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The Myths and Legends of Tea and Caffeine

One of the benefits of tea drinking, at least for many of us, is that tea contains caffeine. When consumed in moderation, caffeine is considered to be a safe way to get a quick boost. Of course, for those who are sensitive to this substance, caffeine’s presence in tea might not be so welcome.

What many experts have failed to come to a consensus on thus far is exactly how much caffeine is in tea. There are those who don’t hesitate to offer up authoritative facts and figures on the caffeine content of tea, but on the other hand are those who suggest that the accepted numbers might not be accurate.

Loose Leaf Green Tea
Loose Leaf Green Tea

According to numerous and varied sources, loose leaf teas contain less caffeine because they’re subject to the least amount of processing. Green tea is supposedly next on the list, followed by some of the more lightly processed oolong varieties. At the other extreme of the caffeine scale are the more heavily processed oolong teas, black tea and puerh.

For more detailed information about the caffeine content of tea, refer to this FAQ from a Sri Lankan tea merchant. It suggests that the caffeine content of tea has more to do with the type of plant used to actually make it than with processing methods. In Caffeine and Tea: Myth and Reality, another tea expert takes a close look at some alleged myths about caffeine content and suggests that much of the accepted wisdom about tea and caffeine is untrue.

For information about the caffeine content of various types of food, medicine and beverages, including tea, look to these resources from MayoClinic.com, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and Erowid’s Caffeine Vault. Though the focus is more on coffee, this article from the New York Times looks at some supposed myths about caffeine consumption and its effects on the human body.

One response to “The Myths and Legends of Tea and Caffeine”

  1. […] and legends of tea at this fine site on a number of occasions, including articles located here and here. There are no shortage of said myths, and I’m sure we all have our favorites. One of mine is […]

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