When asking if decaf teas are good or bad for you, you need to take a few things into consideration...
Firstly to answer the question - yes, decaf tea could be better for you but it really depends on what you want out of your tea, and what you want to avoid. Some studies suggest caffeine is bad for you leaving you feeling irritable and lying awake in bed, not to mention the potential addiction to caffeine.
However - you must consider, that although caffeinated teas such as black and green teas contain caffeine, they also contain a lot of other things that are good for you, such as antioxidants and minerals. It is also important to note that choosing a decaffeinated black tea over a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea could be worse for you.
Let's explore further...
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a molecule found in leaves and seeds such as tea and coffee that acts as an energy stimulant in humans. Caffeine occurs naturally in any tea leaves (black tea, green tea white tea etc.) because it is a natural pesticide in plants. The tea plant uses the caffeine to kill all those pesky bugs that are trying to eat its lush leaves!
What is a decaf tea?
'Decaf' or ‘Decaffeinated tea’ can either refer to a naturally caffeine-free hot drink such as a herbal tea, or it can refer to a tea (such as a black tea) that has been through a process to remove its caffeine.
How do they make decaffeinated tea?
For naturally caffeine-free teas, you do not need to process them in any way. To remove caffeine from 'normal' tea (black tea, green tea etc.) there are two methods: using either a solvent or carbon dioxide to strip the leaves.
Perhaps the most shocking fact about decaffeinated tea is that unfortunately, no tea containing tea leaves can ever be completely caffeine-free! So this means the only way to enjoy a truly caffeine-free tea is to choose one that has naturally caffeine-free ingredients, such as a fruit tea, herbal tea or rooibos tea.
Did you know...we have a Caffeine Free Tea Collection of over 50 (naturally) decaf teas to choose from!
More about the method for decaffeinating tea
To remove caffeine from tea, the leaves are soaked and stripped by a solvent and thoroughly rinsed after the process, however, sometimes, there may be some residual solvent and caffeine left behind. When buying decaf tea, you may think you are avoiding the 'bad stuff'- but you should keep in mind that little detail, but we do our best to remove all of it!
Is caffeine in tea really bad for you?
Some studies suggest caffeine is bad for you which has led people to wonder if decaf tea better. On the other hand, though, there are also studies to suggest that caffeine in tea is good for you. The high content of antioxidants also found in tea help increase the positive effects of caffeine on your body; lifting you for longer and smoothing out any crash and burn later on in the day, some may say: 'unlike coffee!'.
Tea has less caffeine than coffee and the caffeine in tea is absorbed in a slower rate allowing the amino acids and antioxidants to cause a relaxing, calming effect. They also help improve brain function, bring down high blood pressure and help your immune system.
What if I would like a caffeinated tea after all?
Like many things, when it comes to health, it is a case of weighing up what is most important to you and having everything in moderation. Many tea companies have a 'detox' tea or a 'skinny' tea, a herbal, caffeine-free blend because caffeine is seen as a toxin. But giving our bodies the right nutrients isn’t as black and white: it all depends on the time of day, and what you want out of your cuppa!
Our friendly little tea leaf may contain caffeine, but it also contains high levels of antioxidants- so they actually help flush out toxins from the body, which is exactly what you are trying to do whilst detoxing! For example, our Digester blend contains two types of tea leaf - an oolong and a pu'erh and both contain caffeine. We choose to use these ingredients because the metabolism-boosting properties of oolong tea and the digestive properties of pu'erh can be helpful for soothing digestive issues like IBS and bloating more than any naturally caffeine-free ingredient we could use.
If you are really turning towards caffeinated tea, a good compromise might be to enjoy a tea with lower levels of caffeine such as a green tea or a white tea. It is also worth noting that all of our teas are blends, so they have less caffeine in them than regular ‘straight’ tea. Bird & Blend has one of the largest selections of totally, naturally, decaffeinated tea in the UK and we ship worldwide.
Check out our completely caffeine-free teas on our website!
I want decaf tea!
If you have been swept away by our explanation, there are plenty of options here that naturally do not contain any caffeine at all, like fruit, herbal and rooibos tea!
Guess what? Bird & Blend has one of the largest selections of totally decaffeinated tea in the UK. Any of our blends that are orange (fruit), purple (herbal) or red (rooibos) are completely caffeine free.