Green tea has been described as an elixir of life and a panacea. The popular beverage is been said to help protect from cancer, aid in weight loss, delay Alzheimer’s, cut cholesterol, prevent tooth decay and lower blood pressure. But one question that is not often addressed is: Does green tea have caffeine in it?
The short answer is yes, green tea has trace amounts of caffeine. In a average small cup of loose leaf green tea, there can be 25 milligrams to 50 milligrams of caffeine. Factors such as the growing conditions, how it was processed and the brewing method are all variables that can cause caffeine levels to fluctuate. Compared to an average of over 110 milligrams in coffee and between 40 and 60 milligrams for a cup of black tea, green tea is often a wise choice, especially in the evening hours before bedtime.
Strangely, it is argued that the less time you brew tea, the more caffeine will be in it.
Caffeine is water soluble so when you steep green tea leaves, the caffeine seeps out very quickly. If you continue infusing for more than a minute, compounds called thearubigins seep out of the plant as well and some will actually bind to the caffeine. That's right - Thearubigins
Straight from wikipedia - - > "Thearubigins are polymeric polyphenols that are formed during the enzymatic oxidation and condensation of two gallocatechins (epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate) with the participation of polyphenol oxidases during the fermentation reactions in black tea."
Meaning the caffeine can’t bind to your brain receptors and energize your central nervous system. The longer your tea infuses, the less caffeine that will be available to your body, so a shorter brewing time can be more invigorating.
It is also thought that brewing in near-boiling water will lead to a higher caffeine content than brewing with cooler water. However, this makes most green tea very bitter so it is not recommended.
In the end, its all about the flavor. Unless you are highly susceptible to effects of caffeine, brew a cup and enjoy the many beneficial properties of a quality loose leaf green tea.
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