Does Black Tea Have Caffeine? The Facts You Didn’t Knew!

I am a black tea lover who drinks black tea every day. Black tea is my best friend when I am studying for an exam. It always leaves me fresh and energized when I drink it. Some people claim that this is due to a compound called caffeine in black tea, and I was more than curious to find this significant compound caffeine in black tea. 

Black tea comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis which Naturally contains caffeine.  Therefore, the black tea you drink also has caffeine. Caffeine can stimulate our brain and central nervous system, causing us to stay awake and alert. One cup of black tea has around 47 milligrams of caffeine.

Not only in black tea, but you can also find caffeine in many other beverages such as coffee, soda, and other energy drinks.  No matter what drink you take, it is essential to remain at a safe caffeine level.  

Why you have to be concerned about caffeine? 

Caffeine is found in many other plant species. However, it is highly concentrated in tea, coffee, and chocolate. Many people like to enjoy a cup of caffeinated drink every day.

People love it because it can enhance our alertness, which is especially helpful while studying; not only that, it can improve the athlete’s performance, uplift our mood, increases metabolism and also support weight loss.

Black tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine that helps you stay focused and energetic. But, at the same time, L-theanine can keep us calm and relaxed. This is why we refer to a hot cup of black tea after a stressful full day, maybe after work.  

I keep a cup of black tea along with my study book to keep me awake while studying. Otherwise, I will be sleeping.  Caffeine can do all of these within a short period, between 20 minutes to 1 hour after consumption.

However, if you take a large amount of caffeine, it can lead to anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and restlessness. In addition, some people might be addicted to caffeine. Therefore, it is essential to drink it at a safe level.

How much caffeine in black tea?

According to USDA [1]FoodData Central. (2021). USDA., 1 cup of black tea has about 47 milligrams of caffeine.  Caffeine content differs according to the method you measure it and the time you measure. Black tea has more caffeine than green tea or white tea. 

Which black tea has the most caffeine?

All black teas are rich in caffeine, and some tea varieties are richer in caffeine. You will see that by looking at the following table. I took these data from a study done at the University of Szeged, Hungary [2]Csupor, D., Boros, K., & Jedlinszki, N. (2016). Theanine and Caffeine content of infusions prepared from commercial tea samples. Pharmacognosy Magazine, 12(45), 75.;

Black tea typeCaffein content in 1 g of tea leaves (mg)
Tanzania Black13.48
English morning tea19.44
Assam Harmutty tea19.93
Russian Samovar16.13
Ceylon OP tea14.61
Earl Grey tea16.48
Twining Earl Grey16.61
Lord Nelson Earl Grey23.44
Lipton Earl Grey21.44
Lipton Earl Grey Lemon23.22
Darjeeling First Flush Leaf Blend14.10
Darjeeling Happy Valley14.40

According to this data from the table, you can see that Earl Grey tea has the highest caffeine content, ranging from 16 – 22 mg of caffeine.

The next in line with the highest caffeine is the English morning tea and Assam Harmutty tea which has around 19 mg of caffeine per 1 g of tea leaves.

The least amount of caffeine is found in Tanzanian Black tea.

If you want a caffeine boost, you can go for Earl Grey tea, English morning tea, or Assam Harmutty tea. However, as seen in this table, all the black teas contain a considerable amount of caffeine.

What factor affect the caffeine content in black tea 

As I mentioned before, every black tea does not contain the same amount of caffeine. Caffeine content mainly varies according to the preparation method (aging, roasting, and fermentation), harvesting time, oxidation level, and the origin of black tea.  

Black tea is the most oxidized tea, which gives its bold and rich flavor, which indicates the amount of caffeine that infuses into boiling water while making black tea. 

When you’re making black tea, if you keep it for a long time in boiling water, then it can give you more caffeine.

For example, if you steep earl grey tea for 1 minute, it will provide you with only 40 milligrams of caffeine, but if you steeped it for two more minutes, it would give you 59 milligrams of caffeine. So steeping for 3 minutes has double the amount of caffeine than when steeped for 1 minute. 

How much caffeine can I drink per day? 


You can drink up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day if you are an adult. But the sensitivity of caffeine for different people varies. If you drink more caffeine than this, you will be having restlessness, anxiety, and headaches. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, it is better to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day[3]Nawrot P, Jordan S, Eastwood J, Rotstein J, Hugenholtz A, Feeley M. Effects of caffeine on human health. Food Addit Contam. 2003 Jan;20(1):1-30. doi: 10.1080/0265203021000007840. PMID: 12519715..

It is better to drink around three to four cups of black tea per day but exceed more than 5 cups of black tea per day is not very good for your health. This is because you will have adverse health consequences due to a high intake of caffeine. 

Drinking too many caffeine-containing drinks irritate your stomach and increase your gastritis condition. Therefore, stay within the safe limit and enjoy your cup of tea. Some say too much black tea can cause kidney failure, and it can cause kidney stones

If you have heart disease, migraines, or taking medications that react with caffeine, it is essential to limit your caffeine intake. 

What are the other beverages that have caffeine?

The beverages with caffeine in them, such as

  • Green tea, contain around 28 milligrams of caffeine in one cup.
  • White tea has about 6 to 60 milligrams of caffeine in 1 cup. 
  • Macha tea is another high caffeinated tea that contains around 35 milligrams of caffeine in one teaspoon of serving. 
  • One cup of espresso has around 64 grams of caffeine.  
  • Cola is a type of soda that has about 22 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Some energy drinks have approximately 29 milligrams of caffeine.
  • Energy shot has around 250 milligrams of caffeine per 30 milliliters.

What is the best beverage to get caffeine? 

Since many beverages give you caffeine other than black tea, you might wonder which drink I should take to get caffeine. If you are a person who loves black tea very much, then you can go for around 1 cup per day up to 3 cups per day.

Other than black tea, you can also take green tea, white tea, and coffee to get caffeine; if you want to stay alert, awake, calm, and relaxed. 

Why does black tea have more caffeine than green tea?

Green tea has less caffeine than black tea, around 13 to 50 milligrams of caffeine in 1 cup, while black tea has about 47 milligrams per 1 cup. However, the lesser amount of caffeine in green tea brews green tea in cooler temperatures and for a short period. 

This might also be due to the oxidation of black tea leaves than in green tea leaves. This is the reason for black tea having more caffeine compared to any other tea varieties.

But if you’re brewing green tea in high temperatures and for an extended period, you get as much caffeine in black tea.

As mentioned before, caffeine content differs due to the preparation method (aging, roasting, and fermentation), origin, the size of finished leaves, and the brewing time.

Therefore, Black tea differs from each other.  in some occasions, there might be the exact content of caffeine in black tea and green tea, most probably due to brewing time.

Does black tea have more caffeine than coffee?


One cup of coffee contains 96 milligrams of caffeine which is higher than the caffeine content in black tea. However, this amount of caffeine dramatically varies due to the type, preparation method, and origin of either black tea or coffee[4]

Tea leaves contain around 3.5% of caffeine, while Coffee Beans includes a lesser amount of caffeine which is 1.1 to 2.2 percent of caffeine. This is the case while braving coffee boiling water is used to extract caffeine from coffee beans more efficiently.

Furthermore, we use more coffee beans for brewing than we use tea leaves for one drink. This can also lead to higher content in coffee than black tea. 


Does Chinese black tea have caffeine?

Chinese black tea is known as red tea in China, and it produces from the plant Camellia sinensis plant, where the Indian Black teas are made from the plant Camellia assamica.

Therefore, Chinese black tea has a lesser amount of caffeine compared to Indian black tea. Also, the oxidation process used to prepare Chinese black tea reduces the caffein content further.

Chinese green tea is found to have a lesser amount of caffeine than Chinese black tea. Both of these Chinese tea varieties have a lesser amount of caffeine than Indian black teas.

Most importantly, Chinese black tea is brewed for a significantly shorter period, like a few seconds. This does not affect the flavor of black tea, but it can reduce the caffeine content. 

Does Lipton black tea have caffeine?

Lipton black tea has about 55 milligrams of caffeine in one teabag.  Lipton black tea decaf has about 5 milligrams of caffeine. Also, Lipton green tea even has about 35 milligrams of caffeine in one teabag. 

Does all black tea have caffeine?

All black tea has caffeine because they all come from the plant Camellia sinensis. They all contain around 47 milligrams of caffeine in one cup of black tea. However, it can differ according to the method they have processed their origin and the time it is brewed before drinking.

How much caffeine in one teabag of black tea?

A black tea bag weighs around 0.07 ounces or 2 grams. Therefore, one tea bag is enough to make one cup of black tea. So, the amount of caffeine in one tea bag is equal to 47 milligrams of caffeine. However, this content might vary according to the time you steep your tea.

Can black tea be caffeine-free?

Black tea naturally contains caffeine. There is no such thing as black tea without caffeine. This is the reason why black tea comes in decaffeinated versions. But it does not mean it is caffeine-free.  Decaf black tea still may contain around 1% to 2% of caffeine. 


Black tea is one of our best companions in our life because it can take away our tiredness and calm us down while keeping us alert. This is because of a particular compound called caffeine in black tea. You can take 47 milligrams of caffeine from one cup of black tea. However, drinking black tea at safe levels will keep you healthy. If you are more sensitive to caffeine, you can go for green tea, white tea, or other herbal teas.