Decaffeinated coffee, or “decaf”, is also an important part of the coffee landscape. After all, skilled roasters can create decaffeinated blends that offer amazing flavor without that extra caffeine kick that some people prefer to avoid. But how is decaffeinated coffee made?
Who Invented Decaffeinated Coffee?
The first commercial decaffeination process was invented in 1900 by Ludwig Roselius, a German coffee merchant and founder of the company Kaffee Hag.
Roselius’s method, which is not used anymore, consisted in using benzene, a potentially toxic solvent, to extract the caffeine from coffee beans.
How Is Decaffeinated Coffee Made?
Nowadays there are three main methods used to produce decaffeinated coffee:
- Water processing: This process employs water as the main solvent to extract caffeine from green coffee beans. In this case, no chemicals are used as solvents but the process is slightly less efficient than other alternatives.
- Direct solvent method: As its name implies, in this method a chemical solvent (methylene chloride, coffee oil, or ethyl acetate) is used to extract the caffeine. Then the green coffee beans are washed and steamed to remove traces of the solvent.
- Supercritical carbon dioxide decaffeination: Here carbon dioxide is forced at high pressures to draw the caffeine out of the coffee beans and into a water solution.
None of the processes currently available can extract caffeine without impacting the flavor of the coffee. However, there are great decaffeinated coffees out there that can offer a very rewarding experience.
Take, for example, EcoDelight’s Decaf Blend: made with four varieties of coffee from the Americas plus one from Sumatra, it delivers a balanced, smooth tasting experience ideal for those who want to cut down on caffeine without giving up the pleasure of their daily cup of joe.
More Coffee Knowledge
Interested in learning more about coffee? These are some previous post you can read to learn more about this fascinating topic:
- What coffee to use for espresso?
- Whole coffee beans vs. pre-ground coffee: which one is best?
- A brief guide to the perfect Italian espresso
- Basic coffee concepts: washed and unwashed coffee
- What is a coffee blend?
- Coffee: a healthy outlier
EcoDelight, High-Quality Coffe in San Jose, California
the accumulated experience of five generations of coffee producers behind us, at EcoDelight we are one of the best Coffee roasters in San Jose, California.
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