Greetings, sippers! How are you all feeling on this lovely spring morning? For me, this week has been on the longer side and I find myself reaching for more of our caffeinated teas. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way and as Easter approaches I imagine that even the Easter bunny perhaps might need a little extra boost to keep them hopping. Today, we will be talking about our highly caffeinated teas and why you should give them a sip!
As we begin, it is important to know that generally speaking teas have caffeine contents ranging from highest to lowest in this order; black and pu-erh teas have the highest amount of caffeine, followed by oolong teas, green teas, and white teas. It is also important to note that there are a variety of factors that contribute to the caffeine content in your cup, aside from which variety of tea you choose. These include where your tea is grown and harvested, the way in which it is grown, and when it is harvested, the amount of tea leaves you use, the amount of time you allow your tea to steep, the temperature of the water that you use, etc. Lastly, when considering tea and it's caffeine content, we must also consider that tea is made from the plant known as Camellia sinensis. Camellia sinensis contains both caffeine and a compound known as l-theanine. While caffeine is a stimulant, l-theanine works to reduce stress and encourage calm and relaxation. The two together create a mediative state that many love for it's ideal effects on focus and concentration. It also manifests in a much less nervous or jittery feeling that many experience with coffee. Caffeine and l-theanine combined invoke more of a smooth, serene, and energized feeling.
As mentioned, at the top of the caffeine content list are our black and pu-erh teas. Pu-erh is very popular here and there is no doubt as to why this is so. This dark tea hails from the Chinese province of Yunnan and is one that we regularly recommend when customers come in asking about something to drink when trying to switch from coffee or lessen their coffee intake. Pu-erh tea includes yeast which allows it to fully ferment as it is stored and creates a very unique flavor. It is earthy, deep, and bold. Pu-erh teas (and most black teas) are also typically steeped longer and at higher temperatures which yield stronger and more caffeinated cups. Should you want something to satisfy your sweet tooth and help to wake you up in the morning, you may want to try our Scottish Caramel Pu-erh. This is a pu-erh tea that is highlighted with luxurious creamy caramel notes. You will still taste the earthy, dark tones that are traditional of pu-erh teas, but be pleasantly surprised by the caramel swirl. Don't take it just from me either! One of our customers did a video review with her son below. You will notice that her son enjoyed this tea so much that he helps himself to another splash without even needing coaching from mom!
Next up, we have our oolong teas to consider. For novices or tea newbies (we love you!), oolong teas are a cross between black and green teas. The leaves are both wilted and steamed. Today, I wanted to mention one that sometimes gets a bad rap or gets overlooked due to it's name, our Milk Oolong. This tea does not have any milk or lactose in it! To my lactose intolerant or lactose sensitive friends, this tea will not hurt you! The "milk" in the title simply refers to the silky smooth creaminess of this tea. The leaves in this oolong tea are comprised of very tightly rolled balls that hail all the way from the mountains of Taiwan. As you steep this tea, the balls will unfurl and release their delicate and caffeine filled flavors! You will notice a slight, light green coloring to this tea and the flavors you can expect are that of close to a green tea. Many enjoy this tea steeped multiple times as it is made up of the full leaves that will continue to unfurl. Keep in mind if you choose to do so that, like we mentioned, your caffeine release will diminish with each steep so perhaps switch to one of our next teas throughout the afternoon!
When it comes to green teas, the highest in caffeine is, of course, matcha. Matcha has one of the highest caffeine contents of all teas but that is because when you consume this delicious treat, you are actually consuming the entire tea leaf as opposed to just steeping it like you do with regular tea. With matcha tea, you do not need an infuser. You simply mix your matcha powder into whichever liquid you would like to consume it with. Some even choose to use it in their culinary endeavors by sprinkling it into dishes, smoothies, desserts, etc. It has a very definitive taste that many grow to love and even crave and, furthermore, provides you with a multitude of benefits such as antioxidants and proven fat burning properties. We have a few blog posts that as specifically dedicated to this very trendy and cool tea that I recommend checking out for further information (I'll link them below)! For the purpose of this post, just know that you will be getting the caffeine that you crave in a fun and unexpected way, without the dreaded afternoon crash.
Last on our list of caffeinated teas to cover are our white teas. I love these teas as a bit of an afternoon pick me up. They are lovely and light and because of their low caffeine content they don't have me up into the wee hours of the night. My favorite of our white teas these days proves our White Peach. White tea is the most delicate of the tea varieties as it is harvested the earliest; before the tea leaves fully open and while they are still covered in tiny white filaments. The leaves are handpicked and not allowed to oxidize as long as they would for a green or a black tea. This makes for a very light and delicate flavoring, perfectly complemented by peach in this case. Our White Peach tea is mild in flavor, yet you can absolutely taste the peach notes coming through. I like this tea for this time of year especially as it gets me excited for the warmer days to arrive. Below you will find a video of the lovely Aubrey as she tells you a bit more about this tea!
To my regular readers, you are probably wondering why I haven't gone on and on to you about why if you are looking for a caffeine fix, you need to try our Roasted Yerba Mate. Well, just like you young grasshoppers, I am continually learning as well. Today I read an article letting me know that Mate is not actually related to the tea plant, and is, in fact, harvested from a species related to the holly plant. Who knew?! I still love it with all my heart and am very much so a proponent for it! While it may not be related to the tea plant, if the caffeine crutch is what you are searching for, this is my go-to. Read a few of the blog articles that I have written in the past that detail just how much I love Roasted Yerba Mate and why below!
I'm not sure about you all, but all of this talk of caffeine, staying awake, and tea has me needing a cup of one! If you have a tea that works particularly well for you in this realm, please reach out to us so I can add your feedback to the post! We love to hear from our customers and we even more so love publishing it to help everyone else! Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week and stay awake and well! - Kaytea :)