Tea Caffeine - Second Brewing Loses Beneficial Components?

by James
(Philadelphia, PA)

I find that when drinking the first brew of high quality green tea, I cannot tolerate the level of caffeine in the drink. I have thus considered discarding the first brew and drinking only the second and subsequent brews.

I have two questions for you regarding the second brew. I understand that the first brew of green tea releases most of the caffeine.

#1. Is this true, and how much initial brewing is necessary to extract a good portion of the caffeine? Would it need to be the standard 3-4 minutes?

#2. How does the second brew of tea compare to the first in terms of beneficial components (antioxidants, EGCG, polyphenols, etc.)?

Answer:

James, the first brew does release more caffeine, as caffeine is more water soluble than EGCG.

As for the time needed to remove the caffeine - I will be lying if I pretend to know the answer.

Your best bet is to study the results of the following scientific study. Just bear in mind that the exact result will depend on many variables:

- water temperature
- leaf surface area
- leaf to water ratio

Caffeine Free Tea DIY - Hot Wash Method

Now to the second part of your question, how much beneficial compounds remain after the first brew?

The bad news is that if you managed to dissolve a lot of caffeine, chances are you would have dissolve a lot of the theanine (which is soothing and decaffeinating), and a big chunk of the EGCG.

So it is not ideal.

My suggestion is this. Your body will learn to cope with the caffeine over a few years, but you need to start very very very slowly.

Yes - very very very slowly.

Your best bet is to switch over to drinking high quality young tea buds, brew a small amount at a time.

(These tea buds contain much more theanine.)

When I first starting to drink the Tribute Dragon Well tea, I took 1 gram and brews over 8 ounces of water - and infuses over three times.

This is still my standard recommendation for my customers:

Dragon Well Tea (Longjing) - Finally! World's Best Green Tea
Revealed

It is economical, it trains my palate to recognise the subtle favors of green tea and it is how long term drinkers enjoy high grades.

Another alternative is to drink tea like Silver Needle and Anji Baicha, which naturally contains more theanine.

Have a go.

Julian

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Apr 16, 2013
Less caffeine?
by: tungtinguy

Too jittery? When brewing a green, such as Green Dragon Oolong, I drink my first brewing after 1m30sec with 5grams (teaspoon) of leaves. Also try brewing with cooler water temps, say 185 degrees. For each brewing afterwards, add 30 seconds each time. I can brew 3 or 4 times before noticing severe drop in quality/strength.

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