Is there a decaf Matcha tea?

“No” is the short answer if you are talking about real Matcha.  Simply put, Matcha is made to offer higher Caffeine.  Matcha is shade grown green tea leaves ground into fine powder.  When green tea leaves are covered for a certain period of time, it increases two things in tea leaves:  Caffeine and L-theanine.  Caffeine is a stimulant, and L-theanine is a natural relaxant, which is almost exclusively found in green tea leaves.  L-theanine is also Umami (ooh-ma-me), which is a meaty, savory flavor.  Matcha is savory green tea with higher effects of calm-alertness delivered by intentionally increased Caffeine.

When green tea leaves are NOT covered until harvested, they contain naturally less caffeine.  Instead, abundant sun exposure generates more Catechins and EGCG, the antioxidants responsible for the long list of green tea health benefits, in the tea leaves.  When these green tea leaves are steamed to maintain natural green color and nutrients, they become Sencha.  Sencha is supposed to be lower in Caffeine.  Thus, Sencha powder is “natural decaf Matcha”.  Read more about Sencha and Matcha

If you are looking for “decaffeinated green tea powder,” you have found it here.  And some people call it “decaf Matcha”, as “Matcha” is often used as a synonym for green tea powder.  This decaf green tea powder is made from Sencha powder with a patented water process.  That means decaffeination doesn’t involve any chemicals.  The water process is the natural way to remove 99% of Caffeine from green tea leaves.

Is decaffeinated green tea still good for you?

Ordinary decaf green tea offers almost no health benefits because the decaf process removes water soluble antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals along with caffeine.  If you brew decaf green tea leaves, the cup of tea offers few nutrients.

However, there is a solution to get green tea benefits without caffeine. “Eat whole leaf.”  With the patented water process, 95% of Catechins are left in Edible Green®Sencha powder Decaf, which makes this tea the most beneficial decaf green tea.  Edible Green® is Sencha green tea leaves ground into a fine powder.  When you enjoy a cup of Edible Green Decaf, you are ingesting all of the Catechins and nutrients that remain in the tea leaf after decaffeination (in powder form).  In fact, because it’s Sencha powder, Edible Green Decaf offers more Catechins than Matcha when you compare the same amount of powder. Edible Green® Decaf is the only decaf green tea that delivers full green tea benefits to you. It offers the same smooth mild flavor as Edible Green® regular.  No more compromise on green tea benefits to enjoy decaf green tea!

Find product details about Edible Green®Sencha powder Decaf

Learn more about “Green tea benefits” and “Differences between powder tea and brewed tea”


What is Natural Water Method Decaf?

The basic fact behind the natural water method decaffeination process of green tea: Caffeine is more easily and quickly eluted with hot water than EGCG, the most prominent antioxidants. Many of the beneficial effects of green tea are related to its catechins, especially, EGCG.

When raw green tea leaves and steamed green tea leaves are soaked in hot water of 176 degrees Fahrenheit, 70% of caffeine after 1 minute and 80% after 3 minutes were eluted from both types of tea leaves. However, little amounts of caffeine were eluted when the water temperature was 140 degree Fahrenheit. The results show decaffeination efficiency largely depends on the water temperature.

Elution amount of EGCG is much less compared to Caffeine. When green tea leaves were steeped in hot water of 176 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes and 80% of the caffeine was removed, only 4.1% of EGCG was eluted and 95.8% of EGCG remained in tea leaves.

The results show Caffeine can be removed selectively from both raw and steamed green tea leaves. The Catechins, including EGCG, remains in the tea leaf, but can only be available to us if the leaf is actually consumed, preferabley in powder form.

(Translated from “Report on Decaffeination Process of Green Tea” by Yuichi Yamaguchi, The National Agriculture and Research Organization, Japan. “Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry Society” 59, 1985)

Edible Green® Decaf has more Catechins than Matcha!

 Product Catechin amount (% of weight) Ratio
*Matcha 10.95% 1
Edible Green® Decaffeinated 14.03% 1.28
*Sencha green tea powder  (Edible Green® regular) 15.55% 1.42

*Source: “Simulataneous analysis of individual catechins and caffeine in green tea” by Tetsuhisa Goto, Yuko Yoshida, Masaaki Kiso, Hitoshi Nagashima Journal of Chromatography A, 749 (1996) 295-299 National Food Research Institute, Minisitry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.