The debate about the amount of caffeine in tea compared to coffee has been ongoing and does not seem likely to stop any time soon. There are many conflicting reports about dry weight versus brewed, water temp, steeping time, etc. What we know for certain is that there is caffeine in tea and reports all agree the most caffeine is found in black tea.
Should you be drinking tea with caffeine? Scientific studies to date have also been contradictory with no conclusive evidence that caffeine causes or exacerbates illness or medical conditions.
I am going to share my theory on the subject. This is my personal view and what we share with our visitors at Local Tea Company, where we showcase teas WITH caffeine.
Caffeine is naturally found in the leaves of camellia sinensis giving the plant a built in defense system deterring insects from eating the leaves due to the bitter taste of caffeine.
However, not all caffeines are equal! I am a great advocate of caffeine in tea because the leaf also contains another very special component called L- Theanine, an amino acid which works in conjunction with caffeine to provide your body with a powerhouse of benefits.
Caffeine alone will enter your bloodstream very quickly and stimulate the beta brain waves (fight or flight!). In tea the L-Theanine follows right behind to stimulate the alpha brain waves (relaxation!) effectively canceling out any negative behavior of caffeine alone. In conjunction, the process unfolds slowly giving you a relaxed alertness that will last for several hours. Think of the monks alert, but calm and imagine what might happen if they drank coffee all day.
L-Theanine also creates lots of energy (which in turn helps burn calories!). Tea should be used as part of a healthy lifestyle to achieve best results but I can certainly say it has worked for me. Drink a cuppa for some energy.
Here is how my tea day unfolds…..
I like to drink tea with caffeine throughout the day, usually starting with black during the early morning, something bold like Yorkshire Harrogate and switching to the gentler greens like Goji Green. I have found that black tea is not good for me late in the day unless I want to stay awake all night! Of course we have some amazing caffeine free teas (Yes, caffeine free not de-caffeinated and probably my next post!) for afternoon/evening time for those that cannot tolerate caffeine at all.
We are all different and metabolize caffeine at different rates, so work on what is right for your body and lifestyle. No need to despair when an alternative is required. So let’s drink to ‘true tea’ as often as our bodies will allow and enjoy the benefits of this amazing beverage.
Tags: Caffeine, camellia sinensis, Chunmee Taipan Superior, downtown sarasota farmers market, Flowering Pomegranate, Green Tea, Harrogate Yorkshire, L-Theanine, local coffee + tea, loose leaf tea, sarasota, Selby Gardens, Siesta Key, Siesta Key Village, sip locally, tea kettle, Tea Lady, tealady