Green Tea, Health  |  2.5.2020  |  By C. Yu

A Guide to Caffeine Content in Japanese Green Tea


Japanese green teas are known for its rich flavors and aromatic brews, resulting in a unique experience in each pour. Each type of tea ranges in caffeine content, mostly depending on the processing of the tea leaves. Compared to other green teas, Japanese green teas often have higher caffeine content due to the gentle steaming process.

In contrast, the caffeine in tea is not the same as caffeine in coffee. The effects of coffee is often described as an immediate, single burst of energy, which leaves the drinker feeling jumpy and on edge.  On the other hand, caffeine naturally found in teas are gradually released throughout the day. This allows the body and mind to enjoy long lasting, health alertness.

As a matter of fact, there are Japanese green teas and herbal teas known to have low or no caffeine. Based on the levels of caffeine content, we share our recommendations for different types of Japanese teas to drink.

High Caffeine Green Tea

For those who may need an early morning energy boost, both Gyokuro and Matcha green tea are the best options. Since both teas are grown in the shade, they contain a higher caffeine content. Gyokuro shade-grown green tea is best enjoyed steeped in tempered warm water, while Matcha powdered green tea is best enjoyed whisked.

Due to it’s versatility and abundant health benefits, matcha green tea has become one of the most popular Japanese green teas available. Additionally, matcha green tea can easily be incorporated into mixed drinks. For instance, matcha lattes, matcha smoothies, and matcha sodas. As a result, matcha has become a daily staple in many morning routines, especially for those looking for a caffeine boost to start the day.

Medium Caffeine Green Tea

Sencha green tea is a classic choice if you’re looking for a pick-me-up during the day or after a meal. It offers a moderate caffeine boost but much lower than caffeine from coffee or shaded green tea options. Variations of Sencha include Fukamushicha, which is deep steamed green tea. Generally, this process produces a non-astringent, full-body and vibrant brew since the tea leaves soften from longer steaming. Regardless of which type you choose to drink, sencha green tea is an ideal option for a moderate caffeine boost.

Low Caffeine Green Tea

If you prefer lower caffeine content in your tea, or you want to have a cup with your dinner or before bed, Hōjicha is the perfect choice. Hōjicha is roasted over charcoal in a pan after the steaming process, while other green teas are only steamed. The high temperature burns away most of the caffeine within its leaves. Additionally, the toasty aroma and flavor is quite popular especially with new tea drinkers. Hence, hojicha has risen in popularity around the world.

No Caffeine

But there are also Japanese teas that have no caffeine at all. Herbal teas are great for those sensitive to caffeine. Additionally, herbal teas are good to drink any time of day. Mugicha (Barley Tea), Sobacha (Buckwheat Tea), and Kuromamecha (Black Soybean Tea) are all Japanese herbal teas that can be enjoyed hot or cold—each with its own set of unique health benefits and no caffeine content.

No matter your tastes or preferences, there is a Japanese tea that is suitable for any tea lover.  Whether you prefer a long lasting boost of caffeine to get you through a busy day, a low dose to go with your dinner or late night activities, or no caffeine at all, Japanese tea offers a wide variety of options, ensuring you satisfying and enjoyable brew in every cup.

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