What if you are a morning person who wakes up to the smell of fresh ground coffee but is sensitive to the effects of caffeine? Will you still be able to get a kick from the hot and fragrant coffee? Yes, you will still enjoy the same goodness and taste of good decaf coffee.
Decaffeinated coffee has the same taste as your normal ones, the only difference being the elimination of caffeine before roasting and grinding. So, to avoid having a caffeine-filled morning, learn here how decaf coffee is made.
What is Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee is one where the quantity of caffeine is reduced before the coffee beans are roasted and ground. Then, the coffee beans are soaked in organic solvents until their caffeine has been fully absorbed.
Excess coffee consumption can prove harmful as caffeine affects the brain system and the proper functioning of the nervous system. Hence, it is better to replace regular coffee with decaf coffee. It can help you escape the adverse effects of caffeine while letting you enjoy the cup of joe.
Is Coffee Naturally Caffeinated?
The answer to the above query is yes, coffee beans naturally contain caffeine. Therefore, coffee works wonders to boost our energy due to the presence of caffeine, a mild stimulant that kicks our alertness.
Caffeine is the most commonly found stimulant beverage and can avert tiredness. An average cup of coffee may contain 95 mg of caffeine, which changes as per your coffee drinks. The caffeine content can go over 500 mg in a few types of coffee.
How to Decaffeinate Coffee?
Coffee is always decaffeinated in its unroasted state. But the challenge is spilling the caffeine and coffee beans while retaining the flavorful aroma.
So, here is a step-by-step guide on decaffeinating coffee beans.
Steam or put the unroasted coffee beans in hot water for about 30 minutes for their pores to open. Then, soak them in water to get at least 45% moisture. It alters the structure of coffee beans’ cell walls segregating caffeine from them.
In this step, use a non-toxic solvent to extract caffeine. For doing so, treat the previously obtained water processed coffee beans with solvents like ether methylene chloride or ethyl acetate.
Wash off the solvent to an acceptable limit. So, this solvent filled with caffeine is emptied, and the beans are steamed once more to remove the residues of the solvent. Again, the solvent is added, circulated, and drained several times to get a decaf coffee.
Processes for Decaffeination
More than 70% of the coffee is decaffeinated with the help of solvents. But the type and way of using solvents can vary. Typically, there are 4 methods in which the above steps of coffee decaffeination can be executed. So, let’s learn about each of the processes here.
- Indirect Solvent Technique
This method involves soaking the coffee beans in hot water and treating them with a solvent. This water is then separated and moved to another solvent tank, where these beans are again washed for more than 10 hours with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate.
The caffeine molecules connect with the chemical solvent selectively, resulting in a mixture to evaporate the caffeine and solvent.
- Direct Solvent-Based Process
In this technique, you must soak the beans directly in the solvent. Then, steam them for 30 minutes to open the pores with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate for around 10 hours to separate the caffeine.
Then, the caffeinated solvent is drained to steam the beans and remove the solvent residue.
- Swiss Water
This process is the best way to make decaf coffee, as it does not use chemicals. This process involves soaking beans in lukewarm water for easy dissolution of the caffeine. Then, this water is passed through a filter made of charcoal.
The green coffee beans are soaked in pressurized water, and the contents of beans, like oils, sugar, and caffeine, are released into the water as their pores open.
- Carbon Dioxide Process
Finally, the carbon dioxide from the caffeine molecules can be separated by charcoal filtering or gas and drop.
Decaf coffee may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and less caffeine can improve our sleep patterns and lower anxiety. Also, decaf coffee can help lower cardiovascular diseases.
Thus, owing to the impeccable benefits of decaffeinated coffee, it is crucial to know how decaf coffee is made. Switching to decaf coffee is always a good choice because it is a mild drink with a mild flavor and is less bitter than coffee loaded with caffeine.