Lowest Teas in Caffeine
There are plenty of Japanese green teas that are low in caffeine. Whether you’re sensitive to caffeine or if you’re just looking for a tea to enjoy in the evening, we have 5 great teas youre really going to love.
Genmaicha is a popular blended tea made by combining toasted rice with green tea leaves. This originated as a way to save money and make tea supplies last longer, but it soon became celebrated as a great tasting tea in its own right. The toasted rice gives it these nice tasting notes of warm cereal and popcorn that can be quite pleasant both in the morning as well as the afternoon. Because the toasted rice doesn’t contain any caffeine and the tea is often made from older leaves, these teas tend to be very low in caffeine, with an 8oz cup containing around 18mg of caffeine. A small cup of coffee will have around 100mg of caffeine, so genmaicha is definitely on the lower end of the caffeine spectrum
Kukicha is another green tea that is Low in caffeine. The caffeine is produced by the tea plant in order to protect the leaves from the insects. Because the leaves are more vulnerable, the caffeine is concentrated around the leaves and not the stems. Teas made by combining stems and leaves are therefore much lower in caffeine, and they can have a unique flavor to them with notes of summer grass and straw. Sometimes the addition of the stems can create a milder, more drinkable tea without these powerful vegetable notes. A good example of this is a tea like Karigane, made from the stems and leaves of the Gyokuro plant. While many first time green tea drinkers find Gyokuro to be a bit overpowering, Karigane is a great beginners tea because it balances out the leaves with the stems. It also brings the caffeine content down, so you can enjoy it later on in the day. A regular Kukicha made from unshaded tea plants will have about 18 milligrams of caffeine per cup, but because Karigane is made from shaded tea plants, it can have up to 33 milligrams of caffeine. This still makes both of these stem teas quite low in caffeine and definitely suitable for those who are sensitive to it.
Next we come to one of the more interesting teas on this list and that is Hojicha. Hojicha is a roasted green tea, made by turning the dried leaves and stems of the tea plant in a large pan or in a roasting machine. Like with Genmaicha and Kukicha, this began as a way to make the tea harvest last longer. The leaves and stems not sold in the more premium Gyokuro and sencha teas were roasted to make a wonderful hojicha tea. This method began to rise in popularity in the 20th century and now it is one of the more common types of Japanese tea. The roasting process gives the tea these warmer notes of coffee caramel and chocolate that are quite enjoyable, particularly on a cold day. The leaves and stems used to make hojicha tend to be lower in caffeine anyways, but they also lose some of their caffeine during the roasting process itself. This brings the total caffeine content down to around 20mg or 1/5 of a cup of coffee.
Bancha is the second most popular green tea in Japan after sencha. It’s made from the older, more mature leaves of the tea plant. As we mentioned before, the tea plant produces caffeine as a defense mechanism to protect itself against insects, but this is mostly to protect the younger more vulnerable leaves. These older leaves are tougher, and therefore they don’t require as much protection. As a result, Bancha has around 30 mg of caffeine per cup. It also has a really pleasant flavor to it, with notes of warm wood and popcorn. It makes for a nice snacking tea, as it pairs well with popcorn and mixed nuts. This is definitely something to enjoy at the end of a long day, and it is sometimes drunk alongside a meal to help with digestion.
Latte Grade Matcha
Finally we come to the last tea on our list and that is latte grade matcha. Will this tea does have more caffeine compared to some of the other ones on this list, it doesn’t have as much as you might think. With this latte grade matcha, you get 34 mg of caffeine per teaspoon of powder. This means you can easily enjoy a nice matcha latte in the morning without overdoing it on the caffeine. Ceremonial grade matcha like the matcha seisui and matcha washimine are going to be quite high in caffeine. These teas are made from earlier harvests which gives them a smoother flavor and more caffeine. If you are mixing your matcha latte with oat milk or soy milk, you actually don’t want the flavor to be that smooth otherwise the flavor of the tea will be drowned out by the matcha. So if you like matcha lattes in the morning, I’m sure you’ll be relieved to know that you can keep enjoying them without getting overly caffeineated
I hope you have enjoyed this list of the top 5 low caffeine green teas. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. Otherwise, we’ll see you next time.