Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quick Tip: Easily Make Any Tea Decaf

Photo courtesy of Le Palais des Thes

A few years ago, I worked for a wholesaler that imported goods to sell to specialty boutiques, high end department stores (like Neiman Marcus), and other fun shops, like Anthropologie. We sold a variety of products, from candles to bath products to tea. 

We all went through extensive tea training, learning the ins and outs of how the tea we were selling is grown, harvested, cultivated, packaged, steeped, and slurped. The training completely changed my perspective on tea, making me truly appreciate good, whole leaf, fairly traded teas.

One of the things I learned is that any tea can be decaffeinated quickly and easily at home. It's pretty cold here in Wisconsin these days, and I like drinking something hot in the evening to warm me up. We didn't have any decaf tea on hand, but that wasn't an issue at all.

And there ya go! Just to be sure I was telling you the right thing, I double-checked my memory against other tea sources. Keep in mind that like anything that says "decaf," there's still a small amount of caffeine present. 

About 75-90% of caffeine is removed when commercially done; there are two methods used, one of which also strips the tea of its nutritive values. This at-home method removes about 80% of the caffeine. So, yes, there is still caffeine, but a marginal amount. Trust me, I'm still getting (lack of) caffeine headaches when including this in my caffeine-free day.

Update (2/2012): I just received a tea assortment from Teavana, and in their literature it mentions the same technique and info. 


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