1.2


TEA (one tea bag or equivalent in 8oz cup), from Stash Tea Website

Black Tea 40mg

Oolong Tea 30mg

Green Tea 20mg

White Tea 10mg

Decaffeinated black tea 2mgs

Herbal tea 0mgs

The numbers above are averages. If you like your tea strong, there will be more caffeine in it.

Well, now that this issue is clear as mud, let's go put the kettle on.


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