How Much Caffeine in ShapeShifter Teas?
Q I am very sensitive to caffeine and avoid it completely. How much caffeine is there in a cup of Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw’s ShapeShifter Teas, prepared as you recommend?
A Each full serving of the ShapeShifter Teas, which makes about 12 fl oz (1 1/2 standard cups) contains about 3 grams of tea: 2 grams of Pu-erh tea, yielding 50 mg of caffeine, and 1 gram of Darjeeling green tea, yielding 15 mg, for a total of 65 mg. Thus a standard cup (8 fl oz) contains about 43 mg of caffeine, which is within the normal range for most forms of tea but substantially less than the amount found in most forms of coffee.
By the way, there are many Pu-erh aficionados out there. There is even a Web site (www.pu-erh.net) dedicated to this rare tea from the Yunnan province in China. Unfortunately, it does not offer much in the way of scientific substantiation, concentrating instead on the gourmet and experiential aspects of Pu-erh. If you check out the offerings on eBay, you will notice that aged Pu-erh tea can reach astronomical prices, with some vintages selling for thousands of dollars per kilo!
Durk and Sandy are interested in the healthy chemicals in ShapeShifter Teas, including the inhibitors of fatty acid synthase (FAS) in the Pu-erh, and the promoters of thermogenesis in the Darjeeling. It would be a mistake, though, to think that FAS inhibitors are present in sufficient amounts in all Pu-erh teas (they’re not), or that their presence is price-dependent (it isn’t). Moreover, high levels of these healthy phytochemicals are relatively uncommon, and to know what they are requires chemical analysis of the teas not only from each producer but also from each batch. The bottom line is that only some Pu-erh teas will provide the desired health benefits.