Caffeine Free Tea DIY
Hot Wash Method

Learn how to make caffeine free tea yourself at home using the hot wash method.

When drinking oolong tea in China, it is common practice to throw away the first infusion. People do it as a precautionary measure to remove any dust and residue that might be found in the tea.

In the West, it is a popular DIY decaffeination method.

It is widely believed that 30 to 45 seconds of soaking would remove 80% of the caffeine, while preserving the remaining tea nutrients.

A 1996 study conducted by Auburn University dispelled this myth.

The researchers found that the average caffeine released in the first through third infusions were 69%, 23%, and 8%, respectively. Each infusion takes about 5 minutes.

30 seconds of hot wash won’t work, it removes only 9% of the caffeine. Here is the breakdown:

30 seconds 9%

1 minute 18%

2 minutes 34%

3 minutes 48%

4 minutes 60%

5 minutes 69%

10 minutes 92%

15 minutes 100%

The researchers did this for 6 different types of tea: 3 bagged and 3 loose, for green, oolong and black respectively. They also repeated their experiment 3 times to eliminate any error.

If you are caffeine sensitive, try hot washing your tea for 5 minutes to remove 70% of the caffeine. If the tea has enough quality, it will still taste good for the next 2 infusions.

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Hicks M.B.; Hsieh Y.-H.P.1; Bell L.N. Tea preparation and its influence on methylxanthine concentration .Food Research International, Volume 29, Number 3, April 1996, pp. 325-330(6)

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