Oolong tea is a semi-oxidized type of beverage, meaning that it’s midway between green and black tea. So, does Oolong tea have caffeine?
The answer to that question is yes. Similar to the teas from Camellia sinensis plant, the Oolong tea naturally contains caffeine. In fact, all teas contain caffeine unless they are decaffeinated. Oolong tea caffeine content will vary as it depends on the plant variety, the age of the leaves, how long it’s brewed or steeped as well as at what temperature.
Oolong grows primarily in China and Taiwan. The tea is produced through a process that allows the leaves to oxidize. Roasting or heating stops the process before oxidation completes. The level of the roast and oxidation varies considerably, resulting in many varieties with different colors, aromas and flavors. A semi-fermented oolong tea has an earthy flavor. Oolong is a good option for anyone who wants a tea with low caffeine content.
The Amount Caffeine in Oolong Tea
There are many factors that would influence the amount of caffeine in the plucked tea leaves. This includes the plant variety, growing region, plant and leaf age, soil nutrients, length of the growing period, rainfall and field conditions. The final caffeine content might be affected further by the production.
The way how the tea is prepared will actually play a vital role in the amount of caffeine that would make it into one cup. Just about everything will become a factor, from the number of leaves used, the brewing time, the water temperature to whether the tea leaves are steeped loose, in a strainer or in a tea bag. In general, more tea, longer steeping and hotter water will contribute to the caffeine content.
It is difficult to generalize when it comes to the amount of caffeine in this tea because the content varies significantly from one variety to the next. Most of the oolong varieties will yield 15 to 70 milligrams of caffeine in one cup under normal brewing conditions, which is considerably less than the amount in a regular cup of coffee.
Overall, the Oolong tea has less caffeine content than other teas such as the black and green varieties. People usually steep or brew the teas for three minutes to get a regular cup or up to five minutes to get a stronger one. Brewing or steeping oolong tea for one to two minutes will yield significantly less caffeine.