There has been considerable controversy surrounding the industry notion that washing the leaves of whole leaf tea for 30 seconds can substantially reduce the amount of caffeine. Recent “scientific” evidence suggests that caffeine wasn’t so easy to eliminate. I was surprised to learn of the investment Bigelow tea had made into this notion: producing a video to show consumers how to decaffeinate their teas at home. They report that a wash with boiling water for 30 seconds effectively eliminates 85% of the caffeine.
I’d be surprised if a company like Bigelow failed to investigate the science behind this method. Industry wisdom has historically used the statistic of 80% when reporting the percentage of caffeine eliminated by home “washing” methods. Bigelow’s 85% represents a substantial increase and renews my confidence in folklore. My daughter’s heightened sensitivity to caffeine has always served as a “canary in the coal mine” – so to speak – at our house. She’s able to enjoy green and white tea, after the first rinse, without any negative effects from the caffeine.
Once T Ching can afford the cost however, I pledge to have the required testing done so that we can all feel confident in our consumption of tea and our control over how much caffeine we are consuming with it.