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Best decaf tea, either online or in a store?

SteveTimko Aug 30, 2006 06:14 PM

The decaf tea I've tried from supermarkets and from some of the places like Trader Joe's just don't cut it. Are there good decaffeinated teas I can buy online? Or is there one sold in stores I haven't tried?
I generally don't like herbal teas (rose hips, etc.). I'm looknig for a decaf Earl Grey or Ooolong or anything along the more traditional lines. So please, no Celestial Seasonings recommendations.
Anyone tried the decaf tea sold by Peet's?

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  1. Low Country Jon RE: SteveTimko Aug 30, 2006 06:50 PM

    Decaffeinated teas tend to be pretty mediocre. The best recommendation I can give you is to just buy high quality loose leaf tea and then "wash" the leaves by steeping for 30 seconds, discarding this initial infusion, and then steeping again for the required time. This method eliminates about 80% of the caffeine, which is released in those first 30 seconds.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Low Country Jon
      Pei RE: Low Country Jon Aug 30, 2006 09:18 PM

      That's what I do. A lot of higher end Chinese tea even tastes better during the second steeping, so without the initial "wash" they're pretty bitter and hard to drink anyway.

      Peet's tea is horrible in general, so I wouldn't even bother trying the decaf.

      If you must, I've had Republic of Tea decaf Earl Greyer. Not too bad.

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      fauchon RE: SteveTimko Aug 30, 2006 06:53 PM

      Agree with Low Country Jon. Here's a link to info about decaffeinated tea including direction to do it yourself...very simple & by far the best IME...


      1 Reply
      1. re: fauchon
        twiggles RE: fauchon Jun 13, 2007 01:42 PM

        agreed- i do this with loose leaf tea as well, and the tea still tastes great.

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        PaulV RE: SteveTimko Aug 31, 2006 01:29 AM

        My wife switched to decaf tea when she became pregnant and faced the same dilemma. The best grocery store decaf tea that we found was Typhoo. There are some better loose leaf ones available at local stores, but I don't know about mail-order.

        1. Pei RE: SteveTimko Aug 31, 2006 01:57 AM

          I don't know the caffeine content of them, but what about some of the Japanese and Korean rice/grain teas? Do you like those?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Pei
            SteveTimko RE: Pei Aug 31, 2006 02:12 AM

            Never had one. I'll have to check them out.

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            e_ticket_lizabeth RE: SteveTimko Jun 13, 2007 01:35 PM

            I'm with you--I like herbal teas, but sometimes, you just want a good cup of tea without the caffeine! So far, the best I've ever found is Kroger brand, believe it or not. Their regular decaf tea is pretty blah--no off taste, really, just really weak tasting. However, they make a "President's Select" brand of decaf English Breakfast that actually tastes like tea! I don't know if you have Kroger or Dillon's grocery stores in your area, but it's worth a shot. Good luck! I've just read some very promising reviews of Taylors decaf, so I'm thinking about trying them, too. I have to special order the decaf English Breakfast, so if I can easily find the Taylors, and I like it, I may just switch. On the other hand, the Kroger brand is quite inexpensive.

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              schmo RE: SteveTimko Jun 13, 2007 01:57 PM

              I don't know if you like to deal with loose tea, but someone just gave me a tin of Kusmi Russian Evening, a classic black tea, as a gift. It says on the side that it is low caffeine, and it tastes wonderful. I think you can find it online.

              1 Reply
              1. re: schmo
                MMRuth RE: schmo Apr 13, 2008 02:45 PM

                I just bought some of that on a whim at Russ & Daughters in Manhattan and brewed myself an afternoon up (rather than an evening one) and, as you say, it's wonderful.

              2. liu RE: SteveTimko Jun 13, 2007 03:24 PM

                Hi, SteveTimko. Mostly I drink green oolongs, but later in the day and at night I prefer either barley tea (you can easily find it at all Asian markets, usually in a yellow plastic container --- tea bags) which has no caffeine, or I enjoy Maeda-en Gold GenMai Cha which is brown rice tea. Although it does contain some natural green tea, it is mostly roasted brown rice (the bag with the popcorn mixed in with the tea); this is low in caffeine. You can find this on the Maeda-en site, or at many Japanese or even large grocery stores that have an Asian section.


                I like all of their teas; you might call them and ask about their non- or low-caffeine teas:

                Phone: 1-866-MAEDAEN (1-949-251-9601)

                1. puppymomma RE: SteveTimko Jun 14, 2007 09:33 AM

                  I like the Decaffeinated English Breakfast (Ceylon OP) at Upton Tea

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                    Oh Robin RE: SteveTimko Jun 14, 2007 12:13 PM

                    I know you said you didn't like TJ's, but did you try their decaf English Breakfast? I think it's good.

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                      Val RE: SteveTimko Apr 13, 2008 04:14 PM

                      There is also red tea to consider which is naturally caffeine-free. I've only purchased the Snapple red teas so I don't know a good rooibos brand to recommend for brewing but someone here may have a good rec for you...here's some information, though:


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