tea from the petals of rose

What Tea Has The Most Caffeine?

1. Matcha

Matcha is a powdered green tea made from stone-ground tea leaves and produced mainly in Japan. Matcha is high in caffeine for several reasons

Concept of japanese tea with matcha on wooden table

For one, when you drink a bowl of matcha, you’re actually consuming whole tea leaves, rather than a diluted infusion like when you drink a traditionally brewed cup of tea. This means that you’re getting a concentrated dose of many of the beneficial compounds present in tea, including caffeine, l-theanine, and antioxidants.

Instant matcha green tea with leaf on white

The tea plants used to produce matcha are shaded for several weeks prior to harvest, which also increases the caffeine content.

2. Black tea

Black tea also tends to be high in caffeine. Many hearty breakfast blends, like Irish Breakfast and English Breakfast, are made from Indian black teas of the camellia sinensis var. assamica varietal, which tends to be higher in caffeine.

Black tea

Black tea blends are often coarsely chopped into finer, broken tea leaves, which can increase caffeine content. Finally, black teas tend to be prepared using hotter water and steeped for a longer time, both of which can result in a cup of tea that is especially high in caffeine.

3. Pu-erh tea

Pu-erh teas are aged teas commonly produced in China. These teas have a rich, earthy flavor, brew up an inky black color, and tend to be very high in caffeine.

Pressed pu-erh tea

Like black teas, pu-erh teas are often prepared using hot water and by steeping the tea leaves for a longer period of time, which results in a stronger, more caffeinated cup of tea.

Ripe (shou) pu-erh that is fermented using a wet-pile method tends to be higher in caffeine than raw (sheng) pu-erh that is fermented according to traditional methods.

4. Shaded green teas

In Japan, some types of specialty tea plants are shaded for several weeks before harvest, which increases the caffeine levels present in the tea. Gyokuro and matcha plants are both shaded for three weeks prior to harvest, while Kabusecha plants are typically shaded for around two weeks prior to harvest.

Japanese matcha green tea powder

This means that these teas tend to have a higher caffeine content than other types of green tea. Japanese green teas are also usually steamed in order to halt the oxidation process, which increases the caffeine content present in tea.

5. Mate

While yerba mate does contain caffeine, it’s not actually related to the tea plant. Native to South America and popular in countries like Argentina and Chile, mate is actually a species of the holly plant.

mate tea

Mate tends to be high in caffeine, containing almost as much per cup as coffee. Mate can be consumed on its own or as an ingredient in flavored blends like Nutty Mocha Mate and Lively Lemony Mate.


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