What Does Decaffeinated Coffee Mean?

‘Decaffeinated coffee’ is that type of coffee gone through the decaffeination process. Also known as ‘Decaf Coffee’.

The decaffeination coffee process removes caffeine from coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa, or any other material which contains caffeine. But the process does not remove all the caffeine.

You are a coffee lover, but as per doctor’s suggestion, having much caffeine is not good for you right now.

Well, decaf coffee is the excellent solution for you.

Decaf coffee contains a very small amount of caffeine in it. The amount of caffeine in decaf coffee is 1-2% compare to the original caffeine. The amount can be up to 20% based on requirements.  

As per requirement from the United States, the amount of caffeine in decaffeinated beans should be a maximum of 3% of the original amount. The amount varies from country to country.

In 1820, A German chemist, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge isolated pure caffeine from the coffee bean. But he did not try out the isolation commercially.

First commercially successful decaffeination process performed in 1903. German merchant Ludwig Roselius and his co-workers completed the process. They later patented it in 1906.

Earlier, decaf coffee was sold by the name of “Kaffee HAG” and they still do so but under a different company.

The decaffeination process extracts caffeine from green beans. But strength or flavor stays intact. There are several methods to perform the process.

Processes of Decaffeinated Coffee

Organic Solvents Processes

Direct method

  • Firstly, steams unroasted green beans.
  • Rinses the beans with methylene dichloride or ethyl acetate solvent.
  • Repeats 8 to 12 times until the requirement meets.

Indirect method

  • Also referred to as water processed.
  • Beans stay in hot water for several hours. Water soaks caffeine content.
  • Methylene dichloride or ethyl acetate solvent extracts caffeine from the water.
  • The Same water is used for a new batch. 

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Processes

Swiss Water process

  • Uses Green Coffee Extract (GCE) mechanism for the caffeine extraction
  • Takes 8-10 hours to meet the requirements

Triglyceride process

  • Beans stay in hot water for several hours.
  • Then, beans get transferred to another container with coffee oil.
  • Triglycerides in the oils remove the caffeine
  • Separates beans from oil and dry.

There is probation for manufacturers to test newly decaffeinated coffee beans.

You may mix up low caffeine coffee with decaf coffee. But actually, they are not the same.

Low caffeine coffee naturally has a low level of caffeine without any process performed. There can be a lot to discuss the difference between low caffeine coffee and decaf coffee. On an important note, as low-caffeine coffee beans originally contain a very moderate amount of caffeine, they are a good choice for decaffeination.

“Decaffito” – Natural coffee beans growing without caffeine. The plant is called “Coffea Charrieriana”, found in Cameroon, is only known natural caffeine-free plant.

Caffeine is not unhealthy. Rather coffee has various health benefits like reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and many more.

But, if you are sensitive to caffeine for any reason or trying to avoid caffeine for somedays, try a cup of decaf coffee instead. The amount of caffeine in decaffeinated coffee is very small and hopefully won’t affect you.

Enjoy your coffee!!!

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