Tea and CaffeineWhile different types of tea contain different levels of caffeine, it's important to realize this is a normal, natural part of the tea leaf. ALL teas come from the same type of plant - the Camellia sinensis. It's the exact same leaf that goes into the variety of teas on the market. Therefore, it's pretty normal that all start with caffeine and all end up with caffeine :)
Yes, different teas sometimes have different levels of caffeine in them. Green tea (i.e. fresh young unoxidized tea leaves) tends to have less caffeine than black tea (i.e. older oxidized tea leaves). Both still have caffeine in them.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a natural drug that is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and more. It's added into a number of sodas. Caffeine's scientific name is trimethylxanthine and it is most definitely addictive. It causes an increased heart rate and causes you to have to urinate more frequently. Some enjoy caffeine's "boost" to their energy levels. Others dislike being addicted because it therefore means you get really cranky and sluggish when you do not have an ample supply of caffeine.
In essence, caffeine causes your adrenaline levels to raise - the whole "fight or flight" syndrome. Your body gears up to handle an emergency. The effect is of course short lived - meaning you either have to keep consuming more caffeine to keep it up, or you crash. Another issue with caffeine is that it can interfere with your sleep, even if it's 10 hours later. Because you don't sleep properly, you are sluggish the next morning. If you take caffeine to help you wake up, you perpetuate the cycle.
How About Decaffeinated Tea?
There are some teas on the market which have been deliberately processed to remove the caffeine. There's always a compromise involved. Purists will complain that the flavor is far less full with a decaffeinated tea. However, those who are avoiding caffeine for its addiction and body-stress reasons will gladly enjoy a slightly impaired version of tea in exchange for the non-caffeine benefits.
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