Does Oolong Tea Have Caffeine?

Regardless of color, all variety of true tea is made from an evergreen plant with leaves that contain caffeine. The quantity of caffeine present varies widely depending on several factors. Being fully fermented, black tea is often compared to unfermented green tea when contrasting caffeine content. But in truth, fermentation in tea does not increase the amount of caffeine found in tea, but actually slightly reduces total caffeine content.




Caffeine Content

There are no shortages of factors that help determine how much caffeine is present in any particular leaf. From the region it was grown to the condition of the field, caffeine content may vary wildly even season to season. Generally speaking, the younger the leaves are, the higher the caffeine content is. This is especially true for high-grade green teas because they are typically made from particularly young shoots of tea. If you want to try different tea brands, the three most important factors are the age of the leaf, the variety of the plant, and the way that the tea is prepared.




Plant Variety

Grown mostly in Taiwan and China, Chinese Oolong Tea generally contains slightly less caffeine per gram than its Indian counterpart. Oolong is typically crafted from more mature leaves which have a significant toll on its caffeine content. It is also partially fermented, which helps to reduce caffeine content to even lower levels. And the moderate amount of caffeine remaining may have less influence than a caffeine milligram count would suggest due to a relaxant compound named theanine.


Oolong Tea Fact



Preparation and Consumption

It’s possible to extract a large portion of the caffeine present in oolong by steeping it for one minute, discarding the liquid, and brewing a second time. The majority of the caffeine present will be washed away. Many organic oolong teas have anywhere between 50-75 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces of fluid, but this number can be reduced drastically by being processed twice. While this process may not be ideal for other types of tea, oolong is known for a robust flavor that is capable of withstanding being steeped multiple times.


In Sum

Compared to typical black teas, oolong has only a fraction to the total caffeine content. While oolong tea does contain caffeine, there are a number of ways to reduce the caffeine content, ranging from selecting specific brands to special preparation when steeping your tea. Many varieties of oolong have been perfected to contain very nearly zero caffeine, but only caffeine intolerant users may be capable of personally differentiating between them.