Decaffeination Processes For Decaf Tea and Coffee Differ In Safety and Flavor - RateTea Explains

Different decaffeination processes used to produce decaf tea and coffee differ in their relative safety as well as effects on flavor. RateTea, a tea rating website, explains the effects of different processes on both the safety and flavor of tea.
By: Alex Zorach / Merit Exchange LLC
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Philadelphia - Pennsylvania - US

March 22, 2012 - PRLog -- Decaffeination describes a process used to remove caffeine from tea, coffee, or other naturally-caffeinated substances.  There are a number of different decaffeination processes in use presently, as well as a number of historic processes which have been discontinued due to safety.

RateTea, an interactive tea rating website which also hosts informational and educational articles on tea and related topics, explains the effects of the different processes both on safety and flavor.  In short, RateTea offers to answer two questions: Is decaf tea safe? and Does decaf tea taste good?

The three primary processes currently in use:

CO2 - CO2, or Carbon dioxide, is a completely safe method of decaffeination, as CO2 is non-toxic, and is superior to some other methods in terms of preserving flavor, but is expensive as it involves the use of a supercritical fluid (compressed gas).

Ethyl Acetate -Ethyl acetate is an organic solvent which naturally occurs in tea leaves and fruit; it is a cheap and inexpensive process, safe, but inferior at preserving flavor.

Methylene Chloride - Methylene Chloride, a chemical which is known to be toxic and carcinogenic, is the least safe of the decaffeination processes still in use in the U.S.  This process is allowed, but regulated by the FDA.  Its safety is a matter of debate, with a key question being whether the levels of the chemical typically used in decaffeination of tea and coffee are high enough to be harmful.

Read more about decaffeination on RateTea:

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RateTea is the web's authoritative resource on tea, a community where anyone can rate and review tea and herbal teas, with a database of teas classified by brand, style, and region, and articles on tea, health, sustainability, and related topics.
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