Decaffeinated teas are not to be confused with herbal teas. A decaffeinated tea has the caffeine removed from it, whereas many herbal teas had no tea to begin with. Decaffeinated teas are generally for people who want to enjoy a tea without getting the caffeine jitters. 

The problem for many years was that decaffeinated teas were poor quality. The tea underwent a chemical based decaffeination process that stripped the caffeine and with it many of the natural healthy compounds found in the untreated leaf.

Fortunately, teas are now available using an improved method, the “Canadian Chemical Free CO2Process.” This process, developed in partnership with overseas tea manufacturers and Canadian food scientists, removes caffeine without using any chemicals. Instead, finished tea is briefly soaked in pure water and gently flushed with CO2. The CO2 binds to the caffeine molecules and extracts them from the tea leaving behind all the natural proteins that give tea its flavor. It also leaves many of the polyphenols and antioxidants intact - so it’s still good for you.

Decaffeinate your own tea

While there is a rule of thumb that steeping a tea for 30 seconds will remove 80% of the caffeine, this has been proven to be incorrect. Traditionally, people who want a decaf tea will steep normal tea for 30 seconds and dump the first steeping. They then drink the second steeping.

The problem is that only around 10% of caffeine is removed in the first 30 seconds. According to a study done by Hicks et all published in 1996 in Food Research International, it takes a five minute steeping to remove 70% of caffeine. However, there is a definite loss in flavor.

While discarding the first steeping may remove caffeine in some quantity, a C02 decaf tea will retain its flavor while removing 98% of caffeine.