Treatment, Triggers

Brew Your Own Low-Caf Tea

It’s easy to lower you favorite tea’s caffeine by 80% with this simple home brew shared by Lifehacker. Here’s the trick, according to Tea Time World Wide.

Approximately 80% of the caffeine in tea is released during the first 30-seconds of steeping, therefore to remove most of the caffeine from any tea simply:

  1. Pour boiling water over the tea leaves
  2. Allow the leaves to steep for 30 seconds
  3. Pour out the brew, saving the steeped leaves
  4. Re-steep the same leaves with more boiling water for the recommended steeping times.

Both white and green tea can turn bitter if you steep them even 30 seconds too long, so I’m suspicious of the results unless it’s black tea or yerba maté.

In another Lifehacker post on caffeine, a comment linked to this guide on the caffeine content in food, drinks and medicines. The chart is much more detailed than the one I linked to in my post on caffeine and headache. The medications list includes some headache drugs.

While I’m on the subject… Pre-Imitrex, a friend treated his migraines by gulping a 12-ounce can of Coke. He didn’t drink caffeine any other time and swore that this was the only treatment he responded to. It didn’t abort the migraine, but lessened it’s severity. Now he takes an Imitrex and drinks a Coke and voilà, migraine aborted completely. With the plethora of caffeinated water on the market, even those with nausea could try it.

P.S. In general I’m suspicious of Wikipedia’s accuracy, but the yerba maté information appears to be correct.

3 thoughts on “Brew Your Own Low-Caf Tea”

  1. Saw your post. I have severe headaches for about 15 years. Tried several prescriptions but none seemed to work as well as excedrin and a coke. This was my cocktail for getting it down to a dull roar. Recently after my last physical and found out I was low in Vitamin D. After upping my intake of Vitamin D, I didn’t have a headache for a week. At the end of the week, decided to treat myself to a coke. Had a roaring headache the next day. Made a cocktail of sweet tea and excedrin and reduced the headache. The next day I decided to experiment with Sprite. Got a bad headache the following day. So . . . I am thinking that it is not necessarily the caffeine, but the carbonation that is giving me headaches. Just a theory now but I haven’t had a carbonated drink since then and have had 80 percent fewer headaches and I think those headaches were sinus related or menstrual.

  2. I Googled Coke in a number of ways with regards to the the effect on the stomach and came up with conflicting comments. Some people say it’s soothing for the tummy, and others warn against it–particulalry the caffeine being an irritant. I guess you have to find what works for you.

    In my exploration of dietary triggers I was surprised to discover that carbonated water (like Calistoga) is a trigger for me. I’ve read that drinking large quantities of carbonated water can strip the body of phosphorus, but I wasn’t drinking large quantites. A few sips was enough to set off a headache. This left me to conclude I must be senitive to the carbonation. Whatever…. All I drink now is plain water.

  3. Funny – on the Coke thing, I use that as part of my abortive with my abortive. It sort of kicks it into gear. Really. And it’s soothing to my tummy; of course, this is when it’s first coming on, not when I’m full-blown, when nothing is working. But it seems to be helpful

    I didn’t even think about Coke soothing your stomach. That’s a great point. I just assumed that all the carbonation and sugar would make it worse.

    I’m happy to hear that it helps you!


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