Do you like to start your day with a hot cup of tea? How about switching up the flavour and fragrance with a cup of oolong tea? Tea is a great alternative to coffee and it comes in many different flavours. But is Oolong a suitable breakfast accompaniment? Just how much caffeine is in oolong tea?

Oolong tea is a type of tea that is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is known for its rich aroma and crisp, fruity taste. Its colour can range from brown to a very light yellow, depending on how it is processed.

You can check out our Introduction to Oolong Tea and our Oolong Tea Buying Guide for more answers. 

But for now, we’ll focus on how it affects your caffeine intake.

How much caffeine is in oolong tea?

This traditional Chinese tea contains anywhere from 20-30 milligrams of caffeine per cup, making it a moderate source of caffeine. All of our oolong teas contain roughly the same amount of caffeine, including White Tip Oolong and Formosa Fancy Oolong. In comparison, a cup of coffee has about 90 – 150 milligrams of caffeine. So if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up drink that won’t keep you up all night, oolong tea is a good choice.

Is oolong tea a good energy source?

Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system, giving your brain and body a quick boost in energy. However, this feeling of alertness will only last for a few hours. While oolong tea contains caffeine, it also contains l-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and better concentration. So while you’ll get the energy boost from caffeine, you won’t experience the negative side effects such as restlessness or jitteriness. You might consider it as a replacement for things like coffee or energy drink.

Will oolong tea keep me awake at night?

As mentioned above, oolong tea has l-theanine which works to help you relax and focus, so it won’t keep you awake at night. In fact, drinking a cup of this tea will help calm your nerves and make it easier to fall asleep. Oolong tea is consumed more like an afternoon energizer, rather than to keep you up all night long. The caffeine levels may not be enough to replace a cup of coffee, but there is enough in there to sometimes disrupt sleep patterns.

Is there oolong tea that’s caffeine-free?

There are different levels of caffeine in oolong tea. If you want a cup of tea with lower caffeine content, look for oolong leaves that have lower oxidation. The higher the oxidation, the more caffeine is present in the leaves.

You can decipher this through the colour of the leaves, which range from light green to black depending on how oxidized they are. 

Brewing methods also play a role in how much caffeine is present in your cup of tea. If you want to reduce the caffeine even further, steep your tea for a shorter amount of time. The longer the leaves steep, the more caffeine is released into the water.

How much caffeine in oolong tea compared to coffee?

Oolong has about 37 milligrams of caffeine per cup while coffee has about 80-100 milligrams. So oolong has less caffeine than coffee, but the amount of caffeine in oolong can vary greatly depending on the specific tea. It also depends on how long the leaves are oxidised for, with longer oxidation yielding more caffeine. Read more about the differences between oolong and coffee in our oolong comparison guide.

Which has more caffeine black tea or oolong?

The amount of caffeine in black tea is higher than that in oolong. Black tea typically has about 50-70 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while oolong has only 37 (though it depends how the oolong was processed). So if you’re looking for a tea with more caffeine, black tea is the best choice.

Knowing how much caffeine is in your cup of oolong tea can help you decide if it’s the right drink for you. Whether you’re looking for a mild energy boost or a relaxing drink to help you wind down, oolong tea is a great option.

At the end of the day, there are no rules about how you want your tea. If you want a strong cup of tea with lots of caffeine, go for it. If you want a light and refreshing cup of tea with less caffeine, that’s fine too. It all comes down to personal preference.