Help! I need decaf options!
I need my dear Steepster friends to help me with some decaf options! I just had a visit with my doctor and she wants me to cut my caffeine intake by half for a couple of weeks and then cut it out completely for a few weeks after that. How am I going to live without my morning cup of black tea?!
Please, pretty please, send me your favorite decaf and caffeine-free teas. I like black teas above all, whether it be flavored blends or unflavored straight tea, and am not opposed to oolongs, fruity teas, or herbals if they are tasty. I’m not a fan of green teas or white teas.
I plan on making an order with Plum Deluxe because I know they have a lot of decaf options. Looking for others to get me through this month of torture. I’m determined not to give it up forever. I swear I’d rather give up my doctor first. The caffeine isn’t really the issue – the real problem is that I love dark teas and it’s just so hard to find good ones in decaf. Please help!
Shae, feel free to go through my cupboard and if any fruit/herbal sounds interesting to you, let me know. I may share it with you. Just for free.
Also, I think that fireweed plant (Ivan chai) teas are quite similar to actual tea, but with no caffeine. There are lots of available on Etsy. I have only limited experience with it, with Mayskyi (or how) brand.
And of course… I can get you some teas from the companies I order from Mixtee with mostly Basilur brand and CGFoods. Their shipping is so low, and their free shipping level is low enough as well.
Martin, that is so very generous of you – thank you! I will check Etsy and the brands/teas you mentioned. I’ve never heard of the fireweed plant, but it definitely sounds interesting!
sadly, I think both are only in Czech, but Google translate do miracles
Yes, thank goodness for Google Translate! I will check these out – thank you, Martin. :)
Oh, I tried Ivan Chai at a tea festival once and really liked it! A “within the US” tea shop that sells it is: https://www.astoriateacompany.com/
Good to see there is some “within the US” tea shop with Ivan Chai :). Certainly a better opinion than trying to order it from Russia via Etsy…
Soba/buckwheat is caramel and nutty to me and you can brew it strong to simulate a black tea strength. I can recommend most of the Teeccino flavors, they are naturally sweetened with dates but have a strong flavor. iherb.com has them in a large 11 oz bag. Hazelnut and Amaretto are the ones I gravitate toward. I’ll drink honeybush and ginger when I want a strong brew too, not sure it would take the place of caffeine though.
Oh yes, I love Teeccino when I’m craving a coffee. I didn’t realize iherb had them, so I will check there for some of the flavors I’ve been wanting to try. I know they have several. Adding Hazelnut and Amaretto to the list for sure. I adore amaretto-flavored teas. Haven’t heard of drinking soba/buckwheat so I’m intrigued. Do you have a favorite brand or company that you purchase from? Thank you for taking the time to share!
I have some 2021 Crassicolumna black tea from Verdant Tea. Crassicolumna is a caffeine free herb that tastes a lot like black tea. It’s got this black tea with a fruity sort of taste.
I have more than I need of that one and some other caffeine free herbals too, if you are interested, I can send you a sampling of them for free.
I second Verdant Tea. They have a lot of herbals that simulate dark teas like puerh. I’ve only tried their herbal Laoshan which wasn’t my cup of tea but the others seem interesting:
At least you have some caffeine free options.
I don’t think I realized they even had a section for herbals. Thank you! Looking now to see what else they have. Vallhallow sent me some of the Crassicolumna black tea to try so I’m pretty excited about that.
While I personally do not drink decaf I do have some background I would like to provide you regarding this. Decaf is done in 2 different ways that is acceptable for importation through the USDA. The decaf has to be 97% removed. Because of the way they are processed it does take out a lot of the good stuff. And some will be left with a weird sweetness. I have one here that is like that if you would like it. I will not be finishing it. (It was part of a class I am taking)
Lastly in studies done it has been shown that if you steep a tea longer than 15 mins it reduces the caffeine to 0. Now whether you actually want to steep it that long and see what happens… depends on how much time you have. Though doing longer steepings does reveal some interesting things.
I do like some decaf blends, like Paris and Vanilla Comoro from Harney & Sons, but I admittedly haven’t tried many. I bought a few decaf black teas this past week to try, so hopefully they aren’t awful. The majority I bought was herbals and fruit tisanes.
You’re saying steep it for 15 minutes, dump it, then steep again, right? I can’t imagine there would be much flavor left after that.
Actually no. I know it’s kinda surprising but in all the studies done on all the different types of the there was 100% caffeine removal after 15 mins. This was done using hot water though so I can’t say for what would happen if steeped in cold.
And since we’re on the topic if you ever hear someone talking about doing a quick rinse to remove caffeine. It’s a myth.
Skysamurai – I am pretty sure they meant that after 15 minutes there is no more caffeine in the leaves. I googled it and one website recommends a 15 minute steep for anyone who wants maximum caffeine in their cup, as that is how long it takes to extract the full caffeine content, so maybe the teacher was saying all the caffeine is gone from the leaves. Since caffeine is a molecular solid that suspends and supposedly doesn’t even diminish in aged coffee beans, I don’t think it can just dissipate.
I put the question out to Youngest who is a biochemist, so maybe she can answer for sure.
Ahh, that makes sense. I was wondering where the caffeine would go. The longer you steep it the stronger it becomes, so I was thinking the same thing must happen with the caffeine.
Youngest confirms that the caffeine does not dissipate or disappear from the tea, only from the leaves. She mentioned that she has isolated caffeine crystals from tea in the lab.
I wanted to verify with my teacher before responding because the article from Nigel didn;t make it clear whether it was leaf or water but after verification and from reading your comments this makes more sense.
It would be easily misunderstood whether leaves or tea was meant, Skysamurai! No worries!
So I have a nerd question. Which are my favorite when it comes to tea. So the caffeine content increases in the water the more you steep it and stops, I’m assuming, around 15 min mark when the leaf is 100% out. So then does it start dissipating and how long does it take to do so? Thank you for indugling me =]
If I understand correctly – you are asking if the caffeine dissipates from the tea after the fifteen minutes of steeping are complete and the leaves are now depleted of caffeine and all of it is in the beverage? My guess is that as a molecular solid, the caffeine can not dissipate. As the water evaporates over time I would think the caffeine would become more concentrated. Also, I read that in Russian prisons, prisoners have been known to hoard loose leaf or tea bags and then boil them for a long time. They continue heating the liquid then until it is basically a sludge. It eventually becomes a caffeine concentrate with other chemicals (guanine and one other I can’t recall) present that are not extracted during normal tea making. The resulting product is then used as a hallucinogenic drug. The “tea” is called chifir.
I do hope my reply is satisfyingly nerdy!
Shae: Verdants daily deal today is for caffeine free Camellia Crassicolumna and I think the coupon code is YABAO2WAYS.
Vallhallow just sent me some of the Crassicolumna from Verdant to try, but thank you for telling me about this! I didn’t realize Verdant had a daily deals email, so I signed up. :)
Their daily deals emails are dangerous. I’m currently on a buying hiatus until I finish my classes so I try to avoid even opening them or my mouth starts to water
Skysamurai: I read those emails with one eye closed and my finger ready to swipe so I don’t purchase….
Here’s my Decaf tea option for you! My personally favorite Dilmah decaffeinated Ceylon black tea. Tastes extremely good and refreshing.
In case it is of interest:
It is possible to take some of the caffeine out by doing a short steep of your choice, perhaps ten to thirty seconds, and tossing that. Then using those leaves, doing another steep, of whatever length you wish, and drinking that.
I have a friend who drinks all her black tea this way.
I haven’t tried this because I always feel like it’s such a waste! I would probably give it a go though if I absolutely had to live without caffeine. I have too many caffeinated teas to abandon about them entirely. Skysamurai mentions this quick rinse method in a comment above and says it’s a myth. I haven’t done a lot of reading on it. Can your friend tell a noticeable difference?
My info comes from From Nigel Melican, Managing Director of Teacraft Ltd. www.teacraft.com. From a scholarly article relating to decaf.
Here’s an excerpt:
""In summary: Hicks et al measured the caffeine (plus theobromine) content of six different teas (three bagged and three loose-leaf, including black, oolong and green types). They measured caffeine-extraction in boiling water when steeped for 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 15 minutes. They replicated all their extractions three times to eliminate experimental error. Extrapolation of their data gives the following caffeine-extraction percentages below 5 minutes (averaged over all tea types and formats); note that while loose tea extracted marginally more slowly than tea-bag tea, it made only a couple of percentage-points’ difference:
30 seconds: 9% caffeine removal
1 minute: 18% caffeine removal
2 minutes: 34% caffeine removal
3 minutes: 48% caffeine removal
4 minutes: 60% caffeine removal
5 minutes: 69% caffeine removal
10 minutes: 92% caffeine removal
15 minutes: 100% caffeine removal
Clearly to achieve the 80% target we must wash our tea for more than five minutes! This is very much at odds with the mythical ‘30- or 45-second hot wash to remove 80% of the caffeine’ advice, as a 30-second initial wash of the tea will actually leave in place 91% of the original caffeine!""
Thank you for sharing this! It’s really interesting to see how much is actually removed.
The whole article is quite fascinating. I would put it all here but I’m not sure whether it’s allowed or not. <.<
I agree with Skysamurai – I heard about the rinse trick early days as a tea drinker and saw it debunked almost immediately. I wish it were true!
Thank you for posting the excerpt from teacraft. Very interesting results!
Are you still in need of decaf?
I bought quite a few decaf blends, so I think I’m set for now. I’m always open to hearing about good decaf options though, so please share if you find something you like!
Well It’s more that… I have some caffeine-free teas and I figured id see you want them. =]
Oh thank you! I’d be glad to do a swap if I have anything you’d like to try. I did just get a few new teas in. I wonder if you might like the Jiaogulan from Far West Tea Traders.
Interesting! I had not even heard of it but I’d love to give it a try. I love expanding my palate =] I’ll send you a PM