Few things start the day like a hot, steaming cup of coffee. The National Coffee Association (NCA) reports that 62% of Americans drink coffee every day.
You may prefer decaffeinated coffee for its relaxing, rich flavors. Get the joy of that first sip, without the caffeine buzz.
You might wonder, how is coffee decaffeinated? Why choose regular vs. decaf coffee? What is decaf coffee, anyway?
For all you coffee lovers, we have a guide to decaffeinated coffee. Grab a cup and read on.
How Is Decaffeinated Coffee Made?
There are 4 main ways to make decaffeinated coffee. They fall into two categories: solvent and non-solvent methods. Making decaffeinated coffee starts with green coffee beans in all methods.
Indirect Solvent Method
Producers soak green coffee beans in close to boiling water for several hours. Caffeine is soluble, but so are many compounds we want to keep. Producers separate the beans from the water solution.
They mix this solution with a solvent like methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. This extracts the caffeine from the water solution. The beans and solution are then mixed to restore the original flavors.
Direct Solvent Method
Producers steam the green coffee beans for around 30 minutes to open their pores. Then they add a solvent to the beans and soak them for around 10 hours. This extracts the caffeine, leaving behind other compounds.
Most decaffeinated coffee uses solvent methods in its production
Swiss Water Process
The Swiss Water Process (SWP) extracted caffeine from coffee for the first time in 1933. It joined commercial decaffeinated coffee production in 1988.
SWP is chemical-free. It works via solubility and osmosis.
Producers soak green coffee beans in water. They then pass this solution through a charcoal filter to catch caffeine molecules.
This solution then extracts caffeine from a second batch of coffee beans. This second batch retains its flavor. But it is decaffeinated.
The CO2 process uses carbon dioxide to dissolve the caffeine from coffee. Kurt Zosel invented the CO2 Process in 1967 at the Max Planck Institute.
Producers soak green coffee beans in water. They seal them into a stainless steel container.
They then pump in pressurized carbon dioxide. This gas acts on the beans, extracting their caffeine molecules, but leaving others intact.
Regular vs. Decaf Coffee: Which Is Best?
We all love our coffee. Few things get us through the day like a few cups of Joe. Whether you enjoy decaf or regular coffee, you will get heaps of benefits.
You can sip a regular cup of coffee in the morning, then switch to decaffeinated coffee after midday. This makes sure you sleep well, but everyone gets a different buzz from caffeine.
We all know a friend who sleeps like a baby after any coffee at all.
To maximize flavor, coffee blends are a delicious addition to your morning routine. Click for more coffee blends here.
Got Your Cup Ready?
We hope our guide to decaffeinated coffee cleared up how it is made. Coffee is made for you to enjoy, and it is an invaluable part of our day-to-day. Branch out and try new blends to invigorate your palate
We have plenty more health, lifestyle, and home tips. Flick through the rest of our site with your next coffee!