What We Mean When We Say “Naturally Occurring Caffeine”

What We Mean When We Say “Naturally Occurring Caffeine” 09.17.18

Each day, millions of people partake in a beloved daily ritual: their morning begins with a dose of rejuvenating caffeine. That’s because caffeine does a great job of increasing mental focus, boosting energy levels and basically helping people get through the day. 

So far, we at 8th Wonder Tea have three varieties of caffeinated tea - Ashwagandha ChaiGinseng Green, and Yerba Mate Cayenne - that offer 29, 31, and 62 mg of naturally occurring caffeine, respectively. Scientifically, caffeine may be caffeine, but some people feel there’s a big difference between synthetic and natural sources. We definitely agree.


What is Natural Caffeine?

Caffeine is a stimulant called trimethyl xanthine that occurs naturally in over 60 plants. This includes the Fair Trade Certified black tea, green tea, and yerba mate we source for our teas. A century ago, the caffeine added to carbonated sodas and caffeine tablets originated from extractions of tea leaves or coffee beans.


What is Synthetic Caffeine?

Today, synthetic caffeine is made through a chemical synthesis that can use harsh chemicals like ethyl acetate, carbon dioxide and carcinogenic organic solvents like methylene chloride. The process goes like this:

Ammonia is first converted to urea, which is then combined with chloroacetic acid to produce a compound called uracil. Uracil is processed and converted to theophylline, then methyl chloride is added to produce the final product: methylated theophylline – otherwise known as synthetic caffeine.

Somehow, the raw synthetic caffeine tends to give off a bluish phosphorescence. Since a glowing end product isn’t preferred by consumers, this is removed by rinsing the caffeine with sodium nitrite, acetic acid, sodium carbonate, and chloroform.


We Only Use Naturally Occurring Caffeine at 8th Wonder Tea

You can see why we stay away from anything but the real, healthy, natural type of caffeine. The added bonus is that our caffeinated ingredients are also superfoods. Green and black tea, in particular, prevent the hardening of the arteries, according to researchers at the University of Scranton, but the main superhero here is epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.  EGCG is a phytochemical that slows irregular cell growth, which could potentially help prevent the growth of some cancers.

When you need a boost, skip the soda or “energy” drinks and choose one of our three certified organic, caffeinated teas. They’re all-natural, of the highest quality, non-GMO – and completely free of synthetic caffeine.



  1. Carpenter, M. (2015). Caffeinated: How our daily habit helps, hurts, and hooks us. New York, NY: Plume.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21421389
  3. http://www.organicauthority.com/health/need-a-lift-or-a-jolt-the-important-differences-between-natural-and-synthetic-caffeine-natural-caffeine-vs-synthetic-why-the-difference-is-important.html
  4. https://www.coffeeandhealth.org/topic-overview/sources-of-caffeine/
  5. https://www.trueprotein.com.au/natural-vs-synthetic-caffeine