At Tahoe Teas™ we offer Green, White, Black teas and blends that naturally contain caffeine. If you want to avoid drinking caffeine especially before bed-time, it is best to drink non-caffeinated tisanes like Tahoe Red or Tahoe Kids.
One easy way to reduce caffeine level in your tea is to steep the tea for one minute and discard that water, then steep your tea again. Some of the flavor will be compromised, however when you use full leaf high-grade teas like ours, you can steep teas several times and they will still taste great.
Caffeine occurs naturally in tea as well as more then 60 other plants. Natural caffeine will stimulate you and keep you alert and not let you “crash” in the end. Buddhist monks started drinking tea to help them maintain alert during long meditations.
Lets look at some comparisons of how much caffeine is in some of the foods and drinks we consume every day:
- Black Tea 8oz ……………..45 mg
- Green Tea 8oz……………..20 mg
- White Tea 8oz……………..15 mg
- Brewed coffee 8oz………..60-120 mg
- Coca Cola 8oz…………….34 mg
- Pepsi 8 oz…………….……38 mg
- Dark chocolate 1oz……….20 mg
- Milk chocolate 1 oz………..6 mg
- 7up………………………….0 mg
Like anything else, moderation in caffeine consumption is best. However, one would think (and studies show) that “natural” caffeine which is found in plants is better for you then caffeine that is added into soft drinks and power energy drinks. When separated from its sources, caffeine is a white bitter- tasting powder, therefore a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners are added to make a drink taste good.
A note on sugar:
At Tahoe Teas™ we use a natural and organic plant-extract called Stevia. This natural sweetener is much better for you then sugar, fructose, high fructose corn syrup and other artificially constructed sweeteners. Read your labels! Be careful when using new products like Truvia and Purevia . In those products, Stevia is mixed with dextrose or maltodextrin which are the main ingredients and are sugar derivatives. Why would you mix good things with bad?
If you like your tea sweetened, use honey or other natural sweeteners like agave syrup.
Several methods are used to remove caffeine from its natural sources:
- Methylene chloride processing
- Ethyl acetate processing
- Carbon dioxide processing
- Water processing
Methylene chloride is a chemical used as a solvent to extract caffeine from many raw materials. Molecules of caffeine bond to molecules of methylene chloride. The materials are softened in a water bath or in steam. The next step is to process the materials with methylene chloride by either of two methods:
Using the "direct" method, caffeine is removed by directly soaking the materials in methylene chloride.
Using the "indirect" method, caffeine, which is water soluble, is extracted by soaking the materials in water. Many of the flavors and oils are also extracted during this process, so the solution is treated with methylene chloride and then returned to the material for reabsorption of the flavorings.
Ethyl acetate processed products are referred to as "naturally decaffeinated" because ethyl acetate is a chemical found naturally in many fruits. Caffeine is extracted in the same way as with methylene chloride processing, but ethyl acetate is the solvent.
To decaffeinate using carbon dioxide (CO2), water-softened materials are "pressure cooked" with the gas. At high pressures and high temperatures, carbon dioxide is in a supercritical state, acting as both a gas and a liquid. It becomes a solvent with its small, nonpolar molecules attracting the small caffeine molecules. Since flavor molecules are larger, they remain intact, which is why this process retains the flavor of the material better.
Caffeine extraction with water is used primarily for coffee decaffeination. The process is similar to the "indirect" method used in methylene chloride processing, but no chemicals are used. After the caffeine is leached out of the material by soaking in hot water for a period of time, the solution is then passed through a carbon filter for caffeine removal. The water is then returned to the beans for reabsorption of flavors and oils. In the "Swiss Water Process," the same method is used, but instead of soaking in water, the beans are soaked in a coffee-flavored solution. This results in the caffeine being extracted without removing the coffee flavors.
Caffeine is not removed completely using any of these methods, but under federal regulations in the United States, caffeine levels must not be above 2.5 percent of the product in order for a product to be labeled "decaffeinated."
Most of the caffeine removed in processing is manufactured for use in other products, such as medicines and soft drinks. For example, less than 5 percent of the caffeine found in cola drinks is actually from the kola nut, and many of the popular "high caffeine" soft drinks do not contain kola nut extracts at all. The caffeine content of soft drinks is primarily, and sometimes completely, from the addition of caffeine extracted from decaffeination processes.