The maximum amount of caffeine is found in tea leaves and coffee beans. In addition, it is found in cocoa fruits, mate, guarana and other plants. It is synthesized by plants to protect against insects that eat leaves, stems and grains, and to reward pollinators. The caffeine in tea is called theine, which is actually a combination of caffeine with tea tannins. There are also mateine and guaranine, derived from mate and guarana, respectively.
Caffeine affects a person in different ways: in small amounts it tones up, but in large amounts it has a negative effect on the body. Therefore, to the question of whether caffeine is harmful, doctors answer evasively: it is harmful for people with certain diseases, for healthy people it is harmless and even useful in controlled doses.
First, about those for whom caffeine is contraindicated: these are people with constantly high blood pressure, as well as those suffering from vascular diseases and atherosclerosis. Due to the increase in acidity that occurs after taking caffeine, it is not recommended for those who suffer from gastritis, gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer. For pregnant and lactating women, doctors are advised to drink no more than two cups of tea or 1 cup of coffee a day. Children can drink tea no earlier than 3 years old and in a dose several times less than the norm for an adult.
For a healthy person, caffeine in a reasonable amount is not harmful and even useful. A safe single dose is considered to be 100-200 mg of caffeine, and the maximum allowable daily dose is 1000 mg. A cup of tea contains an average of 85 mg of caffeine. Although, of course, the concentration will depend on many parameters. From the type of tea (for example, Darjeeling contains less caffeine than Assam), from its color (there is usually more caffeine in green tea), from the duration of brewing and even the size of the tea leaves: the smaller the tea leaves, the more active the extraction of the substances contained in the leaves. But on average, 2-3 cups that we usually drink per day will only benefit.
As we said, the way we brew tea also affects the concentration of caffeine and other nutrients in the drink. Longer in this case does not mean better. It is not for nothing that whole ceremonies are dedicated to this ritual in some countries. A competent tea brewing procedure will ensure that you receive the precious elements stored in the leaves along with the drink. We asked Jorg Zakulovski, an expert, Chief Ttester at Teekanne, for his tips on brewing.
- Try to use ordinary tap water when brewing: it is perceived as familiar and neutral in taste. If this is not possible, use still water with the least noticeable taste. Remember also that water with a high chlorine content should be allowed to boil for 2-3 minutes, then excess chlorine will precipitate. Nevertheless, it is not good if the water is boiled over. Always use boiling water to brew black tea.
- Before adding the tea leaf, rinse the teapot with hot water to warm it up.
- Tea tastes better when brewed strong. Therefore, if in doubt about the taste, add an extra spoonful of tea leaves to the teapot.
- The tea in the teapot needs to "sleep". How long depends on the variety, but usually 4 minutes is the maximum after which you can pour the drink into cups. In any case, before you brew the leaves, it is better to familiarize yourself with the brewing rules. They are usually indicated on the packaging.
- Tea is a very delicate product. It must be kept cool and with minimal humidity. According to the rules, after the pack has been opened, the tea is kept in a metal or glass sealed container, then the aroma does not go away. Always store black tea separately from flavored and fruit teas, otherwise the smells may mix.
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