Making the transition away from coffee to suit the Paleo AIP food plan was traumatic.
I’m one who lived for milk-and-sugar-drenched caramel lattes and huge cups of full-caffeine coffees.
That’s not to say that I never enjoyed a cup of black tea or (my favorite Earl Grey tea), but coffee was definitely the main event of my mornings (and afternoons… and sometimes evenings).
I guess it’s no surprise I wasn’t feeling great, considering how sensitive I am to coffee now!
Instrumental in making this change has been creating a new, delicious, hot-and-caffeine-free beverage routine. Enter: decaf tea.
What to Look For in a Decaf Tea
Decaf Tea is a whole new animal. Much like certain kinds of coffee, the way a brand decaffinates its tea varies according to its price range.
The standard, cheaper store brands use (albeit “natural”) chemicals like methylene chloride and ethyl acetate which get the job done but leave behind low doses of chemicals that can disflavor the tea or make you sick over time. More expensive brands use carbon dioxide and water processing, which are safer for consumption and retain more of the tea’s flavor.
Unfortunately, you also need to worry about teabags. Depending on the brand, the teabag could be made of safe cotton, or extremely unsafe materials like thermoplastic, PVC, or polypropylene. It also might be chemically bleached, leaving trace amounts of unsafe chemicals in the bag for your consumption. Here’s an awesome list of brands that use safe teabags and that have decaf options, including the following:
My Decaf Tea Routine
Each day I have one or two cups of Allegro Decaffeinated Black Tea. It’s decaffeinated in a safe way and I love supporting fair trade brands. It also tastes very rich and doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste the way that the cheap Trader Joes Decaf Irish Breakfast does (though I drank that for quite a while before switching… you can’t beat $3 for 40 teabags)!
I drink mine with two tea bags, a tablespoon of honey, a swig of watered-down, canned coconut milk, and a dash of cinnamon. Yes, I pretty much live like Frasier.
But yeah, I’m still human: I’ll have decaf coffee with real cream and honey about once per month, and once every three months I go on a coffee bender and have it three to four days in a row. Inevitably, I get cranky, poofy, and generally “unwell,” and then I stay off it for another month. Ah, the cycles of life…
My Tea Goals
Yes, I totally have tea goals! I have three right now:
- I’d love to transition to loose leaf tea. What’s holding me back now is the extra step in the process (I already have a neat little tea filter, but the measuring [too much? too little?] and the clean up feels bulky right now).
- I also need to invest in a air-tight place to store the tea, as I don’t have one now.
- Finally, I need to find the PERFECT Earl Grey Decaf tea. Once I find that, I’ll quickly be motivated to do the rest. (Hmm…. or maybe just invest in some Bergamot oil?)