What Is Decaffeinated Coffee?

Decaffeinated coffee is the term used when the caffeine has been removed from raw coffee beans. There are several ways to remove the caffeine. However, not all of the caffeine is completely removed. The USDA regulates coffee and considers coffee beans that have 0.10% caffeine in them to be decaffeinated. This is considered a slight amount.

Here is an example. An 8 ounce cup of regular coffee has around 95 mg of caffeine in it. Of course this can vary depending on the type of coffee drink. It could be much higher. An 8 ounce cup of decaffeinated coffee averages around 3 mg of caffeine.

How are Coffee Beans Decaffeinated?

There are several ways that green coffee beans are decaffeinated. Here is a brief summary of several methods.

Swiss Water Method

This process was invented in Switzerland in 1933.  Basically green coffee beans are soaked in hot water to dissolve the caffeine. Afterwards, the water is drained through an activated charcoal filter that traps large caffeine molecules which go in one container while the smaller molecules and water move on to another container. These smaller molecules in the water contain oils rich in flavor. This water is then used to soak another batch of green coffee beans. The water saturated with flavors won’t dissolve. The only thing that is dissolved is the caffeine. Therefore leaving the decaffeinated beans with lots of flavor. The Swiss Water Process ensures that the coffee beans are 99.9% caffeine free. The best part of this process is that it is chemical free. That’s why Morning Mutts Café sells coffee beans that were decaffeinated this way.

CO2 Method:

Basically, green coffee beans are steamed in a container. Then high pressure is applied to it. Water and CO2 are added and the caffeine is dissolved into the CO2. Although, the flavors stay in the beans. The caffeine is removed from the CO2 using more water then the CO2 is recirculated in the high pressure container and the process is repeated.

Direct Method:

This process uses water to steam the green coffee beans then they are rinsed with chemicals to extract caffeine but leave the flavors in the beans. The process repeats until the US standard has reached 97% caffeine free beans.

Indirect Method:

Green coffee beans are soaked in hot water for several hours then chemicals are used to extract the caffeine from the water. The chemicals evaporate and the same water is recycled with new batches of beans. The flavors remain in the beans.

Triclyceride Method:

Green coffee beans are soaked in hot water to bring the caffeine to the surface of the beans. Then the beans are moved to another vessel containing coffee oils from other coffee grounds. Here they soak in the oils at a high temperature. Finally the triglycerides in the oil remove the caffeine but the flavors remain in the beans. The beans are dried and the oils are used again to decaffeinate another batch of beans.

After one of these extraction methods are used, the coffee beans are ready to be roasted.

Decaffeinated Coffee Can Bring Relief to People Who Suffer From Ill Effects of Drinking Regular Coffee

People like the energy boost they get from drinking coffee. At the same time they love the aroma and flavor. Although, some people don’t feel well after drinking coffee. Drinking decaffeinated coffee is a good alternative for people who have the following problems.

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Heartburn or Reflux
  • Insomnia
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