Decaf Coffee - Is It Really Caffeine-free?
You have probably heard or even tasted decaf coffee, especially if you are worried about the effects of caffeine on your system. Let's see if this product is really caffeine-free.
Scientists have discovered a coffee tree that produces beans with a small amount of caffeine in it. The sad thing though, is the fact that it’s not for sale yet! So, for now, you have to rely on decaf coffee! Doesn’t it seem to taste the same? Well, that’s where coffee manufacturers stick their tongue out and jeer at you. Let’s find out why…
The coffee that has most of its caffeine content removed is called the 'decaf coffee'.
What Happens To Caffeine
Caffeine removal is simple. Any difference in taste can be attributed to the presence or absence of caffeine in the coffee.
The first process the coffee goes through is the washing. The raw green coffee beans are soaked in hot water and are rinsed in methylene chloride, a particular chemical that helps remove the caffeine content, but leaves no chemical taste at all in the coffee that you sip while at your desk.
Then there’s another chemical treatment, where the coffee grounds are dipped into diluted hydrochloric acid! Now isn’t that a surprise?
Alternative methods include soaking the beans in hot water for a few hours. The caffeine in the beans gets soaked out into the bath and chemicals are used to remove it from the bath. Then the beans are put back in the bath again to allow them to absorb the flavor that it had lost before. Having completed this process, coffee beans are deemed caffeine free.
Do all coffee manufacturers have to use methylene chloride? Not necessarily, because the Swiss method does away with this chemical bath.
In this process, the beans are soaked in hot water for a number of hours, and once done, the water is filtered through charcoal filters in order to remove the caffeine.
The charcoal used is as pure as possible, with a large surface area, to allow the caffeine molecules to bond with the carbon molecules in the charcoal filters! Nothing can beat the Swiss when it comes to an eye for quality.
Choose Darker Roasted Beans
The first method is the commonest of all, as it isn’t very expensive. Frequent tiffs between coffee experts and the industry on whether chemical treatments alter the taste of coffee are completely useless. The best way to reduce the amount of caffeine in your life is to look for darker roasted beans as they are less acidic and contain less caffeine.
There are several companies that will gladly share the process they implement in order to remove caffeine from the coffee. However, people who must compulsorily avoid caffeine should know that decaf coffee, however, contains little amount of caffeine as residue. Nevertheless, decaffeination processes successful remove about 97% of caffeine content and therefore, it is not completely free of caffeine.
People believe that removing the caffeine, the bitter bit in the coffee, from the coffee would mean a tasteless brown liquid! In the end, what matters really are your personal likings, whether you have decaf coffee or regular blends!
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