We used to think that the majority of tea’s caffeine was released in the first 45 to 60 seconds of steeping. Knowing this, we thought one could collect and remove much of the caffeine contained in tea by using a quick decaffeination technique at home.
Unfortunately, new research released by tea “technologist” Nigel Melican has debunked this theory. Nigel asserts that the quick decaffeination method at home does not work nearly as well as we thought. His research suggests that on average only 20% of the caffeine content is removed using the quick decaffeination method, rather than the 80% we previously purported.
Regardless, if you need a way to lower your caffeine intake in a pinch, or have a favorite tea you can’t get in a decaffeinated version, consider using the following easy at-home decaffeination method to reduce the caffeine in your cup.
1) Place your loose leaf tea in your infuser or do-it-yourself tea bag. Then place your infuser/tea bag inside your brewing vessel. Cover with a small amount of boiling water (just enough to cover the leaves).
2) Steep for one minute, then remove the infuser/tea bag and discard the water.
3) Re-infuse the same tea leaves in fresh, water heated to the appropriate temperature for the tea being brewed and steep for the customary amount of time.
You’ve just made yourself a less caffeinated cup of tea! Keep in mind that small amounts of caffeine remain in tea decaffeinated by any method - only naturally caffeine-free herbal and fruit infusions lack it completely. It is also worth noting that the method described above may somewhat diminish the flavor and aroma of your tea.