The CO2 process decaffeinates tea in the purest way possible. Tea leaves are put in large, high pressure vessels. Carbon dioxide (CO2), acting as a solvent in a super critical pressurized state, is pumped into the vessels containing the tea leaves. Caffeine molecules attach to the CO2 & are then pumped out into a separation tank. By varying the extraction/separation pressures & temperatures within the vessel, the CO2 is able to selectively extract only the caffeine, leaving the flavor intact. The caffeine can be discharged from the tank & the CO2 can be reused. As a solvent, carbon dioxide is non-toxic, odorless, tasteless, germicidal, food-safe & non-combustible & the process does not cause environmental harm.
NOTE: The CO2 process results in removal of 95-97% of total caffeine, which means caffeine levels of 0.2-0.4% caffeine by the leaf's dry weight. Individuals who are truly caffeine sensitive might consider avoiding decaffeinated products. It is impossible to determine the levels of caffeine left in any product that has undergone any decaffeination process without sending it to a lab. Please see the TISANE category for excellent alternatives.