It's firstly important to clearly define Tea as anything belonging to the Camellia Sinensis family. If you take that plant and process it as a white, green, oolong, puerh, black tea then they all have caffeine. Things in the botanical world such as chamomile flowers, hibiscus, juniper berries etc are NOT a tea and as such do not contain caffeine.
The caffeine in tea acts differently to the caffeine in coffee. Tea has a powerful combination of caffeine and theanine which act together slow-down the absorption of caffeine. As a result, the onset of that 'caffeine kick' is much more gradual than coffee however the effects can last up to 10 hours. The L Theanine alongside the coffee is the reason drinking tea won’t result in the quick buzz and drop down feeling.
Sources: Food standards Australia New Zealand; Australian Institute of Sport Caffeine Fact Sheet
If you want to reduce the amount of caffeine you get from your tea here are 3 easy things you could do:
- Switch from tea to tisane. Tisanes are herbal infusions like rooibos or mint and contain no caffeine.
- Try a half minute initial steep and then pour the water out and re-steep (most caffeine is extracted in the first half minute)
- Use cooler water (using teas that steep at lower temperatures like white, oolong and greens are good choices)
Happy Tea Drinking!