Is there an equivalent term to the word "decaffeinated" to refer to tea instead of coffee?

I think it's quite odd to say I drink decaffeinated tea.

Detheinated perhaps?

  • 2
    This seems more a chemistry question than an English language one. What is removed from tea when it is decaffeinated? I have no idea, but if it is caffeine then it seems perfectly reasonable to call it 'decaffeinated'.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 7:44
  • It is caffeine. Actually, theine seems to be outdated now as another word for "the caffeine in tea", so decaffeinated is less odd than detheinated. But you could say "without caffeine" for simplicity.
    – skymningen
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 7:48
  • I automatically think of coffee when I hear the word caffeine.
    – user15851
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 7:50
  • @Tanninah That's on you I think. Caffeine is in all manner of things, not just coffee and tea. Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 12:36

2 Answers 2


'Caffeine' is a stimulatory substance common to both tea and coffee.

Because the etymology is derived from 'coffee', when applied to tea it appears inappropriate, yet is correct. To take the tea out of the leaves of the tea plant is an impossibility, and even if effected, would result in nothing.

It would be nice to see if the tannin could be removed from tea, though!

  • 1
    Easy -- just use a "tannin booth" :-) Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 11:38
  • 1
    If you took out tannin and caffeine you pretty much just have hot water.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 19:33

As Leon said, caffeine exists in both tea and coffee. I personally do not consider the term "decaffeinated tea" to be unusual.

There is a plenty of evidence of the term being widely used: 1 2 3. On the other hand, "detheinated" does not appear in any dictionary, to my knowledge.

  • 1
    And as long as I'm being a wise guy, I'll steal the root word "theism" and announce that "detheinated" means having god removed from the item. :-) Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 11:39

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