Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Decaffeinated Tea & The DeCaf Company

Looking for a really great decaffeinated tea? Don't bother. That's my recommendation, though you can certainly take it for what it's worth.

As one of those types who don't really react so well to caffeine, I'd be downright ecstatic if someone could devise a way of decaffeinating tea that wouldn't strip the leaves of their flavor.

The standard advice for someone who wants to decaffeinate their tea is to "wash" or "rinse" the leaves by doing a brief infusion - perhaps 30 seconds to a minute. Then throw out the water and brew your cup of tea.

Tea people tend to go on about this, debating the effectiveness of the process. Some swear by it, while others claim it's a load of nonsense and produce various facts and figures to back up their arguments.

My own experiments with the process have been encouraging, but I'm also willing to consider that it's a "mind over matter" situation or a placebo effect and that maybe it really doesn't work.

What I'm leading up to here is a press release I ran across today, from a new firm called The DeCaf Company, LLC. They describe themselves as "an advanced polymers research and prototype company that has invented and patented high-tech polymers."

The release trumpets "a scientific breakthrough that will allow coffee or tea drinkers to reduce and control the amount of caffeine within their beverages - all within a matter of seconds - and without compromising the taste and quality of the drink."

Here's how it works, or so saith the company, "The stirrer or cup is coated with harmless molecular polymer beads that specifically attract caffeine molecules. As the consumer stirs the beverage, the caffeine molecules bind to the MIPs-imprinted stirring sticks or MIPs coated sides of the cup, rapidly reducing the levels of caffeine within the drink itself. The longer the consumer leaves the stirrer in the cup, the more caffeine is removed. With just a few swirls, caffeine can be reduced to up to 70 percent in most drinks."

Well, we'll see about that, won't we? As much as I'd like to believe that the "taste and quality of the drink" won't be affected, let's just say that I'm cautiously skeptical.

Though I'd certainly jump for joy if they'd actually come up with a way to decaffeinate tea that wouldn't make it taste like it had been filtered through a musty old sock.

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1 comment:

Tamar said...

Saying that Decaf Tea doesn't have any caffeine content is clearly a mistaken concept by many. The term decaf itself is misleading. It is true that decaf is recommended for those who have high blood pressure, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have any. It only has less. It's the same as sugar free sweeteners. If you really can't take caffeine, then it's better to just avoid things that have it.