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The 7 Best High-Caffeine Teas

Are you searching for high-caffeine teas to help you limit or quit your coffee habit?

Or maybe you’re curious about how different tea types compare in the milligrams of caffeine they contain.

No matter which group you fall in, we’ve got you covered with all the caffeinated tea answers you’re looking for.

But before you learn our top choices, you should understand how the energy boost in high-caffeine teas compares to what you experience after a typical cup of joe.

How the Caffeine Content in Tea Affects You Differently

Unlike the boost you may feel after espresso or coffee beans, caffeinated and high-caffeine teas will not make you feel jittery, nervous, anxious, or “buzzed” when you drink them.

Instead, you’ll feel motivated, empowered, and eager to take on the challenges of your busy day.

How is that possible? It’s all thanks to L-theanine, an amino acid found naturally in tea leaves (and almost nowhere else in nature).

L-theanine helps slow down the way caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream.

It’s why you won’t experience a quick, extreme burst of energy after drinking tea like you would after drinking coffee. 

Tea drinkers enjoy a more sustained release of energy. They also don’t experience caffeine crashes and withdrawal, which can happen if you skip coffee for awhile.

On top of that, L-theanine helps promote feelings of calm and relaxation. How?

L-theanine actually crosses the blood-brain barrier and stimulates the production of gamma-aminobutyric (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, and alpha wave activity. These all influence your energy levels, mood, and brain function.

So L-theanine in tea balances out the stimulating effects of caffeine with calm, focused alertness.

These benefits (and more!) counteract the negative side effects of your standard cup of joe and provide all the more reason to start working caffeinated teas into your day.

High Caffeine Teas Can Help If You’re Trying to Limit or Quit Coffee

The side effects aren’t the only difference when it comes to comparing coffee versus tea.

A typical 8-ounce serving of coffee can have anywhere from 90-200 mg of caffeine, depending on the type of coffee beans, roasting, and preparation method.

The caffeine content in tea varies and depends on the type of tea you choose.

Herbal teas that don’t come from the Camellia sinensis tea plant, such as chamomile and rooibos, are caffeine-free.

But white, black, and green teas each vary in their amount of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. 

A white tea, for example, only delivers 13 mg of caffeine per cup as compared to matcha’s 75 mg. 

With a wide range of caffeinated teas, you can easily go up or down in your caffeine consumption, depending on what you need. 

As you can see with this example, switching from white tea bags to a high-caffeine tea such as matcha gives you almost six times the caffeine per cup!

Just remember that even teas with the highest caffeine per serving (85 mg per cup) contain less caffeine than the lowest caffeinated coffee (90 mg per cup). 

So you may start drinking more tea during your transition than you’re used to drinking with coffee, which isn’t a bad habit to pick up. Tea contains a wide array of health-promoting polyphenols (antioxidants), and you’re more likely to experience benefits if you drink multiple cups per day.

Plus, making the switch from coffee to tea unlocks support for:

  • Aging
  • Brain health 
  • Digestive health 
  • Heart health 

People usually begin their transition from coffee to tea with black teas since they offer a rich, bold flavor similar to coffee. 

But they’re not the only high-caffeine tea in town.

The Top 7 High Caffeine Teas for Energy and Focus

If you’re searching for the best high-caffeine teas, these seven types of tea pack a healthy boost of caffeine and so much more:

1. Yerba Mate

Most teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Yerba Mate comes from the leaves of the rainforest holly tree.

In addition to its healthy antioxidants, Yerba Mate delivers 85 mg of caffeine per cup.

With just 5 milligrams less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee, Yerba Mate provides an excellent caffeine boost without the crash.

If you’re used to starting your day with a cup of coffee, Yerba Mate makes a great alternative.

2. Matcha Tea

Matcha is an invigorating tea variety made from stone-ground green tea leaves. When you drink matcha, you’re actually consuming the entire tea leaf. For this reason, it boasts an impressively high caffeine content at 75mg of caffeine per cup.

In addition to containing the L-theanine mentioned earlier, you’ll also score a hefty dose of catechins and polyphenols in matcha green tea.

The catechins in matcha may help support cellular and metabolic health, while the polyphenols are a type of antioxidant [*][*].

3. Pu’er Tea

Pu’er tea (also spelled pu’erh tea) is a fermented tea that contains antioxidants that may help promote healthy weight management and heart health. 

Pu’er has probiotic properties and supports healthy, glowing skin too.

The best part? Pu’er teas contain about 60–70 milligrams of caffeine per cup.

7 Best High-Caffeine Teas: Pu'er Tea

4. Black Tea

The next high-caffeine tea on the list is black tea, which comes in at 50mg of caffeine per cup.

Black tea, similar to matcha, is bursting with antioxidant polyphenols and is specifically known for its beneficial theaflavins.

Compared to coffee, black tea may:

  1. Support heart health
  2. Promote healthy blood pressure
  3. Support healthy weight management

And with its rich, bold flavor, black tea makes a fantastic transition drink if you’re trying to cut back on your coffee and caffeine intake.

Start your morning with these black teas instead of coffee:

  1. English Breakfast Tea
  2. Earl Grey
  3. Darjeeling
  4. Ceylon
  5. Assam
  6. Chai

The next type of tea has a slightly lower caffeine level than black tea, but not by much.

5. Oolong Tea

A single cup of oolong tea gives you 40 mg of caffeine – just 10 mg shy of the caffeine in black tea – and a healthy dose of essential vitamins and minerals.

Oolong tea is also lighter and sweeter than black tea. So if you’re looking to get away from a bold morning drink, you can sip on oolong and still enjoy a similar caffeine boost.

7 Best High-Caffeine Teas: Oolong Tea

6. Green Tea

Green tea is slightly lower in caffeine than both oolong and black tea. A single 8-ounce cup of tea provides 25mg of caffeine.

The good news about a lower caffeine content is that you can enjoy a few cups of green tea throughout your day.

This is helpful if you’re used to drinking 100-200mg of caffeine from coffee. Plus, green tea helps support digestion, making it the perfect after-lunch drink. 

Stash a few loose leaf tea bags or crystals at your desk, and you’ll have a steady supply of caffeine without the restlessness and other unwanted side effects of ditching coffee.

7. White Tea

If you’re looking for the lightest caffeine boost, give white teas a try. You’ll have roughly 13 mg of caffeine per cup.

Similar to green tea, feel free to drink white tea throughout your day and in between higher caffeine teas.

You’ll have a calming caffeine boost without the jitters.

And you’ll get to soak up all the L-theanine and antioxidants found in white tea.

That’s a healthy upgrade to your afternoon coffee and a flavorful way to increase your water intake.

Try These High-Caffeine Teas Today

Now you have all the high-caffeine teas you need to limit or quit your daily coffee or energy drink habit.

These caffeinated teas range from 13 mg of caffeine all the way up to 85 mg per cup. Each provides the energy boost your schedule demands without the unpleasant side effects of high caffeine levels.

Swapping your morning cup of joe for a cup of tea, and sustaining your energy levels throughout the day, has never been easier.

The 7 Best High-Caffeine Teas

The 7 Best High-Caffeine Teas
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The 7 Best High-Caffeine Teas
Are you searching for high-caffeine teas to help you limit or quit your coffee habit OR curious about the caffeine content of your teas? We got you covered!
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Jessica Ederer, JD, CPT, FNS, RYT
Pique's Head of Content & Wellness Education, is a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, RYT, and holds a JD from UC Berkeley. After 10 years as a practicing trial lawyer, she shifted gears and has spent the past 8 years as a health coach, educator and writer. It's her passion to help people learn sustainable, effective ways to unlock their full wellness potential. When she's not teaching or writing, you can find her hiking, mountain biking, cycling, backcountry skiing, camping and drinking anywhere from 5-7 cups of tea per day.
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