How to Decaffeinate Your Tea at Home

We receive questions on a daily basis regarding the caffeine content of tea. It’s probably one of the hottest topics we’re asked about. Recently, a customer asked why we didn’t carry a decaffeinated Genmaicha Green Tea, to which I offered the following explanation:

Decaffeinating teas requires costly equipment and substantial amounts of energy, which typically make it cost-ineffective to decaffeinate small batches of specialty teas. Only the most main-stream varieties are generally considered for decaffeination - usually versatile black and green teas that can be sold “as is” or blended in some fashion to create products like Decaf. English Breakfast, Decaf. Earl Grey, etc. You’ll almost never see a decaffeinated version of a limited-production premium tea, like our Jade Oolong, Silver Needle White, or Gyokuro Green. These products are already rather expensive and have a limited market demand, so creating a more expensive decaffeinated version to serve an even smaller group of customers doesn’t make sense for the tea manufacturer.

After offering this explanation, I was reminded of a way for caffeine-conscious tea lovers to sidestep the limited availability of premium decaffeinated teas. If you just HAVE to have a particular variety of tea, and you’re not able to find a decaffeinated version, consider using our “easy at-home decaffeination method.” The majority of tea’s caffeine is released in the first 45 to 60 seconds of steeping. Knowing this, you can collect and remove much of the caffeine contained in most tea by using the following method:

  1. Place your tea in your brewing vessel (teapot, etc.), and cover with a small amount of water (just enough to cover the leaves) heated to the appropriate temperature for the tea being brewed.
  2. Steep for no more than a minute (45 seconds should do), then remove the leaves and discard the water.
  3. Re-infuse the same tea leaves in fresh water for the customary amount of time.
You’ve just made yourself a significantly decaffeinated cup of tea! This method will not remove the caffeine entirely, but could take out as much as 60 to 80%. Keep in mind that small amounts of caffeine remain in tea decaffeinated by any method - only naturally caffeine-free herbal and fruit infusions lack it completely. It is also worth noting that the method described above may somewhat diminish the flavor and aroma of your tea.


How to Decaffeinate Your Tea at Home


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