by **Evan Draper** » Apr 15th, '13, 14:12

Some of the presentation of this study confused me when I looked at it several years ago, so I emailed Bruce Richardson and Bruce Branan. Dr. Branan's reply is helpful:

"The primary reason we represented the results the way we did was due to the problem we were studying. “Is it possible to remove 80% of the caffeine of a cup of tea by throwing out the first 30 second infusion?” Thus we were interested in how much caffeine was in the second cup of tea compared to the caffeine amount in the first cup of tea, not the total amount of caffeine available in the tea leaves themselves. (We did, however, check a fourth infusion, and the caffeine level essentially fell off to nothing, so you are correct that by adding the caffeine in 3 infusions pretty much gets all of it)."

Note that a 7 oz cup was used, and they don't say how much tea was used. In an email Dr. Branan also noted that the temperatures were not consistent across tea varieties. ("It depended on the tea, but all were above 85 degrees when the infusion began, and each infusion between 70-75 degrees after the 3 minute infusion.") Again, the study just sets out to debunk the "30 second caffeine removal wash" theory by using various "naturalistic" brewing scenarios. I think the study design severely limits its general usefulness, but it was basically Bruce Richardson's pet project, and not published in a journal....