We all think of chamomile tea as being that tea you take to relax or to unwind before heading for bed. But you might be wondering does chamomile tea contain caffeine?
As a long-time tea connoisseur, I’d like to answer that question, so let’s start with the quick answer, then we’ll get into more detail…
Does Chamomile Tea Have Caffeine? As a herbal tea, chamomile tea contains zero caffeine content. Herbal teas, or tisanes, are not made from the tea plant camellia sinensis. Instead they are produced from flowers, leaves, roots and seeds of other plants, and therefore, aside from potential trace elements, do not contain caffeine.
If we set aside any naturally occurring trace elements of which caffeine could potentially be one …chamomile tea has zero caffeine when made in the purest way. Chamomile tea is only an infusion of a herb.
Now that you know for sure, you can just go right ahead and drink your chamomile tea! Or check out this fabulous chamomile tea I’ve tried from amazon.
Herbs contain zero caffeine
Chamomile is a herb that’s derived from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. This is a large family of plants which of course includes your basic daisy, but also plants like Chrysanthemum and sunflower!
Any tea made from these plants, or any flora, and fauna other than the Camellia Sinensis plant will not contain caffeine content.
There are a few exceptions to this rule out there however, Yerba mate is one for example. But in general, the rule applies.
This is why chamomile and other types of tea made using herbs (not the Camellia Sinensis) are referred to as herbal teas, tisanes, or herbal infusions – and not simply “tea”.
Sleep tea – without Caffeine
Chamomile tea – when brewed in its pure form is also called a “sleep tea”, this is because it has several calming, relaxing, and soothing properties – supported by the fact that it has zero caffeine.
We also know the presence of caffeine doesn’t contribute to sleep or calming properties – in fact, it has quite the opposite effect.
Caffeine is known for triggering or boosting brain activity and fighting fatigue, this is why we have caffeine to keep us awake and for concentration.
So this all clearly shows that chamomile tea or “sleep tea” has no caffeine.
When does chamomile tea have caffeine?
If you’re using fresh chamomile flowers to brew your tea it’s going to be caffeine-free.
However, when you purchase chamomile tea it may have added caffeine content. They do this by adding another type of tea varietal such as black, white, green, or oolong tea.
These true forms of tea varieties are made from the Camellia Sinensis plant which does contain caffeine …so when mixed with chamomile tea this adds a caffeine element.
So when purchasing chamomile tea, make sure you check the ingredients and the nutrient list to find out if they’ve been added with caffeine. It should usually say it clearly on the packaging.
Depending on the type of tea and the ratio of tea added to the chamomile herb the caffeine content in your chamomile tea may differ. Below is a small breakdown of the caffeine content in some true tea varieties,
Comparison of caffeine content in other types of tea
For comparison purposes, here’s the caffeine content of the true tea types.
- Black Tea – 40-70 milligrams of caffeine for an eight-ounce serving.
- Green Tea – 25-45 milligrams of caffeine for an eight-ounce serving.
- Oolong tea – 37-55 milligrams of caffeine for an eight-ounce serving.
- White tea – 15-30 milligrams of caffeine for an eight-ounce serving.
Caffeine Comparison chart
Here’s a chart that provides you with some idea of the basic caffeine content of true teas and other caffeinated teas, vs the caffeine content of chamomile tea.
How would caffeine get into camomile tea?
We talked about trace elements too, so I should mention that obviously, plants absorb elements and nutrients from the soil.
If the chamomile plant were to come into contact with caffeine-related nutrients in the soil, either placed there or from other caffeine-containing plants, then it may absorb some trace elements into the plant. and pass that on to the drink
But I would also caveat that this is likely to be extremely rare! Especially given that the processing part of the tea may well eradicate this anyway.
But let’s suppose you want to add a “caffeine hit” to your chamomile tea? let’s discuss how to do that next…
How to add caffeine to your chamomile tea
For this, you can make a regular cup of tea using the tea leaves or tea bags of your choice.
Of course, I’m basing this on the above breakdown of the caffeine content of the tea of your choice. Once the tea is brewed and poured, add in a chamomile tea bag – or add fresh chamomile flowers and let it sit for a few minutes.
If you’re using tea bags, you can add both the chamomile tea bag (caffeine-free) and a regular tea bag (caffeinated) of your choice together and let them steep together.
And if you’re using tea leaves and fresh/dried chamomile flowers, you can add them together too, let it steep for 3-5 minutes, strain and serve into your teacup.
Or some choose to leave the chamomile tea bag in the cup – that’s up to your own personal choice.
The more you allow the tea to steep with your tea and the herbs, the more flavor you will infuse.
If you want only a small caffeine punch, let the regular tea bag or tea leaves steep for a lesser time and then add the dried or fresh chamomile flowers to infuse for longer. After a few occasions, you’ll eventually find the balance you’re looking for.
Should you add caffeine to your chamomile tea?
Not really. the combination is unlikely to yield a good taste experience for most people, and if you’re looking for a caffeine hit, then it probably doesn’t make sense to add it to a tea renowned for helping you relax.
It’s probably a better idea to just select one of the other teas and brew those instead. Save your chamomile for when you need to relax and sleep well.
I hope this has provided you with a definitive answer regarding chamomile tea and the question does chamomile tea have caffeine. Good luck if you decide to add caffeine to your chamomile tea.