So you want to know if loose leaf tea is bad for you? Maybe you just want to know a little more about it and how it is made? This post will help you decide on weather decaf tea is for you.
It could be that you’re someone that is sensitive to caffeine or simply does not like the feeling it gives you, maybe you're wanting to remove stimulants from your diet. You will most likely have come across Decaf tea and coffee, in your search.
But have you considered how the caffeine is removed from the tea leaves and the potential effects this may have on your health or the environment?
What is Decaf Loose Leaf Tea
Decaf tea is made from actual tea leaves, our Decaf tea is made from the Cylon leaf specifically. This is different from caffeine-free tea. Caffeine-free tea will tend to be a herbal tea of a region-specific plant that can be brewed. An example of this would be Red Bush tea from South Africa.
How is loose leaf tea decaffeinated
Decaffeination of loose leaf tea can be done using 3 different methods, I will go through these methods, in an attempt to allow you to make an informed choice when it comes to picking the right loose leaf decaf for you.
Carbon Dioxide Method
This is the friendliest of the 3 methods for removing caffeine. It has the lowest environmental impact as no chemicals are used. Co2 is a naturally occurring element and is used in many other processes. One example is that of fizzy drinks, the co2 is what makes them fizz.
This method also preserves the best flavour from the tea leaves and let's face it, nobody wants to drink a rubbish brew so this is important.
They do this by attracting the caffeine molecules with the co2 molecules in a process that involves heat and pressure. This results in the removal of the caffeine leaving a Decaf tea ready for brewing up.
Ethyl Acetate Method
Tea decaffeinated using this method is normally referred to as naturally decaffeinated. That is because the chemical used in the process can be found naturally in many fruits. This however is a little misleading as the ethyl acetate that is used in the process is actually chemically manufactured and can also be found in nail polish.
The decaffeination process is done by soaking the leaves in the chemical, the caffeine molecules will attach to the chemical and in turn, can be removed. The chemical is then removed from the bathing solution leaving the oils and flavours from the leaves. The leaves are then soaked in the bathing solution to soak the flavours and oils back up.
Methylene Chloride Method
This is one of the most controversial methods of decaffeination. Methylene Chloride is used for things like paint strippers, metal cleaning products, and degreases it is used in the adhesive manufacturing process and the production of foam boarding.
With a list like that, it certainly makes you want to raise an eyebrow. Personally, this is one I tend to avoid.
The actual process is done in the same way as with ethyl acetate.
Decaffeinated tea is great if you're looking for that standard flavour but we should all be considerate of the processes involved in the removal of caffeine from our loose leaf tea. After all we want to enjoy our brew without it affecting our health or the environment.
My opinion is, if you are set on drinking decaf tea then the only sensible way to go, is to drink decaf tea that has been produced using the CO2 method. I believe this is by far the safest way to enjoy a cup of decaf tea.
If you’re willing to be a little more adventurous, however, there are some wonderful caffeine-free teas available to try, some of which might surprise you, your new favourite brew might be just around the corner.Either way here at Berty’s Brews we can help, not only do we have decaf loose leaf tea produced using the CO2 method. We also have a selection of caffeine-free teas for you to try. Just click the links.