How much caffeine is there in tea?

Caffeine from natural sources has been consumed and enjoyed by humans throughout the world for centuries. The widespread natural occurrence of caffeine in a variety of plants undoubtedly played a major role in the long-standing popularity of caffeine incorporated products, especially the beverages.

The human body requires a certain amount of caffeine and research indicates that up to 8 cups of tea daily will not have any detrimental effect on the body. The species or the variety of the tea plant determines content of caffeine in tea, as it is a genetic feature. Camellia sinensis has caffeine levels of approximately 2.5 % to 4%. However the distribution of caffeine in the plant depends on the part of the plant it is derived from and the conditions that the plant is grown in.

The quantity of caffeine in tea, on dry solids basis, is more than the quantity of caffeine in an equal weight of dried coffee beans. However, as a result of getting more cups of tea from a unit quantity of black tea than from an equal quantity of ground coffee beans, the quantity of caffeine per cup of tea is less than the caffeine in an equal cup of coffee.

Excessive caffeine is said to have adverse effects on the human system and brewed tea has only half the caffeine levels in brewed coffee. However, it is important to note that research proves that the presence of caffeine in tea does not produce unhealthy results due to its combination with tea polyphenols.

What are the effects of caffeine?

Since it is a stimulant, caffeine increases alertness and quickness of response, and often briefly improves mood. It is a mild diuretic. In large doses, it can produce jitters, anxiety, and insomnia. As with any stimulant, the period of enhanced alertness and heightened mood is generally followed by a period of depressed mood and ability.

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant drug found in tea as well as in many other natural substances. Coffee is better known as a dietary source of caffeine (and the source of the name ‘caffeine’), but tea contains a significant amount of the drug.

How do I make iced tea?

Iced tea is a staple of American Southern life; it is very popular throughout much of the United States , enough so that it is now being marketed in cans and bottles.

Good iced tea uses a decent brand of black tea which is then cooled (either in a refrigerator or by being poured over ice). Some people add sugar others don’t. Some people also like to add lemon.

Iced tea is very easy to make. Infuse a strong concentrate of tea (i.e. much less water than you would use for that amount of leaves) and add it to cold water to the right proportions. The better the quality of the tea, the better the iced tea will taste. It’s probably a good idea to use a strong-tasting tea that can stand up to the cold. Assam , for example, makes terrific iced tea.

Should I put milk in my tea?

If you like!

The classic additions to black tea are honey, milk, sugar and lemon.

You should NOT add anything to green or oolong tea; they are meant to be consumed as is.

How do I use a tea ball or infuser?

 Put one teaspoon of tea in the infuser (make sure you do not overfill the infuser as the water needs to be able to circulate around the leaves and the leaves will swell to double their size)

Put infuser in a cup and add freshly boiled hot water. You will see colour in the cup almost straight away but you should continue to infuse for 3 – 5 minutes to get a full flavour

How much tea should I use?

For black, green and oolong tea use one teaspoon of tea per cup. No need to add “one for the pot”

For white and herbal teas start with one teaspoon and increase to two teaspoons according to taste.

How do I make tea in a teapot?

How is tea produced?

The first step in tea production is the harvest. Most harvesting is still done by hand, which is very labor-intensive but a better result is achieved as the picker can choose the high-quality tip leaves and leave the coarser leaves toward the bottom of the branch.

The harvested leaves can be processed in two ways: CTC or orthodox.

CTC, which stands for “crush, tear, curl,” is used primarily for lower-quality leaves. CTC processing is done by machine; its name is actually fairly descriptive. The machines rapidly compress withered tea leaves, forcing out most of their sap; they then tear the leaves and curl them tightly into balls that look something like instant coffee crystals. The leaves are then “fired,” or dehydrated.

Most tea connoisseurs are not very interested in CTC tea, since this process does not allow for the careful treatment that high-quality leaves merit. But CTC has an important and legitimate role in the tea industry: since it is a mechanized process, it allows for the rapid processing of a high volume of leaves which otherwise would go to waste. It is also good for producing a strong, robust flavour from leaves of lesser quality; in fact, for many varieties of leaf CTC is the preferred processing method.

The orthodox method is a bit more complex, and is usually done mostly by hand. The process differs for black, green, and oolong teas. The basic steps in the production of black tea are withering, rolling, oxidation, and firing.

First, the leaves are spread out in the open (preferably in the shade) until they wither and become limp. This is so that they can be rolled without breaking.

Rolling is the next step. This is rarely done by hand any more; it is more often done by machine. Rolling helps mix together a variety of chemicals found naturally within the leaves, enhancing oxidation. After rolling, the clumped leaves are broken up and set to oxidize.

Oxidation, which starts during rolling, is allowed to proceed for an amount of time that depends on the variety of leaf. Longer oxidation usually produces a less flavorful but more pungent tea. Many texts refer to the oxidation process by the misleading term “fermentation.” However traditional and evocative the term may be, I think it is best avoided. Oxidation of tea leaves is a purely chemical process and has nothing to do with the yeast-based fermentation that produces bread or beer.

Finally, the leaves are heated, or “fired,” to end the oxidation process and dehydrate them so that they can be stored.

Oolong is produced just like black tea, except that the leaves are oxidized for less time.

Green tea is not oxidized at all. Some varieties are not even withered, but are simply harvested, sometimes steamed, fired and shipped out.

Tea seems to quench thirst, why is that?

A perhaps unexpected benefit of tea drinking is the resulting increase in water consumption, which protects against dehydration. Since caffeine is a mild diuretic, the benefit is not quite as great as drinking plain water; but it is real nonetheless. Two cups of tea are approximately equivalent to one cup of plain water in their hydrating effect.