How to Decaffeinate Your Own Tea
Kick the Caffeine Habit
by Chas Kroll
is one of the hot topics today among health-conscious
people. It is consumed by 80-90% of American adults on
a daily basis, making it one of the most commonly used
pharmacologically active substances in our society. With
such vast numbers getting their caffeine kicks, questions
arise such as "How does caffeine affect my body?
How much is safe to consume? What are the alternatives?"
First off, what is it? Caffeine is a bitter white alkaloid,
the methylxanthine called 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine. It
is a natural substance found in at least 63 different
types of plants, coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa being
the most common.
consumed in moderation, caffeine, a mild central nervous
system stimulant, can have numerous positive effects on
the body such as a feeling of increased energy, uplifted
mood, increased focus and reaction time. A small amount
of caffeine may benefit people suffering from mild depression.
On the downside, even small doses can have undesirable
physiological effects on the body that include anxiety,
increased blood pressure and pulse, constricting superficial
blood vessels, difficulty falling asleep and disruption
of rapid eye movement and dreaming while asleep. According
to some studies, caffeine causes calcium depletion. It
also increases the painkilling effect of aspirin and acetaminophen
and is thus often found, for instance, in migraine medicines.
the American Medical Association and the American Cancer
Society have issued strong statements regarding the effects
of caffeine. Many health practitioners and nutritionists
will also advise consumers to decrease your consumption
gradually over a period of days or weeks to avoid withdrawal
One of the best ways to cut back on caffeine, or eliminate
it almost entirely, is by drinking non-caffeinated or
decaffeinated tea. First, there are a couple of things
you need to know.
Surprisingly, tea, per pound of leaf, contains more caffeine
than coffee, per pound of bean. However, since more ground
coffee is required to brew a single cup than tea is required
to brew one cup of tea, the average cup of tea contains
less than half the caffeine of the average cup of coffee.
The caffeine content of tea depends on where it was grown,
brewing method used, type of tea and the temperature of
the water used for brewing it. Contrary to popular opinion,
green tea does not always contain less caffeine than black
tea, which is another surprise for most people.
to Remove Caffeine from Tea
The biggest surprise is that approximately 80% of the
water soluble caffeine in tea is released during the first
30 seconds of brewing. So, to remove most of the caffeine
from your tea, simply pour boiling water over the loose-leaf
tea leaves in your teapot, allow the tea to steep for
30 seconds, and then discard the liquid. Use the same
tea leaves with fresh hot water to brew a close to fully
decaffeinated cup of tea for drinking.
You will find this process highly effective, allowing
you to enjoy the originally caffeinated teas you love
without major concern over caffeine content. Test it for
yourself and you will see that it works.
Be sure to use only loose-leaf, premium-grade teas instead
of the tea in teabags. Unlike teabags loose-leaf teas
can be brewed over and over again until you have depleted
the leaves of their wonderful natural flavor. This means
that the same teaspoonful of tea can produce two, three
or more cups of tea all from the same leaves. It is nearly
impossible to brew a second worthwhile-tasting cup of
coffee from the same grounds, or a good second cup of
tea from most of the off-the-shelf supermarket teas sold
If you have been a diehard coffee devotee for years, we
recommend you switch over to caffeinated strong black
teas first, so you won't miss your little kick. Slowly
start decaffeinating these same quality leaves until you
no longer feel withdrawal symptoms — typically headaches
and sluggishness. In fact, you may start feeling better
than ever soon — after all, besides incredible taste,
tea is considered by many as the healthiest beverage on
the planet. To get started, find someone who is knowledgeable
about the various types of tea and willing to help you
with your selection, based on your personal taste preferences.