The coffee without the caffeine kick! You may be wondering, “why drink decaf coffee?” Many people prefer to make the swap for health reasons, such as being pregnant or those who suffer with anxiety or insomnia... some simply switch to decaf in the afternoon.
But let's talk about how decaf coffee is made... there are a few techniques and processes that can extract the caffeine from the coffee bean to make your brew decaffeinated.
It's important to note that decaf coffee does not mean that your brew is exclusively caffeine free, it just contains a considerably lower percentage of caffeine, similar to alcohol free tipples.
So how is coffee decaffeinated?
There are 3 very different techniques used to make decaf coffee. Each decaffeination process begins when the beans are green, prior to the coffee beans being roasted.
The water method
The Water Decaffeination Process is a method that's popular amongst those looking to reduce their caffeine intake as it is renowned for retaining the coffee beans' original flavour notes.
There are three elements to the Water decaffeination process: water, temperature and time. The speciality coffee beans are placed in a water solution. The caffeine in the beans dissolves in the solution and is then permanently removed through a carbon filter. Over a period of 6-12 hours this solution reduces the caffeine content to less than 0.1% of the total dry bean mass, which means it meets the stringent requirements to be sold as decaffeinated coffee..
Our preference at the Roastery is to use beans that have been the water process, as we feel the favour is unmatched. Our Swiss Water Guatemalan Decaf Coffee retains the sweet, floral notes those who drink coffee from the region will be used to. Alongside this, you'll find our Mexican decaf retains the original beans smooth chocolate flavour.
Did you know our decaf blend 'Decaf SIde of the Edge' has won a Great Taste Award? We recommend trying the EDGE Decaf Starter Kit if you're looking to find out which Decaf coffee you'd enjoy most.
The chemical method
The chemical decaffeination process is one of the oldest methods that is still predominantly used today. There are two types of chemical methods used to make your coffee decaf: ‘direct-solvent process’ and ‘indirect-solvent process’. However, both methods use a chemical based solution to withdraw the caffeine from the coffee bean.
This method of decaffeination is highly effective. So, what is the catch? The intense chemicals used to wash and rinse the coffee beans affect the flavour notes and quality. Therefore, compromising the taste of your decaf brew – that’s why we’ll always choose a natural decaf coffee bean for our range!
The CO2 method
The CO2 decaf method is also known as ‘Liquid Carbon Dioxide Method’ and ‘Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Method’. You’d be surprised to know that this decaf process does not require green beans to be placed into a solution for a prolonged period of time. Developed by scientist, Kurt Zosel, the CO2 method is the most unique and technical process of decaffeinating coffee.
Intrigued? Let us explain. Green beans are soaked in water and placed into an Extraction Vessel, which is essentially just a sealed stainless steel box. The coffee is then blasted with liquid CO2. Extreme pressures of around 1,000 pounds per square inch is forced into the container to extract the caffeine.
Ready for the science? CO2 acts selectively on the caffeine components only. That means the taste and quality of the coffee bean is not compromised - pretty cool, right?
So there you have it. Now you know how your coffee is decaffeinated. Learnt something new? Hopefully, you can now make an informed decision when shopping for your decaf coffee.
Take a look at our our range of freshly roasted speciality decaf coffees – and remember, save 20% off RRP with subscriptions to EDGE Coffee every time.
Enjoy decaf coffee lovers!