What is Decaf Matcha and How is it Made?

Decaf matcha is a specially processed variant of matcha that has undergone methods to reduce or eliminate caffeine.

Unlike regular matcha, which naturally contains caffeine due to the young tea leaves' inherent properties, decaf matcha offers a milder taste and lower caffeine content.


How is Decaf Matcha Made?

Decaf matcha undergoes a decaffeination process that reduces the caffeine content.

This decaffeination process is applied to the tea leaves and not the finished powder, as the caffeine is on the outside of the leaves and once ground it can be difficult to isolate.

There are 3 methods used to create decaf matcha:

#1 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Decaffeinated Matcha Tea

This method of producing decaffeinated matcha tea uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract caffeine. The CO2 acts as a solvent, gently drawing out the caffeine molecules, which are then separated.

The CO2 not only extracts the caffeine, but other compounds as well, that’s why decaf matcha will never quite taste as good as true ceremonial grade matcha.

#2 Water Processed Decaf Matcha Green Tea

In this method of producing decaf matcha green tea, the tea leaves are soaked in water, allowing the caffeine to dissolve. The water is then filtered through activated charcoal or resin filters that capture the caffeine molecules to make decaffeinated matcha tea.

The caffeine-free water is reintroduced to the tea leaves to preserve the flavor, but it still will taste like a “second steeping” when you drink caffeine free matcha.

#3 Ethyl Acetate Decaf Matcha

There is one final method of producing decaffeinated matcha tea and it involves treating the tea leaves with ethyl acetate, a natural compound found in fruits and vegetables. Ethyl acetate selectively bonds with caffeine molecules, which can then be separated, leaving behind decaf matcha leaves.


Alternatives to Decaf Matcha

If you want to enjoy health benefits of matcha without the caffeine and without the processing, there is a great alternative to decaf matcha that you can try! It will allow you to enjoy a lot of the benefits of caffeine free matcha without all the extra processing.

It is called hojicha powder and it is made from roasted green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. The flavor is somewhere in between coffee and cocoa, so it works great in a latte, almost like a decaffeinated matcha tea.


Downsides of Decaf Matcha

All methods of decaffeinated matcha tea will affect the flavor negatively. If you are looking for a decaffeinated matcha tea, we instead suggest you just drink a moderate amount of matcha tea or stick to the powdered hojicha in your lattes.


Decaf Matcha - The Final Verdict

So is natural matcha good for you? Yes! While decaf matcha can be good for those avoiding caffeine, if you can handle a little bit of caffeine the unprocessed matcha is the way to go. You'll get a broader spectrum of flavor profiles and nutrients with this tea than with a decaffeinated matcha tea.

If you want to experience the real deal and get some premium Japanese matcha tea grown without pesticides, you can browse our selection of matcha powder and accessories.

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