“No” is the short answer if you are talking about real Matcha.  Simply put, Matcha is made to offer higher Caffeine.  Matcha is Camellia Sinensis, the same as other types of green tea, but Matcha is shade-grown green tea leaves ground into a fine powder.  When green tea leaves are covered for a certain period of time, it increases two things in tea leaves:  Caffeine and L-theanine.  Caffeine is a stimulant, and L-theanine is a natural relaxant, which is almost exclusively found in green tea leaves.  L-theanine is also Umami (ooh-ma-me), which is a meaty, savory flavor.  Matcha is savory green tea with higher effects of calm-alertness delivered by intentionally increased Caffeine and L-Theanine. It doesn’t make sense to remove caffeine after the extra effort was made to increase caffeine.  High caffeine content was welcomed by Zen monks and Samurai warriors to stay alert.

When green tea leaves are NOT covered until harvested, they contain naturally less caffeine.  Instead, abundant sun exposure generates more Catechins and EGCG, the antioxidants responsible for the long list of green tea health benefits, in the tea leaves.  When these green tea leaves are steamed to maintain natural green color and nutrients, they become Sencha.  Sencha is made to be naturally lower in Caffeine and higher in Antioxidants than Matcha.  Read more about Sencha and Matcha

If you are looking for “naturally decaffeinated green tea powder,” you have found it here.  Some people call it “decaf Matcha”, as “Matcha” is often used as a synonym for green tea powder, but they don’t realize Sencha can also come in powder form.  This decaf green tea powder is made from Sencha powder with a patented water process.  That means decaffeination doesn’t involve any chemicals.  The water process is the natural way to remove 99% of Caffeine from green tea leaves.

Is decaffeinated green tea still good for you?

Ordinary decaf green tea offers almost no health benefits because the decaf process removes water-soluble antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals along with caffeine.  If you brew decaf green tea leaves, the cup of tea offers few nutrients.

However, there is a solution to get green tea benefits without caffeine. “Eat the whole leaf.”  With the patented water process, 95% of Catechins are left in Edible Green®Sencha powder Decaf, which makes this tea the most beneficial decaf green tea.  Edible Green® is Sencha green tea leaves ground into a fine powder.  When you enjoy a cup of Edible Green Decaf, you are ingesting all of the Catechins and nutrients that remain in the tea leaf after decaffeination (in powder form).  In fact, because it’s Sencha powder, Edible Green Decaf offers more Catechins than Matcha when you compare the same amount of powder. Edible Green® Decaf is the only decaf green tea that delivers full green tea benefits to you. It offers the same smooth mild flavor as Edible Green® regular.  No more compromise on green tea benefits to enjoy decaf green tea!

Find product details about Edible Green®Sencha powder Decaf

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The above information has been on our website since we started our online store in 2004. It has been more than 15 years and with the increased popularity of Matcha, there are a lot of ‘private brand’ products on the market. ‘Private brand’ products are products that are already available on the market but they have the ‘private’ label made specifically for the particular seller or brand. So I believe many of the products available online market, such as Amazon and Ebay, are the same products, including the container except for labels. This happens all the time for all kinds of products. The problem of this phenomenon occurs when the sellers fail to provide the product information accurately. With the rise of non-English speakers as sellers, product descriptions on Amazon, for example, are sometimes hard to understand. English is not our “first language” either, but we try to state facts as truthfully and clearly as possible. Unfortunately, the inaccuracy that we see on Amazon, for example, may come from insufficient product knowledge rather than the language barrier. Hopefully, the seller is not taking advantage of the language barrier as an excuse to fake the information.

We have seen a couple of ‘decaf matcha’ products out there, and we have been asked how different ours is. Below is our answer.

“Edible Green water processed decaf” is a unique product and here is why:

1) Water process decaffeination is a patented “hot water decaffeination”  process. This patented method was invented and registered by a tea processor, which also manufactures machines that are used for tea processing. They are located in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

2) We use certified organic tea leaves to make this product. The decaffeination process needs to happen within 30 minutes after harvest, so the certified organic tea farm needs to be located close to the tea processor. We have a network of organic green tea growers from Shizuoka (located in the central part of the main island of Japan) to Kagoshima (located in a southern tip of the southern island of Japan). So we were able to find certified organic tea farms who are located close enough to the tea processor.

3) Before we started the search to find an organic tea farm close to the tea processor (patent holder), we asked them if there was anyone in Uji, Kyoto, as there are also organic tea farms there, which we regularly deal with. But they said, “No, there are not.”  It is about 150 miles from Uji to Shizuoka. It is impossible to bring tea leaves from Uji to the tea processor in Shizuoka within 30 minutes after harvest. So we had to find a closer tea farmer, who is certified organic, and we did.

4) This product is only made for SEI MEE TEA. We directly talk to the tea farmer, the tea processor, and the second tea processor, which finishes the decaffeinated tea to a fine powder. Then the product is imported from Japan to us.

5) As we mentioned, this tea uses certified organic tea leaves. However, the package is not bearing the USDA organic logo as we follow US organic labeling law. The law says the product can bear the USDA organic logo when all of the associated facilities are certified. SEI MEE TEA and the second processor are certified organic but the tea processor (patent holder) is not. 

6) It may not be accurate to say “decaf matcha is not available” anymore–there may be someone who purchased the patented water-process machine out there and started to make such a product using the tea leaf grown in shade. However, our product, decaffeinated organic Sencha powder with natural water process, is only available here at SEI MEE TEA in the whole wide world.

Quality tea means “HOPE” for us (please read our story) so we are fully involved from the first step, which is directly talking to the amazing, dedicated organic tea farmer, to the last step, which is when we receive your order and ship it to you.

Related article: Decaf Matcha” Product Review”