POST UPDATED ON 6/21/2013
More than 60 varieties of plants contain caffeine. The better known ones are Tea, Coffee, Cocoa and Kola Nuts. Cocoa is fairly low in caffeine but is high in a compound called ‘Theabromine’ which has a caffeine like effect and explains the ‘lift’ one feels after eating chocolate!Take a look at this caffeine breakdown (FYI drip filter coffee tops the list)
Drip Filter Coffee 150 mg per cup.
Percolated Coffee 120 mg per cup
Instant Coffee 100 mg per cup
Black Tea 30 to 70 mg per cup
Green Tea 10 to 40 mg per cup
Soda/Cola 45 mg per can
In moderation, caffeine is a benefit - stimulating the metabolism, increasing brain function and alertness. Because caffeine from tea does not take effect for 10-15 minutes, it provides a subtle lift not the sudden jolt of coffee. (Four cups of tea does not allow the caffeine level to go beyond the 250 mg stipulated by the American Psychiatric Association.)
WHY DECAF DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD
Caffeine is removed from tea using industrial processes and strong chemicals which may be more harmful to health in the long run than the caffeine itself. You may be surprised to learn what the chemicals used in decaffeination are:
1. Ethyl Acetate–this is nail polish remover!
2. Methylene Chloride–by another name it’s a paint stripper!
3. Liquid CO2– This method is expensive and the equipment to liquefy the CO2 operates at 300 bars (the pressure in a car tyre is 3 bars).
Practically all the decaffeinated teas on Supermarket shelves have undergone methods 1 and 2. There is no mention of residuals etc – and the teas taste awful.
Here is a simple home decaffeination method: Because caffeine is readily soluble in hot water, if you infuse a regular tea bag or loose leaf tea for 20 seconds, discard the brew and pour fresh boiling water over the partially spent leaves, the resultant cuppa will have 75% less caffeine. It’s that simple to do your own decaffeination! But would the producers of decaffeinated teas tell you this?”
READ MORE ABOUT TEA AND HEALTH ON THIS ADAGIO TEA WEBSITE
These pearls of wisdom were gathered from Larry Brown, ex Assam tea planter from the “good old days” now retired and dividing his time between the Gold Coast, Australia and Shillong, India. Larry is a walking encyclopedia: the “Google” of tea; full of serious knowledge, funny stories and interesting trivia. I constantly bother him with pesky questions.