3

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Is There Still Caffeine (from Tea) Remaining in Kombucha?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 19, 2011 at 6:26 AM

I often make Kombucha to help heal my gut. I usually use loose black or green tea. I was wondering, when you're done with the fermentation, is there still some caffeine remaining? I realize that there is very little actual sugar left, as the scobie will consume the sugar.

What about caffeine? I'm trying to avoid caffeine, if I can. No, there isn't as much caffeine as there is in coffee. But I would be curious to know whether caffeine is left intact by the fermentation process.

9bae430c90367dcc289d7b3a9d021ee9

(0)

on August 15, 2014
at 10:05 PM

The 60 sec steep is a myth.

Here is the link:

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/02/caffeine-and-te...

summary:

"In 1996, Monique Hicks, Peggy Hsieh and Leonard Bell published a peer-reviewed scientific paper recording precise time related extraction of caffeine from tea using a modern detection technique (HPLC)....

30 seconds: 9% caffeine removal 1 minute: 18% caffeine removal 2 minutes: 34% caffeine removal 3 minutes: 48% caffeine removal 4 minutes: 60% caffeine removal 5 minutes: 69% caffeine removal

Clearly to achieve the 80% target we must wash our tea for more than five minutes!

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on October 22, 2011
at 05:30 PM

Upton Tea has some very nice loose decaf teas, and all but one of the 18 types of decaf they sell are made with the CO2 method. I'm not sure that I believe that it's as perfect as they make it out to be (since they start with moistened leaves), but they are still some damn fine teas. One example you might like: http://uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?itemID=TC09

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 22, 2011
at 02:51 AM

Yes, I think that is a safe assumption!

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 22, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Ok, didn't realize that sugar is bleached like white flour. If it's organic cane sugar, then it's not bleached, I assume.

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 22, 2011
at 02:40 AM

So there are deca loose teas? I didn't even know that. And the one I'm looking for is decaf with liquid CO2? Is the traditional decaf process not up to standard?

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on October 21, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I personally love strong tea, so I tend to only use leaves once. Following from that, I never water-decaffeinate my own leaves, but I will buy decaf tea, especially if it's been decaffeinated with liquid carbon dioxide.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 21, 2011
at 04:17 AM

Not brown sugar, just plain old cane sugar that hasn't been bleached.

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 21, 2011
at 03:58 AM

Unbleached sugar, do you mean brown sugar? You mean organic, cane sugar (which is what I use)?

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 21, 2011
at 03:56 AM

I actually drink my loose tea like that: I found out that I can get up to 4 additional buckets of tea from my tea plaunger by just changing water. I don't throw out the first steep, of course. I thought I was just weakening the tea, not decaffeinating it.

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 21, 2011
at 03:54 AM

So you're saying soak the tea as if you're soaking legumes. Replenish the water and you've decaffeinated it?

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on October 19, 2011
at 05:29 PM

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=177795259015&topic=14752

2b2c2e4aa87e9aa4c99cae48e980f70d

(1059)

on October 19, 2011
at 04:37 PM

I don't think fermentation removes caffeine. I have seen recommendation that covering tea with hot water, letting it sit for a few deconds and pouring it off will decaffeinate it. Then procede to brew as usual.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on October 19, 2011
at 01:21 PM

do you have a link?

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on October 19, 2011
at 12:47 PM

great question - i'm being given a mother and plan on making my own but had heard conflicting info re: the caffeine. either no or a little. i will say if there is it must be low as i can drink it at night and my sleep is not affected.

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9 Answers

4
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on October 19, 2011
at 06:56 AM

GTs Synergy Kombucha sayeth:

Our Kombucha does have a tiny bit of caffeine that is left over after the culturing. Since our products are raw, there will be slight variations from bottle to bottle. From 8mg ranging to 14 mg(at the absolute most) per 8 ounces.

B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on October 19, 2011
at 01:21 PM

do you have a link?

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on October 19, 2011
at 05:29 PM

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=177795259015&topic=14752

2
C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

on October 19, 2011
at 07:03 AM

There is a case made for both sides of the "does kombucha fermentation eat caffeine" argument, if you look around the Web, but two things are very clear:

  1. there is caffeine in kombucha

  2. there is less caffeine per serving, since about half as much tea is used as what you would use making a cup of regular tea.

  3. If you make your own kombucha, you can decaffeinate your tea before making kombucha out of it. Steep your tea for 30-60 seconds in water, throw out that water, then steep in fresh water for the kombucha.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on October 21, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I personally love strong tea, so I tend to only use leaves once. Following from that, I never water-decaffeinate my own leaves, but I will buy decaf tea, especially if it's been decaffeinated with liquid carbon dioxide.

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 22, 2011
at 02:40 AM

So there are deca loose teas? I didn't even know that. And the one I'm looking for is decaf with liquid CO2? Is the traditional decaf process not up to standard?

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 21, 2011
at 03:56 AM

I actually drink my loose tea like that: I found out that I can get up to 4 additional buckets of tea from my tea plaunger by just changing water. I don't throw out the first steep, of course. I thought I was just weakening the tea, not decaffeinating it.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on October 22, 2011
at 05:30 PM

Upton Tea has some very nice loose decaf teas, and all but one of the 18 types of decaf they sell are made with the CO2 method. I'm not sure that I believe that it's as perfect as they make it out to be (since they start with moistened leaves), but they are still some damn fine teas. One example you might like: http://uptontea.com/shopcart/item.asp?itemID=TC09

9bae430c90367dcc289d7b3a9d021ee9

(0)

on August 15, 2014
at 10:05 PM

The 60 sec steep is a myth.

Here is the link:

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/02/caffeine-and-te...

summary:

"In 1996, Monique Hicks, Peggy Hsieh and Leonard Bell published a peer-reviewed scientific paper recording precise time related extraction of caffeine from tea using a modern detection technique (HPLC)....

30 seconds: 9% caffeine removal 1 minute: 18% caffeine removal 2 minutes: 34% caffeine removal 3 minutes: 48% caffeine removal 4 minutes: 60% caffeine removal 5 minutes: 69% caffeine removal

Clearly to achieve the 80% target we must wash our tea for more than five minutes!

1
72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 12, 2013
at 09:46 PM

There have been some empirical attempts to chemically assay kombucha for caffeine. Jayabalan et al. (2008) found that caffeine concentration dropped during the first 30 days of aging, and then stabilized at ~200mg / liter. That's about 50mg in an 8oz cup, which is on the high side for normal tea. These results very roughly agree with those given by this article at happyherbalist.com based on assays from a number of different sources and brands.

Some kombuchas may be much lower in caffeine due to storage or processing methods that degrade caffeine. There's also some belief that kombucha cultures can actually metabolize caffeine, and this effect probably varies between cultures. So there may be kombuchas with little or no caffeine, but I believe the results above demonstrate that you can't count on this unless you know that the tea was caffeine-free to start with.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 20, 2011
at 02:34 AM

The s.c.o.b.y. feeds off of the caffeine from the tea, and the sugar, literally digesting them. If the kombucha has fermented long enough(i.e. it doesn't taste like sweet tea at all), there is only a very negligible amount left of either caffeine or sugar. Kombucha will ferment when fed other sources of caffeine or sugar, but in my experience, black tea and plain unbleached sugar produce the best(and most fermented) kombucha.

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 21, 2011
at 03:58 AM

Unbleached sugar, do you mean brown sugar? You mean organic, cane sugar (which is what I use)?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 21, 2011
at 04:17 AM

Not brown sugar, just plain old cane sugar that hasn't been bleached.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 22, 2011
at 02:51 AM

Yes, I think that is a safe assumption!

81a52efad6effda9eff3a3dcbc5f0ec6

(47)

on October 22, 2011
at 02:40 AM

Ok, didn't realize that sugar is bleached like white flour. If it's organic cane sugar, then it's not bleached, I assume.

0
9bae430c90367dcc289d7b3a9d021ee9

on August 15, 2014
at 10:09 PM

The 60 sec steep is a myth.

Here is the link:

http://chadao.blogspot.com/2008/02/caffeine-and-te...

summary:

"In 1996, Monique Hicks, Peggy Hsieh and Leonard Bell published a peer-reviewed scientific paper recording precise time related extraction of caffeine from tea using a modern detection technique (HPLC)....

30 seconds: 9% caffeine removal 1 minute: 18% caffeine removal 2 minutes: 34% caffeine removal 3 minutes: 48% caffeine removal 4 minutes: 60% caffeine removal 5 minutes: 69% caffeine removal

Clearly to achieve the 80% target we must wash our tea for more than five minutes!

0
2beb376ff42c356ac5a270aaa14cc44f

on March 13, 2014
at 08:04 AM

I am writing this at 3am local time. Just finished brewing a second batch of Kombucha. The first one turned out way too vinegary and I only drunk a sip at the time, diluting it with juice and water. I drunk a full cup of the second batch at 8pm and was bouncing off the walls until midnight and now up at 3 in the morning. Basically, I just drunk a cup of strong black tea at 8pm. I can't believe I did not see the warning anywhere during my weeks-long research. See more at: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/03/25/kombucha-myths-vs-truths/

0
2beb376ff42c356ac5a270aaa14cc44f

on March 13, 2014
at 08:03 AM

I am writing this reply at 3am local time. Just finished my second batch of homemade kombucha, the first batch was way too vinegary and I diluted it with juice and water, only drinking a sip at the time. Last night I drunk about a glass of the second brew around 8pm. Was bouncing off the walls until midnight, and now up at 3am. I can't believe "kombucha eats caffeine" myth - apparently "the caffeine content doesn’t reduce at all" - http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/03/25/kombucha-myths-vs-truths/. So I basically drunk a cup of super strong black tea at 8pm. Maybe it's time to order that kefir starter.

0
997e4b7fa786abcdc8e5cba4238819cb

on May 16, 2013
at 01:32 AM

I have been trying to detox from caffeine - day 3, with day 2 being pure torture. After reading about diminished caffeine levels in kombucha, I decided to try a 16-oz bottle of my homebrew, as this batch turned out a lot and I'm used to a daily dose of kombucha. It was brewed from organic black tea and brewed so long that it would be undrinkable even to my sour-loving tastebuds without a few drops of stevia added. Reading that brewing longer diminishes the caffeine content inspired me to drink it.

After drinking this bottle, I can definitely feel the caffeine and feel I've set myself back on the withdrawal process. How many mg I don't have a clue, but it's in there. In the future I don't think I'll have a problem with a daily dose of kombucha if that's all the caffeine I consume, but it was definitely not the right choice for a regimen of getting off of the massive quantities I've been ingesting.

0
8a38d8523609ddba7a000d0ff3ca6673

on March 12, 2013
at 06:31 PM

Being VERY caffeine sensitive, I can assure you there is/can be more than a little caffeine in the Gt's Kombucha.

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