Towards the end of last year we commissioned antioxidant and caffeine tests by a laboratory on a range of our teas to find out conclusively whether the commonly-held beliefs on the caffeine levels contained in tea are accurate.

The results of the tests were very illuminating and have led us to reassess our approach to labelling caffeine levels on our teas. What the tests show is that it is difficult to make generalisations about the caffeine levels found in the different categories of tea, which are commonly made by tea companies.

Following these results, we will no longer be labelling our teas as low, moderate or high in caffeine, unless we have tested the specific batch to of tea on sale.

Which teas contain caffeine?

All teas contain caffeine, but at moderate levels. The only products we stock that do not contain any caffeine are herbal infusions, with the exception of caffeine containing infusions like Mate. Herbal infusions are not tea, they are whole dried herbs, flowers or fruits.

It is important to note that decaffeinated tea and coffee still contains small
amounts of caffeine.

The results of our tests were as follows. The figures are shown in mg/serving (infusion).

Assam Breakfast Black Tea 41mg
Yunnan Gold Black Tea 46mg
Organic Gunpowder Supreme Green Tea 25mg
Dragon Well Supreme Green Tea 35mg
Yellow Gold Oolong Tea 28mg
Big Red Robe Supreme Oolong Tea 29mg
2008 Xiaguan Cooked Mini Puerh Tuo 36mg
White Peony White Tea 42mg
Silver Needle White Tea 45mg
Jun Shan Yin Zhen Yellow Tea 41mg

To put these results in context, please see below table for comparison with other caffeine containing beverages:

Average Black Tea Teabag 40mg
Instant Coffee 60mg
Filter/Percolated Coffee 90mg
Decaffeinated Tea/Coffee 2mg
Hot Chocolate 5mg
Can of Coke 25mg
Energy Drinks 50mg

Is caffeine consumption harmful?

The recommended maximum daily intake of caffeine is 400mg, or 300mg for pregnant women.

Drinking upto 300mg of caffeine a day poses no health risk for normal, healthy individuals.

In order to exceed the recommended daily intake, you would need to drink 8 cups or more of tea a day.

While research into all the effects of caffeine consumption on health is ongoing, it is possible to dispel the negative perception of tea as a diuretic, when consumed within the recommended daily intake.

When consumed within the recommended daily intake, tea has been found to be hydrating; at this level of consumption, there is not enough caffeine in tea to cause a diuretic effect.

Caffeine is often touted as a ‘toxin’.  We believe that it is important to question what this label means in the context of tea drinking, and if there is any evidence to support it. This is especially important considering the very strong evidence which shows that tea is a good source of antioxidants which neutralise the effects of free-radicals.

If you are really looking to cut down on caffeine, then we recommend drinking either our herbal infusions, which are caffeine-free.  Alternatively, try our decaffeinated Ceylon black tea, which still contains minimal amounts of caffeine.

If you are concerned, we suggest you discuss any matters related to your diet and tea and caffeine consumption with your doctor.

*This article has been checked for accuracy by a qualified nutritional scientist