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Is Decaf Really Caffeine Free?

Picture this: It’s after 11pm and you’ve gotta start on that beauty rest within an hour in order to function at 100% tomorrow. Despite the late hour, you find yourself peering over at the keurig taking up precious counter space on your tiny NYC counter and you are stuck salivating at the thought of a sip of fresh brew. Will decaffeinated coffee do the trick? Is decaf coffee really caffeine free?

The answer might surprise you. The bad news is that decaf is not actually caffeine free. The good news? It’s won’t likely contain enough caffeine to keep you up. A regular cup contains between 100 and 190 milligrams of caffeine. A decaffeinated cup, contains only a fraction of the caffeine, between 5 and 10 milligrams. This essentially means that you can have a full cup of decaf and it would equal only about a sip of full strength coffee, when it comes to caffeine content.

We know black tea is caffeinated but how about green? Well, black tea can contain between 30 and 50 mg of caffeine, placing it right under regular coffee in the rankings. Green tea, has slightly less per cup; between 25 to 30 mg. Decaf black tea, appropriately, has even even less caffeine than decaf coffee at 2 to 5 mg.

Want to steer clear of caffeine entirely? Herbal tea is you best bet as most herbal teas contain 0 milligrams of caffeine.

The Rankings from most to least caffeine:

Coffee: 100-190 mg of caffeine

Black Tea: 30-50 mg of caffeine

Green Tea: 25-30 mg of caffeine

Decaffeinated Coffee: 5-10 mg of caffeine

Decaffeinated Black Tea: 2-5 mg of caffeine

Herbal Tea: 0 mg of caffeine