Decaffeinated, which is also commonly referred to as decaf tea, is tea which has undergone a decaffeination process of one sort or another that has removed most of its caffeine. There are many different processes of decaffeinating tea. There are processes that are dangerous and have been made illegal, and ones that are completely safe without any health risks. The different processes in use have an impact on the tea, and can affect its flavor. There is also a process today that still uses a possible carcinogen, so it’s important to learn about the processes of decaffeination which are used on the tea you are buying.
Different decaffeination processes used on tea
Carbon dioxide or CO2 decaffeination is completely safe, and it’s extremely effective at removing caffeine. It’s also excellent at preserving the flavor. It’s the safest process that maintains most of the flavor. It uses highly compressed CO2 in gas form, which becomes a fluid under pressure. The only negative to this process is the cost; it’s expensive.
Ethyl acetate is a compound that occurs naturally. It is found in fruits and it does occur in tea leaves, though in very small amounts. This process is completely safe, but removes a little more of the flavor compared to other processes. However, the ethyl acetate process is inexpensive.
Methylene Chloride / Dichloromethane
Methylene chloride, or dichloromethane, is possibly carcinogenic and it is toxic in large concentrations. It is an effective process and does preserve the flavors, but it’s risky. This decaffeination process is legal in the United States and is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration. The low concentration left in decaf tea probably does not pose a large health risk, but there have been analyses of teas in the past which have had levels above the legal limit. It’s difficult to find out which teas come from companies which use this process, as they generally do not make it known due to the negative perception about this process.
Benzene is a process that has been banned and has not been used for a long time. It is a dangerous carcinogenic chemical that can lead to many health problems and is not safe to be used in a decaffeination process.
This is another chemical that has fortunately been banned and has been ceased to be used. It is unsafe for decaffeination, and was banned due to studies showing that it causes liver tumors in mice.
Carbon dioxide decaffeination is the most preferred method. It’s safe and preserves the flavor, though it’s a little more expensive. Ethyl acetate is safe, but doesn’t preserve as much of the flavor. But its decaffeination process is less expensive. Methylene chloride is legal, though it is a little more risky to use. This decaffeination process is regulated by the FDA. Other processes which were used in the past are trichloroethylene and benzene, which have been banned due to the health risks, and are no longer used.
Westerners have recently rediscovered the green tea. It has its origin in China; the Chinese believe that green tea has the ability to prevent many hazardous diseases, and even treat symptoms of others. This belief has now passed on to the western world, through word of mouth, and of course, the most well-known promotional tool in the world: the Internet. The west is now slowly adapting to the taste of green tea instead of black tea; not everyone likes the idea of 'green' tea, but the color is paler, not green, and the flavor is crisper. Green tea is made from a leaf called Camellia Sinensis, most commonly. These leaves do not require a high amount of oxidation and which makes green tea a good source of the antioxidants known as “Catechins”.
Antioxidants & Catechins
Antioxidants are agents that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause cell damage and a number of other diseases, --free radicals, are abnormal foreign agents, in some cases, and they are linked to the development of various kinds of cancer. Catechin in green tea is what gives it the strong taste and smell. Catechin also has the capability to move up to infiltrate our body's natural digestive system. It once absorbed by our digestive system, it’s filtered through the blood, where it eventually, reaches our retina, and eyes. The catechins then protect the eyes and reduce the occurrence of eye diseases. Research has been done on whether or not green tea can prevent glaucoma; the findings are pretty amazing. Glaucoma is a disease that can cause loss of eyesight, visual impairment, and even permanent blindness.
How it Works
An experiment was conducted on mice to prove that green tea can fight eye ailments. The tiny animals were fed green tea orally on a regular basis, and then their eye tissues were analyzed. The analysis revealed that the retina absorbed the highest number of catechins. The antioxidant lowered the harmful oxidative pressure in the eye and the effect lasted for about twenty hours. Many people are also aware of green tea's effect on weight loss; everyone seems to be jumping on some kind of green tea fad diet. Well, these diets aren't just trendy, 'here today, gone tomorrow', weight loss schemes. When used in your regular diet program and health regime it is extremely beneficial. People who replaced coffee for green tea rarely come back to coffee.
Add Green Tea for a Healthier Future!
Because of its medicinal values in the last few years Green tea has become an important subject of scientific research and analysis. These studies have proven that green tea also has other medicinal effects and benefits that help in reducing or preventing some hazardous diseases like cancer. Even more studies have proven that green tea may be effective in the treatment of joint diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, or impaired immune disease and other serious illnesses associated with the liver. A cup of green tea is a good refresher and pumps in a high amount of energy in to the system, --and don't forget, it tastes great too!