You may have heard that Japanese green teas are good for you, but what about the caffeine? Good to know that the typical cup of green tea contains just one fifth the amount ofcoffee, or around 30mg. If you are one who is extremely sensitive to caffeine however, consider the following before picking up that box of decaf green tea.
Most consumers are not aware that the decaffeination process pretty much ruins the major health benefits associated with green tea.
Have you ever noticed what an apple looks like after it's been cut and been left to set out for half an hour? It starts to turn brown. This is from contact with the air, or more specifically, the oxygen in the air. Regular black teas leaves have been exposed to oxygen and fermented that way on purpose, giving it charictaristic taste. With green tea, however, the opposite is true - the leaves are picked and then processed immediately to prevent oxidation. The processing involves steaming, rolling, and drying, and takes about three hours from start to finish. Decaffeinated green tea is just about unheard of in its home country of Japan.
So does that mean green tea and caffeine are a must? Not necessarily. Your best bet is to start with a high quality loose leaf Japanese green tea, preferably from the first harvest and which is very fresh. Since nearly all of the caffeine is in the first infusion, getting a quality cup of decaf green tea is as simple as brewing your first infusion, dumping it, and then immediately re-brewing.
Although a green tea connoisseur may cringe at the though of dumping that most tasty, aromatic first infusion, a second infusion of a high quality green tea will nearly always be better than the best decaffeinated green tea.
More tips on brewing green tea.
Additional Green Tea Health Links...