7 Ways To Reduce Caffeine In Your Tea

Less caffeine might make the difference! Less caffeine could be your key or one of your keys allowing you more renewing sleep. Plus, many people experience increased anxiety from ingesting caffeine. So, for some of us, keeping our caffeine consumption to a minimum is important. I’m aware many people do best to avoid caffeine all together. This article is for people who want to enjoy a small to moderate amount of caffeine and also experience the flavor of traditional teas.

Let’s Go; Here Are The 7 Ways

1. Choose a tea with naturally less caffeine! Even the season of harvest effects the amount of caffeine in the tea. More on that is detailed in the next paragraph taken from the Choice Organic Tea website. 

“Many factors influence how much caffeine is present in plucked tea leaves. These include the growing region, plant varietal, plant age, leaf age, length of the growing season, field conditions, soil nutrients, rainfall, and stress by pests. Final caffeine content may be further affected during production of the leaves into the finished “style” (white, green, etc.).”

5 Teas Containing Relatively Less Caffeine

Keemun: Black tea

Kukicha or also called Bancha: Green

Hojicha: Green

Genmaicha: Green (with toasted rice)

Gunpowder: Green

I’ll just make a little mention: Purchasing decaf tea is an option. The decaf traditional teas often still contain a little caffeine. I’ve found one problem with them. All the ones I have tried were lacking in flavor!

The flavor of tea varies greatly from one type to the next.

Choose a tea likely to have less caffeine by using the above list.


2. Brew for a shorter time than you might be accustomed to. Brew tea for a minute rather than three minutes or more. This can account for a reduction in caffeine of between 30% and 50%, again depending on many factors. I based these percentages on an article I read in an Oxford Journal.   

Also you can use the same leaves for at least 2 more short steeps. Then you’ll have 3 cups of tea from a teaspoon of leaves. If you are buying expensive tea, you’ll probably be happy to get 66% (ish) more cups for your money!

Keep your steep time short for less caffeine.

Try a 1 minute steep time.


3. Green tea is generally brewed with water heated to 140  or 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Black tea is most often brewed with water either at or near boiling. Brewing tea with hot water in the lower temperature ranges will result in less caffeine being released during the steeping time.

Remove your tea water from the heat before it boils, if possible.

Let water cool a bit, if it has come to a boil.


4. Brew tea directly from whole or cut tea leaves.You can purchase loose leaf tea most easily from tea purveyors, in the bulk section of many health food stores or possible in regular grocery stores. I’ve given a few suggestions for brands of Tea in the resources section below.

Tea that comes already portioned in tea bags is usually finely chopped or ground thereby having more surface area to quickly release caffeine into the hot water.

5. Use fewer tea leaves. Generally 1 or 2 teaspoons per cup are recommended. Try 1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon and see if your cup tea has enough flavor at that strength.

Blend your tea with an herbal “tea” ingredient, thereby using only a fraction of the usual amount of green tea leaves per cup or pot. Green teas blend well with lemongrass, peppermint or spearmint, calendula, rose petals or even pieces of dried fruit. Tisanes, or herbal tea, is naturally free from caffeine. Yerba Mate is the one exception, as it does contain caffeine.

   Another blending example is mixing half lemonade with half iced black tea. This is often called an Arnold Palmer, at least here in the U.S.

Dried Calendula Flowers

Dried Calendula flowers blend well with green teas.


7. Drink your cup of green tea while it is still hot. I understand catechins and theanine are bonded with the caffeine in green tea while it is still hot from steeping. Their bonds release from the caffeine as the tea cools. I don’t know if this makes as significant of a difference as the techniques listed above. It’s is a fun bit of trivia, at least!

In summary, make your tea a little weaker by using less tea or more water, let it steep for less time, and choose your tea strategically to achieve a flavorful yet lower caffeine content in your cup of tea.

This has been great fun to put together. I hope you find it helpful.


Tea Trekker in Northampton, MA     https://www.teatrekker.com/teas/all/all/oolong-tea

Choice Tea in Seattle, WA  Sells packages of tea in bags. A very reputable company.  http://www.choiceorganicteas.com/caffeineintea.php

A quality tea in stores and online :  http://www.rishi-tea.com/category/tea

If you want to get technical or rather become an “artist-chef” (I made that up!) look to this piece for good guidelines and resources: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/05/tea-myths-caffeine-health-benefits-green-organic-tea.html

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