Is Tea Halal? Is Caffeine Halal?
There are 1.6 billion muslims in the world and tea is the second most consumed beverage after water. Given just these two facts, and you can imagine that this is a frequently asked question: “Is tea halal?”
Moreover, halal food is moving beyond Muslim consumers as recent meat scandals have made consumer more aware of the quality of meat. To answer the above question, let’s first understand what halal actually means.
What is halal?
The word ‘halal’ refers to what food and drinks are allowed for consumption as according to traditional Islamic law. The opposite of halal is ‘harem’. In other words, halal food can be consumed, while harem food can’t be consumed, according to Islamic law.
The meat category has the most focus, as animals has be slaughtered and processed as according to the rules. Pork is harem, no matter how it is slaughtered. We’ll leave out the exact details of such criteria, as slaughtering methods aren’t the focus of this article.
Also processed products, which contains harem meat, is’t halal. Take for example a lasagne which contains minced beef which isn’t halal. In such a case the lasagne isn’t considered halal as well.
Smoking is also not allowed, as it’s considered intoxicating.
What about beverages?
In the beverage category, it’s mainly alcoholic content that determines whether beverages are halal or harem. The reason is that alcoholic beverages are considered intoxicating.
Are tea cocktails halal?
Based on this we can easily conclude that tea cocktails with alcoholic content by definition isn’t halal.
Is kombucha halal?
Also fermented kombucha can contain slight amounts of alcohol as a result of the fermentation process. So kombucha also isn’t halal in theory. However, because it only contains traces of alcohol, it could also be interpreted as non intoxicating.
Is Coffee & Tea Halal? Does caffeine content matter?
Beverages such as tea and coffee contain caffeine. Luckily, caffeine is generally not considered intoxicating. Unlike drugs and alcohol, it’s only considered a mild stimulant. However, coffee has been controversial in the past. In 1511, it was decreed sinful Meccaan governor Khair Beg. In 1542, coffee was allowed again by the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Selim I.
While tea and coffee is mostly given the benefit of doubt, the fact is that caffeine can be considered addictive. And whether or not caffeine is intoxicating really depends on the person. So, in the end it really depends on the individual situation.
If you're interested in halal certified tea, then consider this Haiwan Halal pu erh tea.