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I am trying to find the best pick-me-up Japanese green tea and was wondering which type was the best to get from the assortment of Sencha, Gyokuro, Kabusecha, Bancha, etc.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

From what I've read, caffeine content can be variable even within varieties. There are possibly seasonal variations, variations in harvesting and processing technique, variations in the original plants... Psychological effects (e.g. what smells perky to you) might be just as strong, and steeping for 10 minutes instead of 5 might make as much difference as any choice of variant. So take any answer with a grain of salt, and don't be afraid to simply go with what seems to subjectively work best for you.

That said, gyokuro is supposed to be stronger than other sencha teas, and I believe compared to other Japanese green teas as well. (I found similar information elsewhere; it's not just wikipedia.)

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I agree with Jefromi, except that the powdered forms of Japanese tea (Matcha) may have significantly more caffeine in the final brew than other teas.

This is according to the analysis of 35 teas reported in the 2011 book Tea: history, terroirs, varieties. The table on page 254 reports matcha made with 1.5g of powder as having more than twice the caffeine concentration of any other tea brewed with 5g of leaves. The reported figures were averaged across three observations, but the analysis was hardly exhaustive, and there was a lot of variation even between two batches of the same type of tea, made the same way.

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