Did you know that on average every American worker spends $1092 on coffee? There is probably nothing more refreshing than a hot cup of coffee in the morning. However, out of all the ingredients that coffee contains this fresh feeling can be attributed to only one. This ingredient is caffeine.
As much as caffeine is known you give that nice kick you need to face the long day ahead it is also known to have many adverse effects on your body. Its addictive nature is perhaps one of the most prominent effects. Now this is where green tea comes in. As more people try to reduce or eliminate the amount of caffeine, they take in daily they are turning to green tea as an alternative.
Does green tea have caffeine?
In your pursuit to eliminate caffeine from your daily diet most nutritionists and health experts, will advise you to substitute coffee for green tea. However, does green tea extract have caffeine? There are varying opinions about this, but scientific findings have proven that it does indeed have caffeine
Regardless of the fact that it has caffeine what makes it a healthier alternative to coffee is the fact that it contains only a fraction of what many coffee brands have. All in all the underlying factor remains that green tea is not caffeine free as many people assume.
How much caffeine does green tea contain?
On average a cup of green tea contains 25mg caffeine. However, a cup of green tea can contain anywhere between 15mg to 75mg or even more depending on a few other factors. Some of the factors may include the type of green tea, steeped time and style of brewing.
Another important factor that can influence that control how much caffeine is in green tea is how you take it. Some people prefer to mix it with other beverages that may contain more caffeine. This will radically increase your caffeine intake.
It is important to note that some types of green tea can contain even more caffeine than an average cup of coffee. Knowing the type of green tea that you are taking will help you determine the amount of caffeine that you are taking in.
Types of green tea extracts
Green tea extracts can be found in almost all parts of the world with the type varying from region to region. However the following are some of the more common types.
- Strong infusions
- Soft extracts
- Dry extracts
- Partly purified extracts
It is important to note that the classification of green tea varies from one place to another and some regions use other elements rather than infusion in classification. A good example of this is green tea from China, which is classified according to the regions where the tea is grown.
Reducing caffeine in your green tea
The fact that this tea contains caffeine does not mean that you should abandon it and forego all the other benefits it has to offer. They are many way of decaffeinating green tea or reducing the amount of caffeine in your daily cup. There is no known way of totally eliminating the caffeine from the tea, but the following are some of the effective ways to reduce it.
- The first and most important thing is to know your green tea. The tea from younger leaves contains more caffeine and so by avoiding this tea you will reduce the amount of caffeine in your tea.
- You should only drink green teas that are known to be low in caffeine. Some types of green tea are processed to reduce their caffeine levels, and these are the teas that you should be taking. Examples of such teas include the Japanese Bancha and Genmaicha.
- You should keep of powdered green teas. This type of tea is consumed as a suspension which means that you will be taking in the leaf instead of its infusion and hence all the caffeine in the leaf.
- Decaf green tea is not completely caffeine free, but it contains far much less than your ordinary green tea. There are different myths that you can be able to decaffeinate your tea at home, but there is no scientific proof for this. Due to this it is highly advisable to buy green teas that have already been decaffeinated.
- Drink blended green tea as it contains less caffeine than the pure green tea. For example, a blend of lemon grass tea and green tea is known to contain half the caffeine of unblended green tea.
- Proper brewing method will also help reduce caffeine in your green. More often people use boiling water in brewing their tea for 3-4 minutes but this only increases caffeine. Instead simmering water should be used to brew the tea for a minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of 4 minutes.
- Avoid shade grown green teas like Matcha as they contain more caffeine due to lack of sunlight. This type of tea reacts to sunlight deficiency by increasing the amount of chemicals like caffeine.
Other important things you should know about green tea
- Keeping the number of cups you take everyday constant, if you replace coffee with green tea you will reduce your caffeine intake by 70%.
- Besides from caffeine green tea also contains two other stimulants namely theobromine and theophylline. These two are known to affect heart rate and can also affect the central nervous system.
- The method of preparation will significantly affect the amount of caffeine in your tea.
- Scientists believe that the high content of caffeine in the green tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) acts as a natural defense to deter insects and herbivorous. This is attributed to its bitter taste.