Decaffeinated teas offer many health benefits without the negative side effects of caffeine. This includes a better night’s sleep, less anxiety and lower blood pressure.
Some people are sensitive to stimulants and may not be able to enjoy caffeine-free tea. Others prefer to drink decaf tea for the taste and the other health benefits it offers.
1. It’s safe
If you’re not able to get rid of your love for tea or coffee, don’t worry because it is totally safe to drink decaf tea everyday. Unlike coffee, which has been linked to miscarriage and birth defects in some studies, decaf tea contains a lower amount of caffeine. Hence, it is safe to drink decaf tea during pregnancy.
However, it’s important to know that the decaffeination process can also reduce the health benefits of tea, such as the free-radical clobbering antioxidants that fight against diseases and prevent cancer. This is because the decaffeination process uses solvents that can also remove healthy chemicals and affect the flavour of your cup of tea.
The good news is that the carbon dioxide method for decaffeinating is a healthier option as it preserves more of the original nutrients than the methylene chloride or ethyl acetate methods. However, it’s hard to say how much of a difference this will make to the overall taste.
The other problem is that the decaffeination process will still leave a small percentage of caffeine in your tea leaves, which will affect how you feel after drinking it. But, it will still be less than a cup of regular green tea which contains around 75mg of caffeine. Plus, green tea is a bit different from coffee because it has more l-theanine which alters the way your body absorbs caffeine. This makes it a lot more time-released and calming, so you don’t experience the coffee jitters that most people do.
2. It’s good for you
Decaf tea is a great alternative to coffee if you want to avoid the negative effects of caffeine. Caffeine can cause jitters, insomnia and raised heart rates. It can also increase anxiety and reduce collagen synthesis, which speeds up aging. Thankfully, decaf tea doesn’t have any of those side effects.
All teas made from Camellia sinensis leaves contain varying levels of caffeine. It all depends on where the leaves are grown, how they’re processed and brewed. Organic Green teas typically have the lowest caffeine content, with black teas and coffees containing more.
The most popular method of decaffeinating tea is using water or carbon dioxide. While these methods do remove some of the caffeine, they also remove much of the flavor and antioxidants that make tea so good for you. The four most common decaffeination methods are water processing, ethyl acetate, methylene chloride and CO2. The best tasting decaf teas are those that are processed using the carbon dioxide method.
You can still enjoy all of the wonderful health benefits of green tea with a cup of decaf. Try a decaf herbal blend before bed to help you sleep, or have a calming cup of Assam, Darjeeling or Ceylon tea to start your day. Just be sure to store your teas away from light and moisture, so they can stay fresh and delicious.
3. It’s not bad for you
Decaf tea is a great option for those who want to drink the many benefits of tea without all the caffeine. It’s also a good choice for people with sensitivity to stimulants and for pregnant women who may not want to consume too much caffeine.
All true tea leaves contain a small amount of caffeine but the amount differs depending on how the tea is processed, where it’s grown and how it’s brewed. Black teas, for example, contain around 75mg of caffeine while green and oolong teas contain closer to 30mg. Green teas are known for their healthy benefits including lowering high blood pressure, boosting brain function and aiding digestion.
The most common decaffeination methods use water or carbon dioxide to remove the caffeine from the tea but these two methods tend to alter the flavor of the tea and can lead to a less than desirable cup. In addition, they may contain traces of harmful chemicals such as methylene chloride, which is used to strip paint and is not safe for human consumption.
Luckily, there are more natural ways to decaffeinate tea and these methods can be safer for your health as well as the environment. Some of these include steaming, soaking the tea in water or boiling with hot water and baking the leaves. The CO2 method is particularly effective and has been proven to minimally impact the tea’s taste.
4. It’s not addictive
Some people are hesitant to switch to decaf tea because of the concern over addiction. The truth is, though tea does contain caffeine, it doesn’t have the same stimulant effect that coffee does. The caffeine in tea is absorbed into the bloodstream at a much slower rate which allows it to give you energy without the associated crashes and burns of high-caffeine drinks. The key is moderation, just like with any other food or beverage.
If you are concerned about addiction, be sure to stick to a reasonable amount of tea per day. You can also try switching to herbal blends if you want to enjoy the benefits of tea without the caffeine. Many of these blends have calming effects and are great before bed or if you’re battling insomnia.
It is important to note, however, that not all decaf teas are created equal. Some grocery store brands use the methylene chloride or ethyl acetate method of decaffeination which can cause unwanted side-effects. Try to find a decaf tea that is water-processed in order to avoid these chemicals and still get all of the benefits that come with drinking tea.
Decaf tea can be just as versatile and delicious as caffeinated tea. Be sure to choose a decaf tea that is brewed using fresh, quality ingredients and experiment with steeping times to find the perfect flavor.