It is very important to understand the difference between a naturally caffeine-free beverage vs. a decaffeinated beverage.
When it comes to tea, there is no such thing as being naturally caffeine-free. The only way to produce a caffeine free tea is to remove it using common decaffeination processes such as the Direct method or Carbon Dioxide method, both described in the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decaffeination. The carbon dioxide method is basically chemical free, while the Direct method uses a synthetic version of methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to remove the caffeine.
The concept of naturally caffeine-free only applies to plants not related to the tea plant (camilla sinensis). Examples of naturally caffeine-free plants are Rooibos, Hibiscus or Chamomile, which are used to create tea-like beverages, also known as herbal infusions.
Keep all this in mind next time you think about purchasing or drinking a "decaf" tea. Generally speaking, you really don't know which method a manufacturer uses to remove the caffeine. If caffeine-free is important to you, and you are really into all natural products, your best bet is to avoid decaffeinated tea and stick with naturally caffeine-free herbals, such as Rooibos.
Next time you reach for sugar, splenda or similar sweetener, think about adding fruit instead. You can add fruit with regular black tea or even with flavored tea. Adding pieces of fresh fruit really enhances the flavor of the tea without consuming the tea itself, which is what often occurs with sugar and other sweeteners. We all know that lemons are commonplace in black iced tea. Why not get creative and try strawberries, raspberries or even orange slices in your next glass of Mango flavored iced tea. A slice of a Grannysmith apple is a great complement to a chilled green tea as well. Fruit is much healthier than sugar and just tastes more natural anyway.
Join us this Friday, April 24 at the Tampa Downtown Market for some delicious naturally flavored teas. We will also be participating in Eco.Festival on Saturday, April 25 at Cotanchobee Park on the waterfront in Downtown Tampa. It's going to be very warm, so we will definitely do our best to cool you off with flavors such as Red Mango Rooibos, a refreshing caffeine-free herbal infusion, served over ice of course! For those of you who like a little more body and some caffeine, we will be offering flavored black teas as well.
We would like to thank everyone who visited Earth Day Tampa Bay this past Sunday, particularly those who stopped by our booth to taste our teas. We hope you all enjoyed the event and came away with a little more awareness of our need to create and promote, eco-friendly and sustainable products and services.
In terms of the teas, Rooibos was a big hit and is becoming very popular, especially our Mango flavored variety. Of course, you can't go wrong with Mango in this part of the country. Our Sweet Orange tea was very popular as well, because black tea still seems to be the tea of choice when it comes to flavored teas. Considering the pungent, grassy flavor that often accompanies green tea, we also had a large number of requests for our Lemon Ginger Green tea.
We have a busy schedule approaching this weekend. Look for us again this Friday, April 17 at the Tampa Downtown Market. Our featured flavored teas will be Red Mango Rooibos, Lemon Ginger Green and Passion Fruit.
We will also be participating in Earth Day Tampa Bay this Sunday, April 19 at Lowry Park's Band Shell and will be offering ready to drink naturally flavored teas served on ice and packaged teas for those looking to shop. As you think about the environment this Earth Day, remember that our teas are free of harmful chemicals and pesticides and are blended with all natural ingredients. For more information about this event, please visit http://www.florida.sierraclub.org/tampabay/.
We are rolling out a new tea flavor, Passion Fruit, within the next week or two. Passion Fruit will be a blend of whole leaf black tea with natural passion fruit flavor. With warmer temperatures approaching, this naturally flavored tea will be an ideal iced beverage for the spring and summer months.