Caffeine in cold brew tea is more deceptive than you might think. It can get higher than regular tea or even reach the caffeine levels of coffee.
If you think of tea as coffee’s lightly caffeinated cousin, you might be in for a surprise. There are some kinds of tea that are so caffeinated they will actually exceed the caffeine levels of coffee.
Yes, the majority of teas are well below the caffeine levels of coffee. But there are a lot of factors that play into the caffeine content in tea. This is especially the case when we talk about caffeine in cold brew tea.
Cold brew tea goes through a very different brewing process that extracts caffeine from the leaf at a different rate. The temperature, along with the leaf-to-water ratio, has a big impact on how much caffeine is in the final product. But that’s not all.
Here is a quick look inside the brewing process and what plays into the amount of caffeine in your cold brew tea.
The first important thing will be the name. Are you enjoying “cold brew tea” or “iced tea?” These teas are actually two very different things. If you are drinking iced tea, you are likely drinking regular brewed tea that has been cooled. In this case, you can expect the typical amount of caffeine for the type of tea in your drink.
A proper cold brewed tea is a different story. Cold brewing is a much longer process. Often, tea is cold brewed for 12 - 24 hours or more. The range of time is important. Longer brewing times can result in more caffeine.
Cold brews also use a higher ratio of tea to water. With more leaves in the same amount of water, there is more caffeine to extract. Whether you are enjoying a can of cold brew (or you’re cold brewing yourself) caffeine content will be different depending on the amount of leaves used.
Coffee goes through a similar cold brew process as tea. If you drink cold brewed coffee, you can expect there is a higher caffeine content than your standard cup of coffee.
When comparing coffee to tea, you should still expect that coffee will be more caffeinated than most teas, whether cold brewed or not. Generally, a cold brew tea will top-out around the same caffeine content as a standard cup of coffee.
The only teas that may exceed coffee in caffeine content are those particularly high in caffeine to begin with, such as Yerba Mate or Pu-erh. Even these will usually have less caffeine than coffee unless they are brewed in a particular way.
No matter the amount of caffeine you’re looking for, Quivr has the drink for you.
For high caffeine you can snag our True Cold Brew Nitro Coffee. For a step down in intensity, our Nitro Oolong Tea and Nitro Black Tea are perfect. And if you want a caffeine-free beverage to enjoy there is the Nitro Hibiscus Tea and the Decaf Nitro Coffee.
If you can’t pick just one, we understand. Mix and match with our variety pack option to get all of what you need.