A Real Eye-Opener: What Tea Has the Most Caffeine?

A Real Eye-Opener: What Tea Has the Most Caffeine?

Have you ever wondered what tea has the most caffeine? Tea has long since been known for its colorful aromas, antioxidant benefits, and delightful charm, but each variety of tea also holds various levels of caffeine. For all of us looking for that extra boost in the mornings, mid-day, or when pulling an all-nighter, this article is for you!

Overhead view of five leaf-shaped white dishes with different kinds of tea in them. They are in a vertical row on a light wood table. The overlay text reads: what tea has the most caffeine?

Guayusa: The Pick of the Family

We are going to dive right in and start off with which tea has the most caffeine. Let me introduce you to guayusa. Guayusa, pronounced gwhy-you-suh, originates from only one of three known caffeinated holly trees found in the South American rainforest.

Guayusa has around 90 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces. A standard cup of coffee comes in around 120 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces. The benefit and stimulant level of this type of tea goes a long way, though. You will find twice the level of antioxidants than are found in green tea, as well as a burst of vitamins and amino acids. Guayusa has a sweet and mild flavor and creates a mental strength and focus, all without the jittery effect coffee is known for.

I adore our Contemplative Blend guayusa tea, with its citrusy flavors of lemon and orange. I often find myself choosing this tea when I’m going for a walk through the woods or sitting outside on the front porch with a good book. The natural feel of the outdoors beckons me every time.

To get the most out of this tea, steep one teaspoon in eight ounces of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. I like to steep for the full five minutes as this increases the level of natural caffeine and adds to the harmonious flavor.

A glass of guayusa sits next to a glass of coffee on a light wood table.

Yerba Mate: A Close Second

Yerba mate won’t leave you disappointed in the wake of guayusa. Yerba mate is also derived from a caffeinated holly tree found in the rainforest and holds many of the same benefits. Unlike other varieties of tea, it contains a feel-good stimulant that is also found in chocolate. Need I say more?

Yerba mate has around 80 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces. This is slightly less than guayusa. If we compare this to eight ounces of two of America’s most favorite carbonated beverages, Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola, there is no comparison on the caffeine front. Mountain Dew contains 36 milligrams of caffeine and Coca-Cola isn’t too far behind with 22 milligrams of caffeine per eight ounces. Both contain high levels of sugar as well, which you won’t find naturally occurring in tea.

Unlike guayusa, green teas, and white teas, yerba mate does have a big flavor profile and will appear more bitter than other tea varieties. Our Raspberry Revitalizer Lemon Mate tea deviates from the more traditional aged yerba mate teas and offers you a light and refreshing cup of joy. This is my go-to on the cold winter days when I want to feel the warm of the sun and daydream about a picnic while savoring fresh picked raspberries — which are my favorite.

To brew up a cup of yerba mate, steep one teaspoon in eight ounces of boiling water for 3-6 minutes. I like to aim around the four-minute mark as I gain all the benefits while maintaining a flavor profile that tickles my senses.

A glass of yerba mate sits next to a glass of Mountain Dew and a glass of Coca Cola on a light wood table.

Black Tea, Green Tea, and White Tea: Well-Known Adversaries

Black tea, green tea, and white tea all hold a place in a tea lover’s heart. They are commonly known teas and valued for their endless flavor varieties. The question still looms amongst these three rivals: Which tea has the most caffeine? Each varies on the caffeine front, but, as we will discover, each variety also holds its own intrinsic value.

Black tea has a caffeine level around 50 milligrams per eight ounces. It also has a more robust flavor profile due to the longer oxidation process, which darkens the leaves. I recommend trying one of the Plum Deluxe favorites, Gratitude Blend. This is a strawberry Earl Grey tea that will leave you staring longingly at the bottom of your empty mug.

Green tea has a smoother flavor than that of black tea — closer to that of guayusa. The caffeine level is around 35 milligrams per eight ounces. Green tea is made from the leaves and buds of the same plant other tea varieties are derived from, but it does not undergo a long withering and oxidation process. A Plum Deluxe favorite of mine is the Garden Grove green tea. Jasmine, cherry, and vanilla — can you say heavenly?

White tea is known for its delicacy and charm. The leaves are harvested, most hand-picked, while they are still in the form of buds, and the aim is to minimize any oxidation by drying the buds quickly. White tea has a caffeine level of around 20 milligrams per eight ounces. Looking for that a-ha! moment? Try our Lavender Daydream white tea with mango, peach, and floral notes.

Overhead view of five silver teaspoons full of different types of tea arranged in a line on a light wood table.

If you’re looking for a pure caffeine boost and added health benefits minus the sugar and jitters of other options, these teas are for you. Each tea revels in its own well-deserved glory, but ultimately the decision is in your hands. Now you know all there is to know about what tea has the most caffeine. Steep, sip, and enjoy!

A Real Eye-Opener: What Tea Has the Most Caffeine?

McKenna Marek

McKenna is from midwestern Wisconsin and is the creative owner of Sweet Rose Desserts. She treasures time with her three children, savoring every moment, and the peacefulness of their home in the country. She enjoys baking, photography, and of course—time with friends over a shared pot of tea.

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