Decaf coffee serves a purpose
Decaf coffee does serve its purpose, whether caffeine is avoided for health reasons or for personal preference, even though can seem like a horrific thing to do to such a stimulating and wonderful drink.
For the reason that coffee beans naturally grow with caffeine in them, there are only a few ways to safely remove caffeine.
For anyone who’s never studied chemistry, the process used to make decaffeinated coffee beans is pretty complex and cannot be easily explained.
Swiss Water Process – Decaffeinated Coffee Beans
What is commonly known as the ‘Swiss Water Process’ is widely accepted as the best decaffeinating process, as it makes use of the fewest chemicals possible whilst maintains the natural flavour of the coffee beans.
The Swiss Water Process takes fresh, green, unroasted coffee beans and soaks them in pure water until all chemicals and caffeine have dissolved from the beans.
Then, the caffeine is filtered from the water, leaving behind an extract containing all elements of the coffee beans but without any caffeine.
After the filtration of the caffeine, a new batch of fresh green beans are added to the extract and are left soaking in the liquid for all the caffeine to naturally dissolve with all remaining compounds and oils remaining trapped in the beans.
This method is regarded the safest as there are no harsh chemicals, the process just relies on chemical principles to release the caffeine from the coffee beans.
Another more commonly used method makes use of ‘ethyl acetate’ to leach the caffeine out of the beans whilst soaking. Although this method is faster and cheaper for the producer, it is not as healthy.
Labels can claim that this method is a ‘natural decaffeination method’ as ethyl acetate can be yielded from fruits and vegetables, however, it is still a chemical solvent.
For decaffeinated coffee beans that are truly natural and organic, ensure you stick with Swiss Water Decaf Beans. There are other water decaffeination processes available, so be sure you do not confuse them with the Swiss Water method.
Although this method is widely regarded as the healthiest decaffeination process, there is still a tiny bit of caffeine left in the coffee beans, as it is chemically impossible to remove every last trace.
That being said, there is a 97% reduction in caffeine levels, so you should not experience any of the usual effects of caffeine. Nevertheless, if you are faced with health problems concerning caffeine intake, you shouldn’t be drinking any type of coffee at all, regular or decaf.