Caffeine-free teas are a sensible choice for a health-conscious lifestyle. Even though classic teas are high in antioxidants, sometimes the caffeine content just isn’t acceptable for some people. Fear not, intrepid tea-drinker! There are lots of options that provide a soothing, relaxing drink without the side effects of caffeine, and you don’t have to settle for the decaf teabags at the store to get them. Read on!
Rooibos to the rescue
Rooibos-based infusions are a great choice; rooibos is a powerful anti-oxidant plant that has a refreshing and interesting taste, plus it mixes so well with many other ingredients such as citrus, lavender, rosehip, and more. Rooibos can form a great base for a tea mixed with other herbal ingredients, or it is also great on its own with a little honey and slice of lemon!
Classic herbal teas, or tisanes, are an incredibly popular choice for many. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different herbal tea combinations; there’s likely one to satisfy any palate. If you’re not a fan of the earthy taste of some of the herb or grass based drinks, dried fruit infusions are very popular and are excellent when sweetened with honey or stevia. Plus, you can make use of the ancient healing properties of herbs; lavender and chamomile to calm, cherry and licorice to invigorate, and mint or parsley tea as an excellent digestive aid.
So you love your standard black/green/oolong teas, but still want to cut back on the caffeine? You can actually use the basic properties of caffeine to your advantage in this situation. Caffeine is a highly water-soluble substance; that is, it dissolves rapidly in water, especially hot water. (See where we’re going with this?) If you’ve ever read about or experienced a gungfu tea ceremony, you’ll note that one of the steps is the “washing of leaves”. Hot water is poured over the tea leaves in the pot for about 15 or 20 seconds, and then the tea is poured out.
While this does help eliminate some of the tea dust that ordinarily collects on the leaves, it also pulls the majority of the caffeine out of the tea leaves. The tea leaves are then covered again with hot water and allowed to brew. There is little loss of flavour, and many claim the tea actually tastes better after the initial washing ceremony. Give it a try next time and see if you don’t agree!