Arthur said

The most delicious decaf tea (non-flavoured black blend) you have so far savoured?

Good day, Ladies and Gentlemen,

My wife and I are both heavily addicted tea drinkers, gulping more than 6 cuppas a day. For maternity related reasons, my wife has to cut down the intake of caffeine. We have tried 3 brands of decaf teas: Dilmah, absolutely dissapointing; Yorkshire, acceptable; PG Tips, not bad.

I understand that the process of decaffeination destroys and removes the nature and flavour of teas, but surely there is at least one, just one decaf tea out there that tastes close enough to the proper flavour. I also understand that deliciousness is a very subjective matter. I would like to know what is the most tasty decaf tea (non-flavoured black blend that goes well with milk) that you have come across so far?

Thank you very much

Kind Regards


18 Replies
Shae said

I would also like to hear some opinions on this! Harney & Sons has my favorite decaf black teas (flavored), but I’ve never tried any of their unflavored straight black teas. Perhaps they are also good and worth a try?

Arthur said

I see that Harney and Sons offers Decaf Assam. Maybe worth a try. Price is a bit steep though, not too sure how good it tastes.

Shae said

Hi Arthur! Harney & Sons does carry sample sizes if you wanted to try a smaller amount. I think the price per serving is more, but you get enough for a few cups so you can be sure you like it. I bought several samples with my last order and am still working through them. I can’t say I’ve tried their Decaf Assam though so I don’t know if it’s a good one.

Arthur said

Thank you, Shae. Decaf Assam is out-of-stock at the moment (store in New Zealand), I’ll order some when it’s available again and let you know if it makes a good decaf cuppa.

Shae said

Oh yes, I’d love to know if you and your wife like it!

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Bigelow makes non-flavored decafs. Of all the decaf teas I’ve tried, these are the least objectional. What I do on the rare occasions I brew these is to double bag a cup or pot. I get a lot more flavor that way.

Twinings and Harrogates also offer decaf English Breakfast tea. It’s been ages since I’ve drunk either, but I recall enjoying them with milk. Again-double bag to optimize the flavor.

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Oh-there is also a tea substitute called ‘yaupon.’ I’ve tried it and enjoyed it but really have too many other teas so it was passed on to a friend with a fairly bare cupboard. The one I got was from Cat Spring Tea. At that time when I tried it, they carried samplers. I’m not affiliated with them.

Worth noting that yaupon does have caffeine in it.

Shae said

Does it taste like black tea or more like an herbal? It looks like this website at least has different varieties and roasts which is really interesting.

Shae – personally I’ve not been very fond of the taste though that’s probably because the greener varieties are more comparable to the taste of green tea. Roasted varieties have been more approachable to me, and reminded me of yerba mate in a lot of ways.

Shae said

Ah, I probably wouldn’t like it much either then. Green teas aren’t my favorite. Thank you!

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Yes, @Roswell Strange, and decaf tea has caffeine in it as well. Your point?

Serving size (fl.oz.)

Decaf black tea 4-6 milligrams per 8 oz.

Decaf green tea 2-4 milligrams per 8 oz.

Yaupon tea 0.65 milligrams per 8 oz.

Shae said

It’s helpful to mention here that decaf tea still contains some caffeine, as I don’t think everyone knows this, but I also think Roswell’s comment about yaupon is a valid one should someone come to this thread looking for caffeine-free alternatives (not realizing that decaf is something different). I’m sensitive to caffeine myself so I’m always glad to know these types of things.

Decaf tea does have trace amounts of caffeine in it, yes.

However, the link that you provided to Cat Springs Yaupon references that their yaupon has an average of 25mg of caffeine per serving – even though it’s not a lot of caffeine, that is still a significant amount more caffeine than the trace amount you’ll find in the average decaffeinated tea.

We have caffeine testing done by a third party company where I work, and the yaupon we’ve carried in the past has definitely tested at a higher caffeine level than 0.65mg/8oz or the average decaf tea. We carried a greener yaupon, which typically has a higher caffeine content than roasted yaupon. I’m not sure what style of processing you’re referencing with your caffeine measurements, so perhaps something heavily roasted could be more inline with your numbers.

I only pointed it out about because Arthur mentioned that they were looking for decaf tea for maternity related reasons – so I figured that the Yaupon would likely not be a better alternative to decaf teas since based on my experience professionally and the link you provided it seems to have a higher caffeine content.

Arby said

Yaupon is known to contain a decent dose of caffeine per serving (similar to tea and coffee). It was used as a stimulant for this reason by Native peoples of the Americas.

Decaf teas contain very little caffeine, as you mentioned in your post.


“The appropriateness of yaupon as a caffeine source is indicated by its high rates of leaf production and ample caffeine concentrations, which are comparable to those found in unprocessed leaves of yerba maté”

A study on components (and caffeine) from different plants: yaupon, yerba mate, and guayusa

And some further reading if you want to learn more

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Arthur said

Thank you very much, everyone, for all the suggestions and recommendations. Yes, I am aware of the fact that decaf teas do contain small amount of caffeine, and it’s like approximately 10% of the amount contained in the regular teas. I think we’ll give yaupon a pass, as my wife is more used to the taste of the black Camellia sinenesis. She has tried Rooibos, a herbal tea from South Africa that claims to have zero caffeine content. Although it’s quite tasty, but still can’t replace the sensation and satisfaction offered by a strong cuppa of English Breakfast styled tea.

Hi Arthur,

I’ll admit right off the bat to not really being a drinker of decaf teas because of the flavour loss – and it’s been some time since I last had this one, but I remember not finding Stash’s decaf English Breakfast objectionable.

Also seconding Shae’s recommendation for Harney & Sons – I’ve not personally tried any of their decaf black teas, but the one friend I have who drinks decaf teas seems particularly fond of theirs.

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck in finding a replacement that meets your needs!

Arthur said

Thank you, Roswell. “English Breakfast” sounds promising. I’ll look around to see if I can get hold of some.

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