A good decaffeinated tea?


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A good decaffeinated tea?

Postby teaninja » Dec 20th, '08, 22:30

Hi, does anyone know of a decaf tea that tastes half-decent? So far I have tried Lipton decaffeinated teabags and Upton Tea Import's C02 decaffeinated premium Ceylon and C02 decaffeinated premium darjeeling... and I'm sad to say that to me all tasted just, well, foul. Do you know of a good one?
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Postby gingkoseto » Dec 21st, '08, 16:32

Did they say what level the caffeine is in their decaff? Since black tea already contains much less caffeine than green tea, the decaf kind of black teas, how much caffeine do they have compared with regular black tea?

Most teas' caffeine level is already comparable to decaff coffee. Also I heard for most teas, around 2/3 caffeine diffuses in the water for the first infusion. Assume you have first infusion, get rid of 2/3 volume from the first infusion (that's usually where I start the 2nd infusion), now the caffeine left is 3/2*1/3=2/9. Then when you make more infusions, the total caffeine that remains in the tea is 2/9+1/3=5/9, roughly half of the original caffeine content. If you discard 2/3 of the 2nd infusion and make a third infusion, the caffeine left in cup is 5/9*1/3=5/27, roughly 19% of original caffeine content.

So I think a solution of the caffeine problem is get some decent tea, ignore the first 2 infusions and start from the 3rd infusion. The caffeine amount then is ignorable. :D
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Postby Ron Gilmour » Dec 21st, '08, 16:41

My technique to minimize caffeine consumption in the evening is to use teas that will take a lot of steeps and then make tea from the half-spent leaves in the evening.

I've never found a decaf tea that I was particularly fond of, but I'll say that the best I have had was a decaf Assam from Harney & Sons.
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Postby Herb_Master » Dec 21st, '08, 17:13

Ron Gilmour wrote:My technique to minimize caffeine consumption in the evening is to use teas that will take a lot of steeps and then make tea from the half-spent leaves in the evening.


I might try that, I finish work at 10pm and If I start a new tea at 10:30 and brew 6 or 7 Infusions before 2am then try to sleep I often find I am tossing and turning till 6 or 7am. That means :----

--=-- I don't wake up early enough to brew a decent pot before work

So first I have to break the insomnia habit and try out your suggestion!
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Postby omegapd » Dec 21st, '08, 20:16

gingko wrote: Since black tea already contains much less caffeine than green tea


I think this has to do with certain types of teas. If you buy a box of Lipton at the grocery store, their boxes show the caffeine content of their herbal teas (0%), green tea (30mg or so), black tea (60mg) and then coffee which they list at 100mg. In their world at least, black teas are higher than anything else they sell.

As to the original question, I've never found a good decaf. I have cut the caffeine content by using a decaf tea bag like Tetley and mixing it with a regular tea. It doesn't seem to affect the flavor too much.

EW
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Postby kymidwife » Dec 22nd, '08, 00:29

I haven't found a decaf version of "real" tea that I enjoy... and I really don't care much for most tisanes/herbals. Chamomile, blechhhh. Mint is ok.

But, I do enjoy mugicha or mugicha/genmai.... roasted barley alone or blended with roasted rice. It's decaf, naturally sweet, and has a really pleasant roasty-toasty flavor. If you roast the barley dark enough, it actually tastes somewhat like coffee but smoother, sweeter, and no bitterness. There are some threads here on how to roast your own, or you can buy the mugicha already roasted.

Sarah
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Postby Riene » Dec 22nd, '08, 00:42


My best friend is caffeine-intolerant, and likes the Lady Grey Decaf from Twinings pretty well. The best decaf I've tried was Tetley's British Blend decaf.
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Postby Goose » Dec 22nd, '08, 01:46

My bride is very caffeine intolerant, she use Barry tea decaf bags. They are a far cry from "real " tea but are one of the better bags we have tried to date. She makes Iced tea with them as well.

http://www.barrystea.ie/site/decaf.html
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Postby Cofftea » Dec 22nd, '08, 11:31

My suggestion is brew a black tea you like and just give someone else the 1st infusion, remembering to steep 1 extra min per infusion.
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Postby gingkoseto » Dec 27th, '08, 12:35

omegapd wrote:
gingko wrote: Since black tea already contains much less caffeine than green tea


I think this has to do with certain types of teas. If you buy a box of Lipton at the grocery store, their boxes show the caffeine content of their herbal teas (0%), green tea (30mg or so), black tea (60mg) and then coffee which they list at 100mg. In their world at least, black teas are higher than anything else they sell.

EW


That's true! I think I mis-estimate caffeine level of some black and oolong tea, and for a few times got myself very much caffeinated in late night. :P

It's also discussed in another post (mayby the teavana post?) how intriguing the labeled caffeine content can be. I wonder if there is any scientific measurement on caffeine level from tea cups, not directly from tea leaves.
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Postby Intuit » Jan 2nd, '09, 22:05

Hat tip to the first post in this thread, with a bit of clarification.

Wash your tea leaves for no longer than 20 s with very hot, but not quite boiling water. That will remove most of the caffeine, but leaves behind the theanine in the leaves.

When we learn to brew tea properly, one is ALWAYS taught to wash the tea leaves, regardless of technique origin (East or West). For this reason, constant imbibing of tea throughout the day doesn't impair sleep at night, even when tea is drunk in the evening hours.

Theanine imparts a 'mellow' feeling from tea consumption (Note: not all teas have it due to processing, leaf age or varietal/growing origin).

Theanine is our friend. It helps normalize release of serotonin and dopamine in the central nervous system. That is very good for inducing the types of brain waves we desire, ones that coordinate brain center activity and reduce stress hormone threshold level in response to chronic/daily stress. In other words, it conditions our CNS to accept higher levels of stress before firing off costly stress hormones.

Low dopamine = mild depression, compulsiveness and addictiveness, irritability, sleep disruption.

Most of us don't need the added kick of caffeine, but we do need that theanine, as well as the antioxidants in tea.

Now, you shouldn't waste money on expensive 'decaffeinated teas', because the
Swiss Hot Water' technique is essentially the same as our tea leaves wash. Some companies employ CO2-extraction, but that removes our theanine, so its not a wise choice. Certainly one should avoid organic solvent extracted teas because of their mildly toxic solvent contaminants in treated tea leaves. A little is no problem, but constant consumption isn't a good idea, as its counterintuitive (the antioxidant benefits of tea being negated by the solvent residuals).
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Postby silvermage2000 » Jan 22nd, '09, 14:40

Well a good brand with a good decaf. english or irish breakfast perhaps. Or something with chamomile.
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Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Jun 17th, '09, 21:02

@Intuit: Can you provide some links to scientific research for what your post items are stating. I would like to read them.

@gingko

Found study, teavana /amazon FAQ referenced, Hicks et al 1996:

Can d/l the full pdf from a link at the abstract:

Tea preparation and its influence on methylxanthine concentration
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Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Jun 17th, '09, 21:09

Intuit wrote:Hat tip to the first post in this thread, with a bit of clarification.

Wash your tea leaves for no longer than 20 s with very hot, but not quite boiling water. That will remove most of the caffeine, but leaves behind the theanine in the leaves.



link to research that shows levels of theanine not removed from 20s of hot water 'wash' (basically a quick steep), and % of caffeine removed for those of us who might have hypertension/taking drugs for hypertension?


Now, you shouldn't waste money on expensive 'decaffeinated teas', because the
Swiss Hot Water' technique is essentially the same as our tea leaves wash. Some companies employ CO2-extraction, but that removes our theanine, so its not a wise choice. Certainly one should avoid organic solvent extracted teas because of their mildly toxic solvent contaminants in treated tea leaves. A little is no problem, but constant consumption isn't a good idea, as its counterintuitive (the antioxidant benefits of tea being negated by the solvent residuals).


Link to research that showed C02 extraction removed how much theanine vs Swiss water process? And the end result has how much measured caffeine vs throwing out the 1st or 2nd, or 3rd infusion?
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Postby Wh&yel-appr... » Jun 17th, '09, 21:15

I am considering buying some of the Darjeeling decaf, single estate Gopaldhara:

Would be nice to get 2009, rather than unknown harvest season.


http://www.myteas.com/item-Gopaldhara-E ... DC209.html

The aroma is sweet and slightly fruity. This is a bolder tasting tea, and brewing produces a deep amber color.
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