Caffeine Content of Black Tea

Caffeine content in black tea cup

Black tea is the most common type of tea in the world. It accounts for over ninety percent of all tea sold in the West. It is estimated that over three quarters of the population drink around a cup of this tea a day.

The taste of different black teas depends on the location of its growth and how they were processed. Black tea is known that retains its flavor for several years.

Black tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant (also called the tea tree plant) which naturally contain caffeine. Caffeine in black tea was first discovered in 1827 and called theine.

Dry black tea has more caffeine by weight than coffee, but when prepared in a cup, a brewed black tea contains significantly less caffeine than a cup of coffee of the same size.

Black tea contains average about 50 mg caffeine per cup.

Black tea caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to improve concentration, increase speed in reaction time, increase alertness etc. There are also the bad effects of caffeine when consumed in large quantities. Because of its stimulating effects, caffeine can lead to insomnia, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, anxiety, headache, etc.

Generally caffeine content in tea metabolizes differently in the body than the caffeine in coffee.

Black tea contains tannins, catechins (a type of antioxidant) and certain vitamins. Tannins in this tea slow the absorption of caffeine. Tannins are known to have anticancer and carcinogenic properties and decrease the digestibility of proteins. Compared with other teas, black tea has substantially fewer catechins, due to its oxidative preparation (it is more oxidized than the green, oolong, and white teas).

Black tea cup

There are several factors that may help determine black tea caffeine levels. Different parts of tea tree contain different level of caffeine. The younger leaves have more caffeine than the more mature tea leaves. How much caffeine the tea leaf produces, depends of the intensity of the infusion, soil texture, climate, elevation and processing techniques.

Amount of caffeine in black tea is higher compared to all other tea caffeine content, because it is fully fermented.

For comparison:

Black tea contains around 40 to 75 mg of caffeine per 8 ounce cup.

Oolong teas contain about 45 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces cup.

Green tea contains 15 to 30 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces cup.

White tea contains 15 to 20 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces of tea.

Instant tea contains average 12 to 30 mg caffeine per 8 ounce cup.

Herbal teas contains 0 mg caffeine.

The decaffeinated black tea contains only 2-5 mg in a cup of tea.

A cup of regular coffee contains between 65 and 150mg of caffeine.

Caffeine content varies and all this information provides only a general guideline.

Note: All figures are approximate, this site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.