How to Extract Caffeine From Tea


Caffeine has been proven safe for most people when consumed in moderation, but for health or personal reasons many individuals prefer drinking decaffeinated beverages. Although decaffeinated teas are available at most supermarkets, caffeine can be extracted from store bought teas at home by washing tea leaves with hot water. This process removes the majority of caffeine present in tea leaves, while still providing a flavorful cup of tea.

Things You'll Need

  • Tea kettle
  • Water
  • Tea bag or tea leaves
  • Tea ball
  • Mug or tea pot

Removing Caffeine From Tea

  • Boil a pot of water. The hotter the water, the more caffeine will be released from the tea leaves. Thus, it is important to use boiling water when extracting caffeine from tea.

  • Place the tea bag in a mug. If using loose leaf tea, place tea leaves in a tea ball and then put the ball into the tea pot or mug.

  • Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat under the water.

  • Pour hot water over the tea bag or tea ball. Use enough water to completely cover the tea bag or ball.

  • Steep tea for at least 30 seconds. According to Upton Tea Imports, almost 80 percent of the caffeine present in your tea will be removed within the first 30 seconds of steeping, however, the longer your tea is steeped, the more caffeine will be removed. For caffeine removal, tea can be steeped for up to six minutes, although the amount of caffeine removed from tea decreases the longer it is steeped.

  • Pour water out of tea cup or pot and refill with hot water. Brew tea following recommended package instructions and enjoy.

Tips & Warnings

  • The amount of caffeine differs depending on the type of tea used. Black teas contain more caffeine than green teas.
  • Bland or light teas should not be steeped for longer than 30 seconds--they will lose much of their flavor.
  • There is no way to remove all of the caffeine from tea. Even decaffeinated teas contain a slight amount of caffeine.

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