We use a natural ethyl acetate process to decaffeinate our Black Teas. In the ethyl acetate (EA) decaffeination process, the tea leaves are moistened with water and ethyl acetate, an FDA approved solvent. The leaves are then dried and heated. The caffeine in the moistened leaves bonds with the ethyl acetate. During the drying process, the ethyl acetate and water is evaporated, taking the caffeine with them.
For our Green Teas, we use a carbon dioxide process. In the carbon dioxide (CO2) process, moistened tea leaves are first treated with heat and pressure and then treated with carbon dioxide, a natural gas. The carbon dioxide bonds with the caffeine and both are evaporated.
All decaffeinated dry tea leaves typically leave a caffeine residue of 0.1 percent - 0.4 percent. We periodically test our brewed decaffeinated teas (as prepared) for caffeine content and the results tend to be within that percentage range. No other residual substance testing is done.