Stressed? A cup of hot tea is perfect for relaxing your body and mind. Whether you’re caffeine-sensitive, pregnant, or just want a nice hot drink in the evening, you’d probably appreciate a good cup of decaffeinated tea.
So, you want to cut down on caffeine intake but worry that decaf teas don’t taste the same as their caffeinated counterparts? Don’t worry; you don’t need to compromise on taste. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the 10 best decaf black teas that actually taste like “real tea.” Enjoy your teatime.
Decaf vs Caffeine Free : What’s the Difference?
Have you ever wondered if there’s any difference between “decaffeinated” tea and “caffeine-free” tea? They aren’t the same, and it’s important to understand the difference, especially if you need to avoid caffeine consumption.
Decaffeinated teas, or decaf teas, have gone through a process that removes most of the caffeine. By law, in the US, you’ve got to have less than 2.5% of the original caffeine level in order for the tea to be labeled as “decaffeinated.” So, decaffeinated tea is not completely free of caffeine.
Caffeine-free teas, on the other hand, are produced from plants–herbs, spices, and fruits–that naturally don’t contain any caffeine.
How to Choose a Decaf Black Tea – Buying Guide
Now that you understand the difference between decaf and caffeine-free teas, let’s go through some tips on how to choose a decaf black tea that’s both healthy and tasty.
Choose a Decaffeination Method That’s Safe and Preserves the Tea’s Natural Flavor
Today, there are three main decaffeination methods used in the United States. Although the most dangerous methods–which involved toxic chemicals–have been banned, not all the methods currently used are completely safe. Some processes are safer than others, and they’ll also influence the flavor of your tea.
The best is the carbon dioxide method, also known as the natural method. It’s considered to be the safest, and hardly touches the flavor of the tea. The ethyl acetate method, also referred to as the “naturally decaffeinated” method, is considered safe, but it’s also likely to drain the flavor from tea.
There’s another method in which tea leaves are soaked in methylene chloride to remove caffeine. Because this process leaves small traces of chemicals on the leaves, it’s not the healthiest. But it’ll preserve flavor the best.
Loose Leaf Teas or Tea Bags? Look at Your Priorities
Loose leaf teas are better than tea bags in many ways; they pack more flavor, aroma, health benefits, and that most elusive of concepts, pleasure. Loose leaf teas are made up of high-grade whole leaves, whereas tea bags are often filled with low-grade “dust and fannings” from crushed leaves.
Although loose leaf teas taste better, not everyone has time to brew them–especially if you’re hustling in the morning or bustling at work. In these situations, tea bags come in handy. They are easy and convenient. Loose leaf teas are more suitable for a relaxing evening out on the porch or slow weekends.
Choose by Aroma and Its Effects
When you are super busy, stressed, and tired, a cup of aromatic black tea can make you feel relaxed and calm.
A cup of hot ceylon tea, which is fragrant with notes of citrus, is known for being soothing and rejuvenating. The aroma of bergamot in earl grey tea, as well as the fruitiness of peach and muscat in flavored tea, lifts your mood.
Flavored teas get their zest in different ways. They might contain blossoms, pieces of dried fruit, or spices. They might be drizzled over with essential oils, which are extracted from blossoms, fruits, leaves, or roots. Or, they might be infused with flavoring agents that are chemically synthesized–not extracted from plants.
Most flavored teas on the market are laced with flavoring agents. Flavored teas that are completely natural cost more, but it’s worth it.
Top 10 Best Decaf Black Teas to Buy Online
For our overworked, red-eyed readers, here are the 10 best decaf black teas that’ll help you unwind. They taste just as good as (and make you less jittery than) their caffeinated counterparts.
10. Bigelow Decaffeinated Assorted Teas (6 Pack)
Great Assortment for Any Occasion
This assortment is a grand introduction to the world of Bigelow decaffeinated teas. There’s three bags for each of the six flavors: you’ve got your traditional Green Tea and Earl Grey; then there’s the zesty Constant Comment (contains orange rinds), the smooth and sweet French Vanilla, the bright and citrusy Lemon Lift, and the rich black English Teatime.
The tea bags are individually wrapped in foil pouches so they stay fresh. They’re not sweetened, but there’s a sugary whiff to them; enjoy them alone or with creamers and honey.
9. Stash Decaf Vanilla Chai Tea (6 Pack)
Great Dessert Tea for the Evening
Stash Decaf Vanilla Chai is made with all natural ingredients. It’s naturally decaffeinated too, and its aroma is drawn from vanilla, cinnamon, ginger root, allspice, and clove. The vanilla adds a rich and creamy flavor to the lightly spiced tea.
The tea is rich, full bodied, and well-balanced. On cold, grey evenings, brew yourself a cup and throw in some milk and sugar for a chai latte. If you love losing yourself in aromas and the taste of spices, then give this a try.
8. The Republic Of Tea Mango Ceylon Decaf Full-Leaf Black Tea (3.5 Ounces)
Sweet, Refreshing Aroma with a Fruity Mango Flavor
The Republic of Tea Mango Ceylon Decaf is a loose leaf tea that serves 50 to 60 cups. It’s strewn with mango pieces and sunflower petals. It’s light and refreshing, but the body’s full. It blends surprisingly well with milk, as well.
The mango infuses the tea with sweetness, and it’s great both hot and iced. The fresh fragrance transports you straight into a sunny orchard and uplifts your mood. If the days have been nothing but bleak, do yourself a favor and brew a cup.
7. Twinings Decaf Earl Grey Black Tea (6 Pack)
Classic Black Tea to Start Your Day
Twinings Decaf Earl Grey has got your daily infusion of bergamot and is the perfect cup of tea to start your day. It’s also great as a cozy evening tea, as the aroma helps to relax and soothe the body. The tea pairs exceptionally well with milk and sugar.
This tea is naturally decaffeinated. Although it’s not as deep as the caffeinated version, it doesn’t lack in strength, flavor, or smoothness.
6. Taylors of Harrogate Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea
Unwind with High Quality Decaf Tea
Taylors Decaffeinated Breakfast Tea is a blend of leaves plucked straight from Africa. It’s high in antioxidants and has just a hint of sweetness. It’s perfect for all seasons and for any time of the day. It’s been treated with carbon dioxide, which sounds bad out of context–but remember, it’s the safest decaffeination method.
It’s rich and smooth and leaves no bitter aftertaste. It pairs well with milk or lemon, if that’s how you like your tea.
5. Harney & Sons Decaffeinated Ceylon Black Tea
Loose Yourself in the Rich Taste and Fragrant Aroma
Herney & Sons Decaffeinated Ceylon is another black tea that’s been treated with carbon dioxide. This smooth and subtle tea will perk you up at any time of the day, and the lemony note goes well with food.
The tea is delicious and full of flavor. There’s body, there’s citrus, and there’s aroma. It can be enjoyed on its own, but it goes exceptionally well with milk and honey or sugar.
4. The Republic Of Tea Decaf Ginger Peach Black Tea
Exceptional Over Ice
Ginger peach has long been a darling among fans of The Republic of Tea, and now it’s available in decaf. You’ve got the delicate sweetness of peach and the tingling spiciness of ginger. Drink it hot, and it’ll warm you up in the middle of winter; or you can ice it, drizzle in some honey, and sip it on a hot summer afternoon.
This tea tastes like it was plucked straight from the tea–none of that synthesized stuff you get from other brands. But it’s sweet, a real darling, and charms even self-proclaimed tea haters.
3. Stash Tea Decaf Earl Grey Loose Leaf Tea (3.5 Ounce)
Brew a Perfect Amber Cup with Amazing Fragrance
Stash Tea Decaf Earl Grey is a smooth and aromatic black tea infused with 100% pure bergamot oil. The 3.5 ounce pouch can make 50 flavorful, delicious cups of tea. It’s naturally decaffeinated, but it doesn’t lack body. It’s rather heady, actually.
It’s a versatile tea–perfect in the afternoon or after dinner. It can be had on its own, but if you’ve got a sweet tooth, then you’ll love it with milk and sugar.
2. Harney & Sons Decaffeinated Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea
High Quality Leaves in Convenient Teabags
Harney & Sons’ much beloved Hot Cinnamon Spice is also available in decaf. There’s real zest and lightness to this tea, with its orange peels, cloves, and ground cinnamon. It’s also been treated with carbon dioxide.
This time around, Harney (or his sons) has packed high-grade leaves into pyramid tea bags, which means you’ve got both the body and nutrition of loose leaf tea and the convenience of bagged tea. This’ll definitely warm you up on a winter evening. If you love the bite of spices, then make a cup and lose yourself in the divine smell.
1. Choice Organic Decaffeinated Earl Grey Black Tea
Organic Decaf Tea with Rich, Robust Flavor
Choice Organic Decaffeinated Earl Grey is a black tea blended with Italian bergamot oil, which, again, has been decaffeinated with carbon dioxide. The rich, robust flavor remains intact; the jitters are banished.
The tea is clean and smooth with deep citrus notes, which is very relaxing and comforting. The tea is perfect for any time of the day: make a nice hot cup to soothe you in the morning and another to help you cozy up in the evening.
Decaf teas are invaluable to the caffeine-sensitive, pregnant, or jittery. The decaf teas we recommended have real body to them, so even tea snobs needn’t turn up their noses.
Try to get a few different flavors, and brew when the mood takes you. Spicy for dreary evenings, mild and cool for stifling days. You deserve to treat yourself.
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