Last Updated on June 2, 2023 by Amanda P. Brown
White tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant’s newest leaves and buds. And this tea stands out among tea lovers worldwide for its mild, delicate taste and light color. Although its calming effect exists, many questions arise regarding the caffeine content present in tea.
Accordingly, this caffeine is a natural stimulant in various beverages such as tea, energy drinks, coffee, etc. Therefore, the level of caffeine varies in different types of tea. However, white tea’s minimal processing and mild oxidation distinguish it from other teas, such as black, green, and oolong teas.
Moreover, in this article, to discuss the topic of how much caffeine is in white tea, you need to know some essential things like how much caffeine is in a serving of white tea, Factors affecting the level of caffeine, How to reduce caffeine, Comparison of white tea with other tea varieties. Therefore let’s look at what’s below:
White Tea Types
Table of Contents
Especially in the Fujian province, white tea is primarily produced in China for its exquisite taste and health benefits. Here are the types of white tea along with its caffeine content:
1. Yin Zhen Bai Hao (Silver Needle)
Yin Zhen Bai Hao (Silver Needle) tea originating from Fuding City, Fujian Province, China, is considered the most valuable and expensive variety.
This Yin Zhen Bai Hao consists entirely of unopened buds covered in thin white hairs that appear like silver needles. Additionally, it comes with a fresh, sweet flavor with a hint of soymilk, an aromatic texture, and a lasting sweetness in the aftertaste. Moreover, it contains approximately 10% less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
2. Bai Mu Dan (White Peony)
Typically, White Peony tea, often referred to as Bai Mu Dan, is regarded as the second-highest quality white tea. Additionally, historically speaking, it originated in the Chinese province of Fujian’s Zhenghe City.
This tea comes in a combination of young tea leaves and silver open-leaf buds, which are able to be softly burned or shade dried. Accordingly, compared to the silver needle, it offers a slightly stronger odor and still gives off a sweet and mild flavor. Bai Mu Dan tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine, around 5%, compared to Silver Needle tea.
3. Gong Mei (Tribute Eyebrow)
The term “Gong Mei,” which translates to “Tribute Eyebrow,” alludes to the leaves’ eyebrow-like appearance. This tea is produced in China. It is made from delicate white buds and tea leaves that have a sweet, deep color and mild aroma. In terms of caffeine content, each 8oz cup contains 8 to 15mg.
4. Shou Mei (Noble, Long Life Eyebrow)
Shou Mei originates from a Nine Peaks Mountain organic tea garden in Funding City, Fujian Province, which was recognized by IMO, Switzerland. This Shou Mei, also known as Long Noble Life Eyebrow, has thin, crescent-shaped leaves that resemble the eyebrows of older adults. And it consists of large leaves and low buds with a floral, slightly sweet, refreshing, pleasant finish with flavor and character.
Moreover, similar to other white teas, sho mei tea contains small amounts of caffeine, making it a popular alternative for those boosting metabolism.
5. Fujian New Craft (DaBaiCha or DaHoaCha)
DaBaiCha or DaHoaCha, known as Fujian New Craft, comes from Fujian Province in China. This tea is well known for having a unique flavor and scent.
Even DaBaiCha offers a mild and smooth flavor with floral undertones and a touch of sweetness. However, it contains an adequate amount of caffeine, which helps with a mild energy boost. Also, from the Fujian province, this excellent tea has significantly contributed to the display of craftsmanship and culture.
Types of Tea Caffeine Content Chart
Apart from white tea, there are different types of tea which are given below with their caffeine content:
|Beverage||Amount of caffeine (Per cup of 8 ounces)|
|White tea||15 to 30 mg|
|Green tea||10 to 60 mg|
|Wulong (Oolong) tea||10 to 60 mg|
|Black tea||40 to 70 mg|
|Matcha tea||35 to 70 mg|
|Puer (Pu-erh) tea||30 to 70 mg|
Apart from white tea, there are different types of tea which are given below with their caffeine content:
The Numerous Types of White Tea Caffeine Content
Therefore, if we were to typically order various types of white tea from the lowest to the highest caffeine level according to these characteristics, it would appear as follows:
- Aged Longevity Eyebrow or other mature white teas (lowest caffeine content)
- White teas with one bloom and two leaves, such as aged White Peony.
- Aged Silver Needle
- Young Longevity Eyebrow (i.e., Shou Mei) or other white teas with mature leaves.
- White teas with a bud and two leaves, such as young White Peony.
- Young Silver Needle, which contains the most caffeine.
Furthermore, it should be highlighted that this is only an estimate because we are unclear whether its impact on young buds and leaves outweighs the effect of aging.
How Much Caffeine is Typically Found in a Serving of White Tea?
An 8-ounce cup of white tea has approximately 15 to 30 milligrams of caffeine. But, the amount of this caffeine content can vary based on the type of tea, the quality of the leaves, when it is harvested, and how it was made.
For example, a premium-grade silver needle white tea provides less caffeine than a lower-grade white tea. This occurs mainly if low-grade white tea extracts high levels of caffeine while it is kept for extended periods or at higher temperatures.
Otherwise, some of the factors that contribute to the variation in caffeine levels in white tea are the use of fresh buds instead of old leaves, picking the tea leaves before they are mature, using other types of tea instead of white tea, such as black and green tea to increase caffeine levels. However, it is imperative that you research or check the label for a specific brand of white tea to determine caffeine content.
Does White Tea Have Caffeine?
Yes, white tea has caffeine. Typically, all true teas are derived from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), that’s why all teas contain caffeine. Therefore, depending on the specific type of tea, its caffeine content appears to be more or less (such as white tea has 15 to 30 mg per eight-ounce serving, which is lower than other teas, while black tea has 40 to 60 mg, and green tea has 10 to 60 mg. contains caffeine).
Also, loose-leaf white teas contain less caffeine than white teas in teabags because teabags are often filled with fine dust and fannings from the tea plant, which contains high levels of caffeine. Even you are allowed to sip on some South African red bush plant-derived caffeine-free beverages like some herbal teas or rooibos tisanes. However, if you want to enjoy the taste of tea with a little caffeine, white tea will be a great option.
Here, white tea is compared with different types of tea in terms of its production, taste, health benefits, and caffeine content:
White tea vs. Coffee Flavor
Coffee comes with strong, rich flavors with varying degrees of bitterness, while white tea has a delicate, mellow flavor with faint floral and fruity undertones.
Typically, coffeeoriginates from roasted coffee beans, while white tea is produced from young tea buds and leaves that undergo a minor process of oxidation and drying.
White tea is rich in antioxidants that help to protect our health from cellular damage and improve our entire health. Less coffee consumption, however, has a variety of health advantages, including raising alertness and boosting cognitive function.
In Comparison with white tea, coffee has more caffeine. White tea typically has 15 to 30 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup, but coffee typically has 95 to 165 milligrams per cup.
White Tea vs. Green Tea
As opposed to the vegetal, grassy flavor of green tea, white tea includes a more delicate and mild flavor.
White and green tea come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) but have different processing methods. White tea is the least processed here, whereas green tea is pan-roasted or steamed to prevent oxidation.
Both white tea and green tea are packed with antioxidants; due to their less processing, white tea has a slightly higher concentration than green tea. Both teas have been linked to a variety of health benefits, such as possibly cancer-fighting effects and maintaining good heart health.
White tea typically provides a little less caffeine than green tea. Although the amount of caffeine in each beverage varies, white tea contains about 15-30 milligrams of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup, while green tea has 20-45 milligrams of caffeine in the same cup.
White Tea vs. Black Tea
Black tea contains a robust, bold flavor with greater tannins and often malty or smoky notes, while white tea possesses a delicate and subtle flavor.
White teas are minimally processed with little to no oxidation, whereas black teas are fully oxidized before drying. And this oxidation process contributes to black tea’s strong flavor and distinctive dark color.
Antioxidants are abundant in both black tea and white tea. Therefore, due to its less processing, white tea have a little higher content. Moreover, both teas may offer antioxidant properties and potential health benefits.
White tea has approximately 15 to 30 milligrams of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup, compared to about 40 to 70 milligrams in an 8-ounce cup of black tea. In perspective, black tea tends to contain more caffeine than white tea.
White Tea vs. Wulong (Oolong) Tea
Whereas oolong tea, referred to as oolong tea, varies in flavor based on the degree of oxidation, from mild and floral to complex and fruity, white tea offers a delicate, floral flavor.
White tea comes through a small amount of processing and oxidation, while oolong tea’s oxidation level stands between green tea and black tea. And the slight oxidation of this black tea imparts a distinctive profile flavor.
Both oolong tea and white tea provide some possible health benefits, such as maintaining weight loss and antioxidant properties. However, certain health benefits vary based on the amount of oxidation and processing of the tea.
Wulong tea often has more caffeine than white tea. Here, oolong tea contains about 30-50 mg of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup compared to white tea with 15-30 mg of caffeine.
Read More: How to Make Oolong Tea Taste Better?
White Tea vs. Matcha Tea
Matcha tea offers a vegetable and little bitter taste with a rich, umami flavor. White tea, on the other hand, has a delicate flavor with fruity and floral undertones that is mild and gentle.
To make matcha tea, shade-grown tea leaves are ground into a fine powder after being harvested. White tea, on the other hand, is developed from young tea buds and leaves that undergo minimal processing, such as slight drying and oxidation.
Both white tea and matcha tea are packed with a rich source of antioxidants, but matcha tea appears to have higher levels of certain antioxidants when consuming whole tea leaves. In addition, matcha tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that contributes to focus and promotes relaxation.
Matcha tea frequently contains more caffeine than white tea. On average, matcha powder contains about 35-70 milligrams of caffeine in one teaspoon (about 2 grams), while white tea has about 15 to 30 milligrams of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup. However, the amount of caffeine contained in matcha tea varies based on its serving size and quality.
Read More: How to Make Matcha Tea Taste Good?
White Tea vs. Puer (Pu-erh) Tea
Whereas white tea provides subtle and delicate flavors, puer tea extends a variety of flavors based on its variety. Typically, new puerh offers a slightly sweet, mild, and earthy flavor, while aged puerh tea has an earthy, sometimes fermented, and deeper flavor.
White tea falls between undergoing little processing with little oxidation. Puer tea, on the other hand, is post-fermented, i.e., after processing, it has gone through a microbial fermentation process that can belong to either raw (sheng) or matured (shou) puer.
Both white tea and puer tea contain some health benefits. Hence, white tea is rich in antioxidants, which are capable of providing various health protective properties. Pu-erh tea, on the other hand, contains statins that have potential benefits in improving heart health by lowering cholesterol, digestion, and microbial fermentation to support gut health.
White tea often contains less caffeine than puer tea. But the caffeine content can be lower or higher based on the brewing method and type of ingredients. In an 8-ounce cup, puer tea contains approximately 30-70 mg of caffeine, while white tea contains approximately 15-30 mg of caffeine.
Read More: How to Make Pu-erh Tea at Home?
15 Factors Affecting the Level of Caffeine in White Tea
There are several factors affecting the level of caffeine in white tea, which are divided into two categories; One is that you cannot control such as cultivation, production method, the harvest season, the part of the plant plucked, leaf position, and another is that you can control such as type of white tea, steeping temperature, steeping time. These are given below:
Tea leaves collected from cultivated plants contain higher levels of caffeine than those from the wild. Therefore, late-harvest tea leaves, similar to White Peony, are more mature and contain less caffeine.
2. Production Method
Contrary to popular belief, caffeine levels are not considerably affected by oxidation. Even though the oxidation levels in black, white, oolong, and green teas differ, all four contain caffeine. Also, how much water is added, the temperature, longer steeping times, how it is brewed, and how long it takes are all related to the caffeine level in the tea. However, the type of tea has little to do with caffeine levels. Moreover, caffeine is extracted from the tea leaves to stop oxidation during the process used.
3. The Harvest Season
Summer tea contains the highest amount of caffeine as compared to the winter harvest. These leaves are picked from mid-March to early April, and the picking process begins when there is no rain or humidity. For example, if the tea is harvested out of season, i.e., within six months in a dry state, it has a higher caffeine content.
4. The Part of the Plant Plucked
Young leaves have higher caffeine content than mature leaves. Even the age of the leaves, the age of the plant, the length of the growing season, the growing region, the variety of the plant, soil nutrients, rainfall, field conditions, etc., also affect how much caffeine the tea leaves contain.
However, in determining the caffeine content, it is necessary to mention the part of the plant from which it was plucked.
5. Leaf Position
Typically, the position of the leaves relative to the bud affects the caffeine content. In this instance, the first leaf closest to the bud contained 40% more caffeine than the leaf farther away. Additionally, about 10-50% of the caffeine present in the stems is lower than the caffeine concentration in the leaves.
6. Type of White Tea
The amount of caffeine in different kinds of white tea varies. For example, silver needle tea is low in caffeine, while other types of white tea, such as white peony and long-life Eyebrow, are slightly higher in caffeine.
Consequently, this is a great choice if you want to savor the delicate flavor of low-caffeine white tea. Moreover, it’s also important to note that other common teas, like green or black tea, contain more caffeine than white tea, which is also an excellent alternative for you.
7. Steeping Temperature
White tea steeped above 194° increases its caffeine content. This gives it a bitter taste and diminishes the health benefits. Due to the delicate nature of white tea, steeping it at 175-180° is recommended to maintain its best taste and health benefits.
Moreover, to prevent damaging the leaves, it needs to be served at a lower temperature than black or herbal teas.
8. Steeping Time
The suggested steeping time for white tea is 4-5 minutes. After a minute, the caffeine starts releasing from the tea leaves. So, in this case, if it is left for more than 7 to 10 minutes, its caffeine content will continue to increase, making a strong caffeinated beverage that is unhealthy.
However, if you want to enjoy the full flavor of white tea from the bud, you can steep it for 5-7 minutes.
9. Maturity of the Tea Leaves Used
The caffeine concentration significantly impacts the maturity of the tea leaves used to make the tea. Due to its natural insecticidal properties, the new buds or young leaves contain high levels of caffeine. So it appears that silver needle tea made with pure buds has higher caffeine content than teas like white peony made with one bud and two leaves. However, if you are a health-sensitive person, you can choose white peony instead of a silver needle.
10. Age of the Tea
The caffeine content of white tea, including that of pu-erh, reduces with age. Due to a 2014 research study conducted at Fujian Agriculture University, a certain kind of fresh white tea contains 4.28% caffeine, while the same type of white tea contained just 3.6% caffeine after one year, 3.5% after three years, and 2.5% after an incredible twenty years of aging. However, aged white tea appears to have less caffeine content than young white tea. Even without any frustration or sleepiness, it’s great if you want to get the taste and health benefits of white tea.
White tea is often mixed with other ingredients or varieties of tea, such as spices or herbs, that contribute to the change in caffeine content. For example, due to the calming properties of lavender, a blend of lavender and white tea is low in caffeine, whereas a blend of white tea with yerba mate is high in caffeine due to natural caffeine reserves in yerba mate.
Also, white tea blends with lavender and chamomile contain less caffeine than white tea blends with black tea and ginger. However, you should check the caffeine label on the tea before consuming the blended white tea based on your caffeine tolerance and taste.
12. Location and Climate
Factors such as soil texture and climatic conditions greatly influence caffeine levels in the region where it is grown. Therefore, different regions produce tea with different levels of caffeine, which also affects the taste of your tea based on location and climate.
For example, the presence of nitrogen in the soil increases the caffeine level of the tea leaves. On the other hand, tea grown in high-altitude regions with cooler temperatures contains more caffeine than tea grown in warmer regions at lower altitudes. In this case, it is important to have an idea about where tea is grown, its location, and its climatic characteristics.
Typically, how white tea is stored, along with temperature and humidity, is an important factor in maintaining the quality and caffeine content of white tea.
For white tea storage, 60 to 75°F (15 to 24°C) is the ideal temperature, and humidity of around 60% is recommended. Therefore, if it is exposed to excessive heat or humidity, the caffeine content is reduced compared to cool and dry environments.
In addition, white tea absorbs the full flavor from spices or strong-smelling foods and affects the taste of the tea, so it should be avoided when stored close to it.
14. Serving Size
When it comes to white tea consumption, your serving size has an impact on caffeine content. Accordingly, a typical 8-ounce serving of white tea contains about 28-42 milligrams of caffeine. In this case, if one drinks this tea in large servings or many times at a time, then the caffeine intensity increases, which is not suitable for health. So you need to be aware of its recommended serving size and moderate intake when consuming it.
15. Quality of Water
The kind of water used to brew white tea contributes to the effect of caffeine levels. This is because water contains minerals, magnesium, calcium, and other impurities affecting the brewing process. In this case, if the water used to make the tea is of high quality, it will reduce the unpleasant odor or taste absorbed by the leaves.
Moreover, using distilled or filtered water in white tea is a great way to ensure a consistent caffeine level to help enhance the tea’s flavor.
Ways to Determine the Caffeine Content of a Particular White Tea
Particularly, a certain type of white tea has varying amounts of caffeine quantity. In this case, determining the caffeine content of a particular tea requires you to test the packaging for caffeine content information and research or consult with the manufacturer. In addition, certain websites and applications enable users to track the quantity of caffeine in various foods and beverages.
For example, you can use the MyFitnessPal app to track caffeine content by scanning barcodes or manually inputting information from packaging. This will give you an estimate of how much caffeine has been consumed and will help you stay within a desired daily intake.
Reasons Tea Companies List White Tea as Low in Caffeine
That’s because large corporations frequently test their newly brewed cup of tea to determine the caffeine content of their tea. This means that they produce white tea according to their requirements (poor level mature leaf white tea) and also to their particular brewing instructions (lower temperature for white tea).
According to research that compares their caffeine contents, white tea has less caffeine than other teas. Smaller handcrafted tea organizations like ours lack the capabilities to figure out the caffeine content of each batch of tea. In this regard, we are unable to give you a precise estimate of the quantity of caffeine in each batch.
However, if you intend to lower your caffeine intake, we suggest that you drink it using for a shorter brewing of time.
Certainly, you should consult your doctor if you have any health issues. Additionally, it is essential to note that although caffeine is naturally present in both coffee beans and tea leaves, the two sources of caffeine appear to have different effects. Also, remember that tea includes L-theanine, an amino acid that regulates the absorption rate of caffeine in our bodies.
How to Reduce Caffeine in White Tea?
Although white tea contains caffeine, but it has less caffeine content than other teas, such as black tea and green tea. However, if you intend to enjoy the milder and fuller flavor of white tea without the caffeine, then there are a few steps to reduce caffeine levels, which are listed below:
Select a Decaf White Tea
Decaf white tea can be a great substitute with lower caffeine content. In this regard, a popular decaf white tea brand is Harney & Sons Decaffeinated White Vanilla Grapefruit Tea, which has a mild flavor and subtle aroma. Additionally, be aware that this tea may not be entirely caffeine-free. Therefore, those who have special restrictions on caffeine should avoid it. Alternatively, there are herbal teas that are naturally caffeine-free that you can also take.
Pick White Tea From Fujian, China, the Place of Origin of White Tea
White tea is currently grown outside of Fujian, China, in many other nations like India and Indonesia. And with this expansion of white tea, various tea species, such as Camellia sinensis assamica, are now being cultivated. In particular, these teas are processed similarly to white tea. However, many studies have shown that Fujian white tea has a lower caffeine content due to differences in its growing and processing methods. So you should opt for it to get its health benefits.
Tea Should Be Used Loose-leaf or Whole-leaf
If you’re sensitive and want to keep your caffeine intake under control, opt for whole-leaf or loose-leaf tea as opposed to tea bags. For example, a cup of black loose-leaf tea may contain 25-50 mg of caffeine, compared to 100 mg of caffeine in a tea bag.
And the caffeine concentration variation has an essential effect on a person’s health. In this case, you prefer white tea as loose-leaf tea, which has less caffeine than other teas and enhances the taste.
Pick a White Tea From a Late Harvest
Late-harvest white tea leaves, like white peony, are more mature and have less caffeine as an option to low-caffeine tea. And it imparts a great taste with a subtle aroma. Otherwise, white teas that are made from the new buds of the plant contain high levels of caffeine, which is not great for health.
Enjoy a White Tea Blend
White tea is savored with a variety of delectable combinations, such as fruit, rose petals, or spices like cinnamon or ginger, as its popularity keeps rising. Because these tea blends have a low caffeine level with a balanced taste that is excellent for those looking for milder caffeine content or those sensitive to caffeine.
Spend Less Time With More Tea
To obtain a stronger flavor without caffeine, steep more tea in your infuser for a shorter period. For example, if you want to enjoy the stronger flavor of green tea without the caffeine, you’ll need to put two teaspoons of loose-leaf green tea in your infuser instead of one teaspoon and steep it for one minute instead of two to three minutes. This will quickly release the aroma from the tea and result in a strong brew.
Brew It Right
In brewing white tea, the correct temperature should be kept at 175 to 180° with hot water steeping for a maximum of four to five minutes to fully extract the flavor.
And if you steep a cup of silver needle white tea at boiling temperature for more than five minutes, the high levels of caffeine will be extracted, and the bitter taste will appear. So you need to take care of the brewing time and temperature in preparing your white tea.
Is White Tea Lower in Caffeine Than Other Types of Tea?
Typically, white tea has more or less caffeine than other types of tea, depending entirely on its processing method, aggravating circumstances, temperature, and brewing time. Reportedly, white tea contains between 15 and 30 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup serving.
For example, a high-quality white peony tea has less persistent caffeine compared to a heavily oxidized black tea such as Darjeeling. In this case, some white teas appear to contain less caffeine than certain black or green teas.
Therefore, if a silver needle is made with white tea buds and younger leaves, it will have higher caffeine levels than green tea. However, if you are caffeine sensitive or are trying to limit your intake, you should check the caffeine content of a particular white tea before consuming it.
Is White Tea a Good Choice for Those Looking to Reduce Their Caffeine Intake?
Yes, despite its caffeine concentration, white tea is an excellent alternative for those seeking to lower their caffeine intake. White tea typically includes caffeine, but less so than other varieties (such as black and green tea). In fact, many studies have shown that white tea contains a unique blend of compounds that are suitable for adding health benefits, including low caffeine levels, that other types of tea do not have.
Furthermore, white tea contains high levels of antioxidants that help protect the body from free radical damage, reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, improve skin, reduce stress, promote relaxation, etc. Ultimately, this makes white tea a fantastic choice for people looking to cut back on their caffeine intake.
However, it should also be noted that this small amount of caffeine may negatively affect some sensitive people, Which may not be the best option for everyone.
White tea comes with a fresh, delicate aroma with a moderate caffeine content that comes from being minimally processed and oxidized.And the gentle processing of caffeine in this tea provides a mildly stimulating effect without the intense jitters associated with high-caffeinated beverages.
Moreover, the right amount of caffeine in this white tea provides various health benefits, such as providing a subtle boost of energy, promoting focus, increasing mental alertness, protecting against oxidative stress, promoting overall well-being, and playing a role in supporting immune health. Additionally, it makes it one of the best options for those sensitive to caffeine or with limited caffeine intake. Moreover, it appears that white tea can be a preferred beverage medium for a relaxing afternoon to savor and enjoy.
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