Love Tea But Hate Caffeine? You May Have Another Option For Decaf Soon


This strain of mutant tea won't be keeping you up at night.
delicious teaImage by author via Canva

Tea has been around for about 5000 years and has more than one origin story.

The first cup of tea may have been drunk in 2737 BCE when the Emperor Shen Nong of China was boiling water in his garden, and a leaf from a wild tea tree drifted into his pot.

A different story says it started with Prince Bodhi-Dharma, an Indian saint. He vowed to meditate for nine years without sleeping, so naturally, he fell asleep.

Legend has it when he woke up from his accidental nap, he was so mad at himself he cut off his eyelids, and a tea plant sprung up where they landed.

Who knows which is true? They both sound plausible.

Either way, it's the most popular drink on earth, second only to water.

About two billion people drink three billion tons every year.

Lots of people drink it for the caffeine kick, but what about those who prefer decaf?

The decaffeination process leaves a lot to be desired.

It involves methylene chloride, a solvent also used as a paint thinner, which leaves behind a chemical residue.

Even though the residue is well below the legal limit for human consumption, many people have concerns about drinking decaf tea.

The more natural Swiss water method doesn't work for tea because it ruins the leaves.

Even though one method is approved for certified organic teas, all of these methods can affect flavor and destroy compounds associated with health benefits.

So there are pros and cons to giving up the caffeine in your tea.

Also, no decaf tea is truly decaf.

There are still about two to four milligrams of caffeine per cup of decaf tea.
Pretty TeaImage by author via Canva

But for those looking for genuinely organic decaf tea, your wishes might soon come true.

Scientists have recently discovered hongyacha (HYC). A rare wild tea found in the mountains of southern China.

Although the plant's chemical makeup was a mystery when it was discovered, locals swore by it. They claimed it could cure colds, soothe stomach pain, and relieve many other illnesses.

So researchers decided to analyze it to see what made it such a local legend.

They analyzed the buds and leaves gathered during the growing season and found several potentially health-boosting elements not found in regular tea.

They also discovered it contains virtually no caffeine.

HYC, it seems, has a genetic mutation in the enzyme that promotes caffeine production in most tea plants.

So not only is this tea is super chill, but it could also be a super-healthy superhero.
hands and teaImage by author via Canva

Here are some other interesting facts about tea from Buzzfeed:

*There are around 3000 different types of tea.

*Tea has more caffeine than coffee per weight, but since it takes more coffee to brew a cup, you end up getting more caffeine in a cup of coffee.

*Tea was so valuable in the Eighteenth Century that it was kept in locked boxes.

*You actually never want to use boiling water to make tea because you'll burn the leaf.

*Earl Grey tea was actually named after a guy called Earl Grey.

If you love your tea, but you're not a fan of caffeine or the decaffeination process, hang in there!

It's probably just a matter of time before you can find hongyacha, everywhere from your local hangout to your kitchen cupboard.

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Musician, writer, toddler wrangler. Author of "How To Be Wise AF" guided journal available on Amazon as well as "The Automatic Parent" due out in Feb. 2022.


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