There is little disagreement that tea has less caffeine than coffee. How much less is a debate that could go on forever, given the number of variables. There are plenty of decaffeinated tea bags out there, but what are the options for the whole leaf tea drinker who wants little to no caffeine in their favorite cuppa?

Apparently, lots!

One of our regular subscribers, Fr. Patrick, sent a link to an article that gives the tea lover – who dislikes any caffeine-induced jitters – lots of choices. From the tea you choose – white, green, or black – to a simple rinse, you can take control of how much caffeine you and your guests are getting. No reason to turn down a nice after-dinner cup of tea! A thirty-second rinse will do the trick.

Or will it?

According to the March issue of “Tea Muse”, science does not support these numbers. In fact, for a product to be labeled “decaffeinated,” the caffeine content cannot exceed 3%, which would require three rinses, totaling fifteen minutes. (A five-minute rinse removes 69%, which is a substantial reduction in caffeine for the sensitive drinker.) Imagine steeping your tea, a lovely green, for a fourth time before drinking? The caffeine is bye-bye, but so are the polyphenols and the delicate flavor. You are drinking tinted hot water at that point, folks, and what’s the point?

You will note that the Tea Muse article includes source documentation. We advise you to read all three of the articles referenced here, and PLEASE comment on your personal experience.

Editor’s note: Editor-in-Chief at T Ching, Michelle Rabin, wrote a previous post on home decaffeination.

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