A rapid reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatographic method using a monolithic column for the determination of eight catechin monomers and caffeine was developed. Using a mobile phase of water:acetonitrile:methanol (83:6:11) at a flow rate of 1.4 mL min(-1), the catechins and caffeine were isocratically separated in about 7 min. The limits of detection and quantification were in the range of 0.11-0.29 and 0.33-0.87 mg L(-1), respectively. Satisfactory recoveries were obtained (94.2-105.2 ± 1.8%) for all samples when spiked at three concentrations (5, 40 and 70 mg L(-1)). In combination with microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), the method was applied to the determination of the catechins and caffeine in eleven tea samples (6 green, 3 black and 2 oolong teas). Relatively high levels of caffeine were found in black tea, but higher levels of the catechins, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) were found in green teas.