The 9 Best High Caffeine Teas

Updated April 27, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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If you enjoy the energy and buzz that caffeine can provide but can't stomach coffee drinks because they are too acidic or cause you jitters, try one of these high caffeine teas as an alternative. Formulated to give you a more gentle and sustained boost, they are available with a range of ingredients claiming to provide numerous health benefits. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best high caffeine tea on Amazon.

9. IntegriTEA Energize

The IntegriTEA Energize contains ginseng, which can aid with digestion problems and even help relieve mental stress, as well as lemon myrtle that can combat flu and cold symptoms. A little goes a long way with this tea and the flavor can get rather bitter.
  • aluminum-free packaging
  • regulates cortisol
  • only comes in 2 or 4-ounce packs
Brand IntegriTEA
Model pending
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Good Karma Tea Temple

The Good Karma Tea Temple's bags can be steeped up to four times without losing potency, and they contain epigallocatechin gallate, which can boost your immune system and help you lose weight. Unfortunately, it only gives a small energy boost.
  • organic apricots and peaches
  • rolled leaves open up quickly
  • a little too sweet for some
Brand Good Karma Tea
Model pending
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Shaklee 180

The Shaklee 180 has made a reputation for itself in the weight loss community, but can also simply serve as your morning energizer. It's a blend of red, white and green teas with added taurine for alertness that comes in green matcha or pomegranate flavors.
  • tastes good hot or iced
  • comes in easy-to-pour sticks
  • seems slightly overpriced
Brand Shaklee
Model pending
Weight 3.7 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder

You'll enjoy a smooth increase of energy from the yerba mate inside of the Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder, as well as an antioxidant boost. The stringless teabags help reduce waste, and it just has two ingredients, so it's very pure.
  • savory and earthy flavor
  • wonderful aroma
  • tea bags can break
Brand Celestial Seasonings
Model 48889
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Numi Loose Leaf

The Numi Loose Leaf contains fair trade certified organic green tea in a 16-ounce bulk pouch that won't take up as much room in your cabinet as a clunky box. It boasts a well-rounded, full-bodied flavor for those who like a bolder beverage.
  • made with real fruits and spices
  • biodegradable packaging
  • makes over 200 cups of tea
Brand Numi
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. The Republic Of Tea Hicaf

The Republic Of Tea Hicaf comes in an airtight, resealable container to prolong its life. The tea is in unique round bags that are easier to scoop out of a mug with a spoon and boasts comforting fall flavors, like cinnamon toast and roasted chicory.
  • no artificial flavors
  • very subtle taste
  • provides a quick energy kick
Brand The Republic of Tea
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Solstice Tea Traders Gunpowder

The Solstice Tea Traders Gunpowder contains slightly more caffeine than the already high-caf regular green tea. It is pinhead rolled, which helps it retain nutrition and makes it highly concentrated, delivering twice the normal cup per pound.
  • minimally processed
  • uses whole leaves
  • stays fresh longer than regular tea
Brand Solstice Tea Traders
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Yogi Raspberry Passion Perfect

This six-pack of Yogi Raspberry Passion Perfect will keep you energized for months so you can quit your expensive latte habit. This black and green tea mixture contains a special blend of energizing herbs including sage and the gotu kola leaf.
  • made with non-gmo ingredients
  • naturally sweet
  • palate-cleansing effect
Brand YOGI
Model 076950203525
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Zest Tea Energy Blends

The Zest Tea Energy Blends contains more caffeine per cup than coffee, but won't cause the crash and jitters that a cup of joe can. Named the top new product at the World Tea Expo, this tea is packed with amino acids that improve cognitive function.
  • five unique and delicious flavors
  • packaged in biodegradable sachets
  • offers sustained alertness
Brand Zest Tea
Model pending
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Tea

The Yunnan Province in southwestern China is said to be the birthplace of tea. The oldest cultivated tea tree in the world, estimated to be around 3,200 years old, can be found there in the city of Lincang.

There are many legends surrounding the discovery of tea in China, but one of the most popular attributes it to the legendary Emperor Shennong, who lived about 4,500 years ago. As the story goes, at the time there was a decree that all water must be boiled before drinking. Shennong was preparing to sip from his bowl of freshly boiled water, but as it was cooling, a gust of wind blew leaves from a nearby tree into it. The leaves changed the color of the water and imparted it with a light and pleasant flavor. The Emperor immediately felt its restorative power, and shared his discovery with his subjects.

While the Emperor's story is compelling, it's probably a myth. Historians believe tea drinking comes from ancient, pre-Dynastic traditions in southwestern China. Whatever its roots are, there's no denying tea's importance in Chinese culture and its global impact.

By the end of the first millennium C.E., tea drinking had spread throughout Asia. Up until that point, leaves were usually compressed into dehydrated bricks for consumption. During the Chinese Song Dynasty, which lasted from 960 to 1279, loose-leaf styles that closely resembled those we drink today became popular. In the year 1391, the Ming court decreed loose tea was the only kind acceptable for tributes, further tipping the scales in favor of the full-leaf production style.

European explorers in Asia documented the consumption of tea throughout the 16th century. It wasn't until the following century, however, that the first tea leaves actually reached Europe, courtesy of the Dutch East India Company. By 1636, the drink had gained significant popularity in France. By 1689, caravans of hundreds of camels delivered tea by land to Russia on a regular basis.

While tea is often associated with Indian culture, it was actually introduced as a crop there by the British in the 19th century as a means of breaking up China's global monopoly. In a mission overseen by the British East India Company, tea plants were stolen from China and brought to Indian soil. The British used Chinese planting and cultivation techniques and offered free Indian land to any European willing to grow tea for export. By the early 1900s, India was the world's top tea producer, though it was recently surpassed by China once again. Long seen as a symbol of colonialism there, local consumption in India only took off in the 1950s, after a successful ad campaign by the India Tea Board.

Some Notes About Tea And Caffeine

Contrary to popular belief, tea is actually more caffeinated than coffee, at least by weight. However, it takes far fewer grams of tea leaves than it does of ground coffee to produce a single cup, so a mug of coffee does tend to contain more caffeine than the same amount of brewed tea.

While a cup of coffee usually contains around 100 mg of caffeine, only the blackest of teas extracted in the perfect conditions can come close to that mark. A cup of unadulterated black tea usually hovers in the 60 to 90 mg range. Green tea comes in second, with between 35 and 70 mg, while white tea typically has a bit less than that amount.

The body absorbs tea's caffeine more slowly than that of coffee, which means you might get more bang for your buck from the steeped stuff despite its lower content. The slow release also helps you avoid the jitters and crash often associated with coffee consumption. In addition, tea naturally contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which promotes calmness and relaxation and tends to produce a mindful alertness when combined with caffeine, as opposed to a wired feeling.

There are a host of other factors that can effect your tea buzz. Younger plants tend to contain higher quantities of caffeine — its naturally bitter taste renders the plants less desirable to potential predators, improving the young plant's chances of maturing to adulthood. Other factors including climate, time of harvest, soil nutrients, and rainfall have an impact on a given tea plant's caffeine levels. Once it's picked, the way it's prepared also changes the degree of pick-me-up you'll find in your cup. Water temperature, steeping time, and vessel choice (tea bag, strainer, or loose leaf), all have an effect.

Understanding The Different Types Of Tea

While there are seemingly endless types of tea on the market, you might be surprised to learn that it all comes from a single plant. Camellia sinensis is a small, shrublike, evergreen tree, known in English as the tea plant or tea tree, though it is not the source of tea tree oil, which actually has nothing to do with the tea plant.

It's a common misconception that different varieties of tea are made from different plants. The names of some varieties, such as jasmine, simply indicate herbs or botanicals that are added to actual tea leaves. Names like Darjeeling or Ceylon actually refer to the region where the tea is grown, not variations of the plant itself. Still other classifications, such as oolong, indicate the way the leaves are cured or fermented after harvest.

While it might seem like black, green, and white tea would come from different plants, those designations actually have to do with time of harvest as well as how the leaves are dried and their levels of oxidation. White tea comes from the youngest clippings, which are fried or steamed before drying to halt the oxidation process. Green tea leaves are typically scalded after harvest, then rolled and dried. Black tea comes from the most mature leaves and is allowed to oxidize or ferment before drying, which helps embolden its flavor.

There are plenty of tea-like beverages that do not contain actual tea leaves, such as herbal teas and yerba maté. However, these are not truly tea, and the British tend to refer to them as "infusions" to avoid confusion.


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Last updated on April 27, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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