What is caffeine, and how much of it is in various beverages?

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The term “caffeine” is used as short-hand for several substances (including actual caffeine) from a group known as “Xanthine Alkaloids” that have stimulating properties.

Below are some estimates for the average “caffeine” content in most commonly consumed hot beverages. Note that the caffeine content can vary based on a wide variety of factors (brewing method, etc), so the below is simply to give you a rough idea for comparison purposes.

Estimated Caffeine Content:

Avg. Caffeine per Serving
Tulsi 0mg
Rooibos 0mg
Cocoa 15mg
Yerba Mate (2g of leaves) 25mg
Green Tea 30mg
Holy Mate (3g of leaves) 32mg
Cola 40-50mg
Black Tea 50mg
Coffee 65-175mg
depending on variety & style

Coffee beans actually contain less caffeine by volume than tea leaves, but the brewing methods used for coffee extract more of the bean into the brewing water.

Different “Caffeine” Alkaloids have Different Effects

The actual caffeine in coffee is fast acting and stimulates energy that is more “physical.” Green tea is a source of the alkaloid Theophylline, which is more “mental,” stimulating the brain more than the body. Chocolate is a source of the alkaloid Theobromine, which offers a slow release effect.

Though its caffeine level is lower than most beverages, Yerba Mate actually contains all three forms. As a result, it is believed to offer a more balanced caffeine effect (both body & brain) that is longer lasting rather than simply a quick jolt of energy.

Holy Mate is a blend of yerba mate with tulsi & peppermint (which are caffeine free). Thus it offers the same type of caffeine.

Post Written by Matthew Johnson

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