Most varieties of green tea that have not been treated by a decaffeinating process naturally contain varying amounts of caffeine. There is no single standard for the amount of caffeine in green tea, as the many different preparations, types of tea, and methods of brewing all produce different measures. While many commercial green tea preparations hover around 30 milligrams of caffeine per serving, depending on a variety of possible treatments and processes, the amounts of caffeine in green tea generally waver between 15 and 75 milligrams per cup.
Many people find it helpful to compare the amount of caffeine in green tea to the amount of caffeine in coffee. Most green tea brews will have a little bit less caffeine than standard brewed coffee, however green tea has far less caffeine than espresso coffee. Black tea also tends to contain more caffeine than most preparations of green tea.
The tea leaves themselves are a good place to start decoding the amount of caffeine in green tea. Young, tender, sweet buds and leaves will generally produce a tea that contains higher level of caffeine. Generally, these parts of the tea plants produce richer, sweeter, higher quality green tea, but the natural price of this robust flavor is higher amounts of caffeine.
There are a few options for purchasing or brewing green tea that is lower in caffeine if high levels are a concern. First of all, many commercial brands of tea bags are available in decaffeinated preparations. These teas contain very little or no caffeine, but purists tend to criticize a decrease in nutritional value and flavor integrity due to the additional processing.
In order to maintain the integrity of flavor and also decrease the caffeine in green tea, it may be wise to avoid commercially prepared and packaged tea bags. Tea bags contain a single-serving dose of tea, and therefore usually produce a brewed cup with higher amounts of caffeine. Unlike tea bags, loose tea leaves are potent enough to be reused, and each reuse results in lower levels of caffeine in the tea. Individuals seeking a highly caffeinated cup of green tea should enjoy cups brewed from new tea leaves, as the tea brewed from unused leaves will produce the highest levels of caffeine. Accordingly, green tea enthusiasts who do not wish to consume as much caffeine can simply brew the leaves, discard the first cup of tea, and proceed to brew another cup with the same leaves to produce a beverage with less caffeine.