Tea drinkers searching for a soothing flavor without an explosive caffeine jolt could soon have a new, naturally low-caffeine option.
Sciencedaily.com reports that scientists wrote (in the ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) that there's a wild tea plant in China which has little or no caffeine.
This is unlike many industrially decaffeinated products and could potentially provide many of the health benefits of regular brewed teas.
To decaffeinate tea, manufacturers often use supercritical carbon dioxide or hot water treatments.
However, these methods can affect the brew's flavor and destroy compounds in the tea associated with lowered cholesterol, reduced risk of heart attack or stroke, and other health benefits.
Recently, scientists discovered hongyacha (HYC), a rare wild tea found in the mountains of southern China.
Local residents believe it can it can cure colds, soothe stomach pain and relieve a host of other ailments.
While little is known about its structural makeup or its chemical composition, it could be the organic decaffeinated tea you've been waiting for.