Tea Forté understands that some of our customers are sensitive to caffeine and would like to know the differences between the terms “decaffeinated tea” and “caffeine-free tea.” The word “decaffeinated” refers to teas that once contained caffeine and went through a process to remove it almost entirely. The phrase “caffeine-free,” on the other hand, refers to ingredients not related to Camellia Sinensis, the species of plant whose leaves and buds are used to produce tea. Herbal tea is caffeine-free, and some examples of the plants often used to create it include hibiscus, chamomile, and rooibos.
What makes caffeine-free tea special?
Caffeine-free tea can be made from a broad array of diverse ingredients ranging from aromatic flowers, herbs, and roots to fruits, spices, seeds and more. Often processed by wilting, rolling, tearing, steaming, drying and other methods, loose leaf herbal tea can be beautifully textured and colorful, with hints of dried flower petals and other visual delights. Likewise, there’s often a hint of color visible inside the silken infusers of Tea Forte’s single-serve herbal teas. One final note about vocabulary: herbal infusions are also occasionally referred to as “tisanes,” which is simply another way of saying “herbal tea.” So, if you’re drinking a tisane, you’re enjoying a beverage with no caffeine whatsoever.
Caffeine-free tea’s health benefits
The greatest advantage of herbal tea is its absence of calories and caffeine. This gives it the ability to hydrate the body, offer a pleasant array of flavors, and bring about an overall sense of calm when consumed. Herbal tea’s positive effects on the body are many; for instance, mint and ginger teas are thought to aid in digestion, echinacea tea is used to stave off a cold, dandelion root tea is beneficial to the throat, and chamomile tea is often associated with its ability to ease the mind and soothe the soul.
Caffeine-free tea’s origins
Thought to have originated in ancient Egypt and China as an early form of medicine, caffeine-free tea has been around for nearly as long as humankind itself. Used today all over the world for practical purposes related to good health, it’s also sought after simply for its flavors, its fragrances, and the way it beautifully brings about a sense of peace.
How to prepare caffeine-free tea
For those curious how to prepare caffeine-free tea, temperature is key: water should be heated to 208 degrees Fahrenheit and left to steep for five minutes or longer. Unlike black, green and white teas, it’s fine to let herbal (and oolong) tea steep for as long as you’d like without increasing its level of bitterness. Some may enjoy adding sugar or honey to herbal tea for sweetness, but other accompaniments like milk and lemon are best reserved for black tea (no matter if it’s fully caffeinated or if its caffeine levels have been reduced). Once fully brewed, caffeine-free tea may be served hot or cold.
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