Does White Tea have Caffeine? | The Complete 2022 Guide

Introduction

Nowadays tea is as popular as coffee, whether you are trying to kick the caffeine addiction or just trying new healthy alternatives. While black tea and green tea have been well known in the tea world, white tea is slowly making a comeback. It’s an incredibly healthy tea, as it is one of the teas with the best natural ability to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body. But even though it has a rich history and tastes amazing, the inevitable question becomes, does white tea have caffeine? But in order to answer this question, we’re going to delve into the background of white tea and how to best enjoy it.

What is White Tea?

White tea bud

While black tea and green tea and chamomile tea have been well known throughout the world, white tea has yet to make it onto the main stage. White tea comes from the new leaves and buds of the camellia sinensis, or tea plant as almost all tea does. The difference is that white tea tends to be gathered young and has relatively little processing involved before and after drying the tea leaves. The result is a lovely light, delicate, and floral tea. 


White tea has a rich history, stemming from the Shang dynasty of China.The name comes from the white looking fuzz on the newly budded tea leaves. White tea is mostly grown in Fujian, China and is handpicked at the beginning of the season. Because of this, it is usually more expensive than its counterparts. Because it’s mostly brewed with young tea leaves it creates a beautiful light yellow colored tea that is more delicate in taste. While white tea isn’t as well known as say green tea, it has entered the arena. For example, even Starbucks once had a white tea option on its menu (discontinued in 2020). Does Starbucks white tea have caffeine? You’ll find out below. 

Does White Tea Have Caffeine?

The answer to the question: does white tea have caffeine is that it all depends on which white tea has been chosen and how you brew it. If you were to ask is white tea caffeine free, the answer is typically no, but the older the tea leaves in white tea that you chose to brew, the less caffeine it will contain. The caffeine content in a cup of white tea can vary between as low as 6 mg to 30 mg for a standard 8 ounce cup. It is on the lower end of the spectrum. The caffeine in white tea vs green tea for example is much less, as green tea can contain from 30 mg to 50 mg of caffeine. 


Brewing Method

White tea should be brewed with water that is below boiling. The longer you allow the tea to steep, the more flavorful the tea becomes. If you are looking for a less caffeinated option, you can always bloom the tea leaves and not drink the first steep, which can wash out a lot of the caffeine. There are other tips and tricks to help brew the perfect cup of tea.


Types of White Tea

There are many different types of white tea and each tea has its own caffeine content. The younger the tea leaf when picked, the more caffeine it will contain. White teas such as Silver Needle White Tea that are mostly made of tea buds will have the highest caffeine content. White Peony White Tea on the other hand is made of later stage tea leaves, which contain less caffeine. Naturally, if you choose to brew whole leaves, this will contain much less caffeine than the crushed tea bags full of broken tea. So the question of does white tea contains caffeine really depends on which white tea you choose.

Temperature 

The temperature used to brew white tea should be below 195 degrees Fahrenheit. The best one to use is around 170 degrees, to prevent burning of the delicate tea leaves. 


So, if you ask does white tea have caffeine, it all depends on how you prepare your tea. If you’re looking for fully decaffeinated teas, you’re better off with herbal teas that don’t contain tea leaves from the tea plant. For example, does chamomile tea have caffeine? No it does not, because it is made of the flower bud, not a tea leaf bud. 


White Tea Caffeine vs. Coffee Caffeine Content

The white tea caffeine vs coffee caffeine content is commonly asked when someone is trying to cut down on their caffeine intake. The good news is that white tea contains much less caffeine than coffee. Coffee contains from 65 mg to 175 mg of caffeine while white tea only contains 6 mg to 30 mg. Note that the daily recommended caffeine intake for an adult is only 400 mg. White tea is a much healthier option, especially if you want to sip on something all day. 


White Tea vs. Green Tea vs. Oolong Tea

White tea and coffee

If you’re looking for a coffee replacement, it’s important to know which tea has the most caffeine. It is fairly common to hear the question, does green tea have caffeine, which it does by the way. Green tea doesn’t have the highest concentrations of caffeine.What about oolong tea, does oolong have caffeine? The answer is, surprisingly, yes. Oolong tea can have the highest concentration of tea out of green, black, and white, due to the fermentation process. I’ve listed out the ranges of caffeine content of popular teas below. 

Type of Tea Caffeine Content
White Tea 6 mg - 30 mg
Oolong Tea 50 mg - 75 mg
Green Tea 30 mg - 50 mg
Black Tea 50 mg - 90 mg
  

Conclusion

As white tea becomes ever so popular, the question everyone wants to know is does white tea have caffeine? The short answer is yes, it usually has much less caffeine than both coffee, green tea, oolong tea, and black tea. It contains around 6 mg to 30 mg, depending on if you brew it correctly. White tea is a very healthy tea that has natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties that make it a wonderful alternative to coffee. Regardless of how you decide to brew your white tea, it would look beautifully elegant displayed in a tea set, alongside decorative items such as these golden dragon luxury chopsticks


FAQs

  1. Does white tea have more caffeine than coffee?

    No, white tea has less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. 

  2. Does white tea keep you awake?

    White tea has a small amount of caffeine (5-30mg) so if you are sensitive to caffeine, then it can, but usually it’s not enough to keep you up.

  3. Does white tea have as much caffeine as black tea?

    White tea does not have as much caffeine as black tea. It can have around less than ⅓ of black tea’s caffeine content.

  4. Does white tea make you sleepy?

    No, it should not. White tea contains a small amount of caffeine, around 6-30mg, so it should not make you sleepy. 

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