There is nothing more refreshing than a lovely cup of hot tea! Many of us drink tea every day, and the range and popularity of different tea brands are increasing all the time.
But what if you are trying to avoid caffeine—does this mean you’re stuck with grass-flavored or tasteless herbal teas?
Not at all! There are some great teas without caffeine, and we’ve put together the best options here for you.
What are the best teas without caffeine? Cutting down your caffeine intake can have many health benefits, including an improved sleep pattern and reduced anxiety. The best teas without caffeine include rooibos tea, Chaga mushroom tea, and fruit tisanes.
Want to make the switch to caffeine-free tea but not sure where to start? We’re here to help with our list of the 7 best teas without caffeine!
What Is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in certain plants. Its purpose is to act as a natural insecticide, deterring or killing plant-eating pests.
Some flowers also have caffeine in their nectar, which helps to attract pollinating insects such as bees.
Humans have been harvesting plants that contain caffeine for many thousands of years. This is because caffeine has a stimulating effect on humans, giving an energizing and mood-enhancing effect.
You may not realize it, but it is not just tea leaves and coffee beans that contain caffeine! Many other plants also give a hit of stimulating caffeine, including:
- Cacao, used for chocolate
- Some herbal teas, including yerba mate and guayusa
- Citrus flowers
- Guarana, a common ingredient in energy drinks
- Kola nuts, used in the original recipe for Coca-Cola!
The most popular way to consume caffeine is in hot drinks, in the form of tea and coffee. But while a caffeine boost is a great way to get through a long afternoon at work, many people are trying to find alternative caffeine-free teas.
Why Drink Tea Without Caffeine?
In general, it is safe for most of us to consume a moderate amount of caffeine. In fact, there are known to be some benefits to drinking caffeinated drinks. But, as with all good things, too much caffeine is definitely not good for us!
These days many people are taking steps to reduce their caffeine intake, and others choose not to include any caffeine at all in their daily diet.
There can be many reasons for cutting down or cutting out caffeine. Children and pregnant women are advised to avoid all products containing caffeine. Some medications also require you to limit your caffeine intake.
Which Types Of Tea Contain Caffeine?
So, whether you are eliminating caffeine altogether, or just want to cut down on your intake, what are your options?
Firstly, we need to figure out what types of tea contain caffeine. You may be surprised by this list!
All true tea varieties are made from the camellia sinesis plant. This was first cultivated in China, and all true tea drinks will contain caffeine.
This means that whether you are drinking green tea, black tea, oolong tea, chai, or Earl Grey, they will all give you a caffeine boost.
Certain Herbal Teas
Herbal teas can be made from any plant other than camellia sinesis, and also often include dried fruits, roots, nuts, flowers, and mushrooms.
This means that you will come across a huge range of herbal teas, but you will be surprised to hear that some of these may contain caffeine!
Some herbal tea blends include caffeine-containing herbs, such as guayusa and yerba mate. Herbal teas that contain cacao beans or chocolate will also be mildly caffeinated.
So, if you want to completely remove caffeine from your daily life, watch out for these sneaky herbal teas that contain caffeine!
Is Decaffeinated Tea A Good Choice?
There are many types of decaffeinated tea on the market, made by removing the caffeine compounds from true tea leaves. These are very similar in flavor to real tea and are a good option if you are seeking an authentic tea flavor.
However, some of the processes involved in removing the caffeine also destroy a lot of the beneficial properties of true tea. The overall level of antioxidants will be reduced, making decaffeinated tea a less healthy choice.
So, decaf tea is fine to drink now and again, if you are longing to recreate the flavor of real tea. But for a healthy drink to consume on a regular basis, it is time to start looking at naturally caffeine-free herbal alternatives.
The 7 Best Teas Without Caffeine
Now the good part!
Whilst all these refreshing drinks are called tea, strictly speaking, they are not teas at all. True teas are brewed from the camellia Sinensis plant and contain caffeine.
However, the term tea is now widely used to cover any drink made from a dried plant, fruit, flower, nut, seed, or mushroom.
Herbal teas can be a refreshing and tasty alternative to true tea, giving us a wide range of caffeine-free drink options. Some herbal teas also have health benefits and have been used as natural remedies for many centuries.
In modern times, scientific research has begun to research these claims, and evidence is emerging that proves the health-giving properties of herbal teas.
Here is our list of the 7 best teas without caffeine that you really should try!
1. Rooibos Tea
Roobios tea is one of the most popular caffeine-free alternatives to true tea and with good reason! This delicious and healthy beverage is incredibly refreshing and is packed full of beneficial nutrients.
Also known as red tea or red bush tea, rooibos tea is made from the leaves of a shrub called Aspalathus linearis. This grows in abundance on the coast of South Africa, where this drink has been enjoyed for centuries.
The leaves of the Aspalathus linearis bush are collected then fermented, turning them a red-brown color. You can also buy green rooibos, where the leaves have not been fermented.
The taste of rooibos is smooth and gentle, with a slightly nutty and naturally sweet taste. The aroma has warm, woody notes that tantalize the tastebuds.
One of the great advantages of red bush tea is that it is packed full of natural antioxidants. These are reputed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
2. Ginger Tea
Made using the stem or root of the Zingiber officinale plant, ginger tea has long been popular as a remedy for an upset stomach. However, this zingy and full-flavored tea is a refreshing drink that can be enjoyed at any time!
Ginger tea is spicy and fragrant, with a warm, peppery flavor. It has a hint of natural sweetness and an intense smell. Many people add a squeeze of lemon juice or dash of honey to ginger tea to tone down the spicy flavor.
This flavor-packed drink is a well-known remedy for nausea and is also thought to help regulate blood sugar levels. It is thought that ginger can also increase natural immunity and help to reduce pain and inflammation.
The great thing about ginger tea is that you have many different options of how to make it! Dried ginger tea is available in teabag form, or you can use ginger root or ginger powder from your local store.
Ginger root should be grated into fine slithers to get the most out of your tea.
3. Camomile Tea
Camomile, or chamomile, tea is a soothing and refreshing alternative to caffeinated tea. Made from the dried daisy-like flowers of the chamomile plant, camomile tea also has many health benefits.
The flavor of camomile tea is subtle, with hints of apple and earthy undertones. It is delicately floral, and one of the most gently refreshing herbal teas available. If you’re looking for a soothing tea, camomile is the one for you!
Camomile tea is also packed full of antioxidants, thought to play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. This fragrant and floral tea is often consumed at bedtime, as it is believed to aid sleep.
4. Fruit Tisanes
There are numerous types of fruit tisanes available, and we’d be hard-pressed to choose just one! Herbal tea fanatics normally end up with a multitude of different fruity blends, to suit every occasion.
The word tisane is another name for herbal tea, and fruit tisanes are a delicate mix of dried fruit, flowers, and herbs to create the perfect caffeine-free tea.
Different fruit tisanes all have their own benefits, but what they all have in common is incredible flavor and aroma.
Many fruit tisanes use apple and hibiscus as the base, with additions such as berries, coconut, pineapple chunks, and rosehips.
Compared to other herbal teas, fruit tisanes tend to be more full-bodied and flavorsome. So if you’re looking for a punchy, fruity drink to get you through your working day, start filling your desk draws with fruit tisanes!
5. Peppermint Tea
Want a hit of zingy freshness to kick start your day? A cup of hot peppermint tea is a great way to get you going in the morning!
This invigorating caffeine-free drink has a fresh, cool, menthol flavor that tingles on the tongue.
And despite being a hot drink, it will give you a cooling sensation that soon drives away that sleepy morning feeling. Depending on the type of peppermint used, you may also be able to taste hints of vanilla and green tea.
The great thing about peppermint tea is that it is easy to grow your own crop! Hot water poured over a sprig of fresh peppermint from the garden is about as simple as it gets.
Peppermint tea is also widely available in the dried form, either as loose tea or in teabags.
Like many other herbal teas, peppermint tea can boost your immune system and reduce pain and inflammation. It is also thought to have beneficial effects on the digestive system.
6. Chaga Mushroom Tea
Now, this is something a bit out of the ordinary, but Chaga mushroom tea is a great caffeine-free alternative to real tea!
Now, mushroom tea does not sound all that appetizing, but luckily Chaga tea does not taste like the mushrooms we buy from the store!
This tea is made from Chaga mushrooms, which must only be picked from the bark of a living birch tree. The Chaga is then dried and either powdered or broken into chunks.
The flavor of Chaga mushroom tea is earthy and slightly bitter, with undertones of vanilla. It is often blended with ginger or turmeric to create a tea with incredible levels of antioxidants.
So, if you’re a fan of green tea for its beneficial antioxidant properties, switch to Chaga mushroom tea for a caffeine-free alternative!
7. Mamaki Tea
Mamaki is a traditional medicinal herb used by native Hawaiians for centuries. It is now widely consumed around the world, with people enjoying the natural caffeine-free stimulating effect of this hot drink.
The flavor of mamaki tea is similar to green tea, but with an earthy, nutty flavor. It has a light, minty aroma, with a hint of straw.
One of the reasons many people drink mamaki tea is that it contains high levels of catechins. These are polyphenols that stimulate brain activity, helping to keep you more productive and focused.
As an added bonus, the mamaki plant is also playing a role in restoring damaged ecosystems!
This plant helps to add nitrogen to damaged soil, helping to regenerate the quality of the earth. In Hawaii, mamaki is nicknamed the forest fixer!
Now that we’ve gone over the absolute best teas without caffeine, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!
What’s the best way to make herbal tea?
Herbal teas deserve as much love and attention as our beloved real tea! So, what is the best way to brew herbal tea to make the most from the delicately dried botanicals?
Firstly, the temperature of the water is vital when making herbal tea. The water should be piping hot, and just off the boil. Pour the hot water over dried tea, either in bags or loose in a tea strainer.
Next, cover the tea! This ensures that the steam is retained in the drink, preventing essential oils from escaping. Most dried teas should be steeped for at least 10 minutes before consumption.
Is it OK to drink herbal tea every day?
We all know that we need to limit our caffeine intake, and there is a limit to the number of cups of coffee and real tea we should drink every day. But what about herbal tea—is it OK to drink these caffeine-free beverages every day?
Theoretically, it is possible to drink too much herbal tea, but it is perfectly safe to drink it every day. Most people can drink 3-4 cups of herbal tea per day, with no ill effects.
If you are particularly sensitive to the effects of herbal tea, you may experience unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, stomach issues, and sleep problems.
These should quickly subside if you reduce the amount of herbal tea that you drink, or switch to a different type.