Low Caffeine Content
Of Green Tea


The caffeine content of green tea is very low compared to other sources of caffeine

People are concerned about the health effects of caffeine.

Caffeine has been in the health news for several decades, especially after a few deaths occurred from extreme overdoses of over-the-counter caffeine tablets.

Some cases of caffeine toxicity have also been reported with large amounts of very strong coffee over the years.

Caffeine overdose or safety?

Recently, reports of caffeine toxicity have increased from overdosing with modern caffeinated energy drinks and caffeinated diet supplements.



With that kind of publicity, it could be easy to forget that caffeine from natural plants like chocolate, mate, some herbs, large amounts of daily tea (Camellia sinensis), and moderate amounts of coffee have proven safe over thousands of years of human use.

Health benefits of green tea

There is also evidence that caffeine functions in a positive synergistic way to enhance many of the health benefits of green tea, oolong tea, and black tea.

These foods that contain natural caffeine are considered Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. FDA.

So, how much caffeine is in green tea?

Tests for the caffeine content of green tea show variations from 7 milligrams to 75 milligrams per 8 ounce servings.

Most authorities say the average is 15-40 milligrams of caffeine in green tea per cup.

References: USDA 2006, American Beverage Association 2005, Bowes and Church Food Values 2005, Mayo Clinic 2007, Bunker and McWilliams 1979.

Teas vs coffee

Green tea at 15-40 milligrams per cup is low compared to:

  • the average cup of black tea at 40-80 milligrams

  • instant coffee at 50-100 milligrams per cup

  • drip coffee at 100-200 milligrams per cup

  • espresso at 100 milligrams for only two ounces (that’s 400 mgs. for the same 8 ounces)

  • soft drinks currently vary from 0 to 80 mgs. per 8 ounces

  • new energy/sports drinks average 80 mgs. per 8 ounces

  • over-the-counter caffeinated pain relief tablets vary from 30 mgs. to 100 mgs.

  • or caffeine tablets that vary from 100 mgs. to 200 mgs.

Looking for a green tea vs coffee comparison?

If you’re only comparing caffeine levels, you can roughly estimate an exchange of

  • 4 to 10 cups of green teas for 1 cup of coffee

  • 2 to 5 cups of green teas for 1 cup of black tea

  • 1 to 5 cups of green teas for 1 caffeinated soft drink

  • 3 to 5 cups of green teas for 1 energy/sports drink

  • 2 to 10 cups of green teas for 1 over-the-counter caffeinated product or caffeine tablet.

Three things to know about the caffeine content of green tea

Why is there so much variation in the teas that you drink?

There are three things you need to know about the caffeine content of green tea for each cup that you drink:

More about caffeine in tea

Part 2–How does manufacturing affect the caffeine content of green tea?

Part 3-What is the green tea caffeine content during brewing?

Part 4--Summary of ways to increase or decrease caffeine.

Part 5--Tips on decaffeinated green tea.

Part 6–What are the health effects of caffeine?

Part 7–Are you getting too much caffeine?

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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