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Caffeine in Gunpowder Tea

By Jessica Bernard

All green tea varieties are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. Depending on the variety, the leaves, stem and buds of the plant are used. Gunpowder green tea is a specific variety of green tea that is grown in a specific region and rolled in a particular manner. Like all green teas, gunpowder green tea contains caffeine.

Gunpowder Green Tea

Gunpowder green tea has been in existence since the Tang Dynasty. It is rolled tightly to assume the appearance of gunpowder pellets. The balls do not unroll during storage, and only unravel when they are exposed to water, opening to become olive-green leaves. Gunpowder green tea is more concentrated than other green tea varieties because it is more tightly rolled. It can have a slight smoky scent with a light lemon aftertaste, although the overall effect is relatively mellow.

Caffeine Content

All green teas contain between 2 and 4 percent caffeine. The specific caffeine content for gunpowder green tea depends on a number of factors, including how much tea is used in relation to water and how long the tea is allowed to steep. The less tea to water you use and the shorter the steeping time, the lower the caffeine content of your tea. Because gunpowder green tea is very tightly rolled, a smaller amount of dried tea will provide more caffeine than other more loosely rolled green tea varieties.

Consumption and Side Effects

Medline Plus states that green tea is likely safe for most adults to consume, so long as it is done in moderation. Drinking more than five cups of green tea a day may cause a variety of side effects. These include insomnia, headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears and heartburn. Green tea consumption may reduce iron absorption and too much green tea can actually be fatal as the caffeine levels become too high. A fatal dose of caffeine is considered to be between 10 and 14 grams.

Precautions

Green tea can interact with medication or other existing conditions. Limit your green tea consumption if you are either pregnant or breast-feeding. Two cups of green tea is equal to 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is the recommended limit to avoid miscarriage and other negative effects. If you suffer from anemia, anxiety disorders, bleeding disorders, heart conditions, diabetes or liver disease, consult your doctor before beginning consuming large amounts of green tea.

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