In Search Of Decaf Without Chemical Solvents
It didn’t take me much Googling to find non-chemical alternatives. The most famous one is a process called Swiss Water:
Swiss Water is an innovative, 100% chemical free decaffeination process removing caffeine for coffee roasters around the world.
In this process, the coffee beans are soaked in caffeine-free green coffee extract, allowing the caffeine to be extracted from the bean and into the solution while the flavor components are retained in the beans. The now caffeine-saturated green coffee extract is then processed through activated charcoal to remove the caffeine, thus becoming caffeine-free again and ready to extract caffeine from a new batch of coffee. The coffee beans are then dried to their originating moisture level and re-bagged. The Swiss Water Process results in coffee that is 99.9% caffeine free.
Nice! I found solvent-free decaf coffee.
Yesterday I ordered my first bag of ground Swiss Water coffee. And today I made a cup:
The taste is much much much better than the methylene chlorinated decaf. It’s a little weaker, so you have to use more ground powder to make a coffee. But still pretty good.
Ignore the text on the bag, it’s imported and repackaged by a Korean importer.
There’s one other decaf method that’s not chemical: treating coffee with pressurized carbon dioxide. It’s the least used method and reviews about the taste aren’t that positive.
And best of all, now I can fall asleep a little better.
Cafe Don Pablo Colombian Gourmet Decaf Coffee
The Cafe Don Pablo decaf coffee is a true Colombian brand. Its made from Colombian Supremo beans. 100% Arabica, of course.
This coffee is not mass-produced like the Eight OClock decaf coffee but roasted in small batches just before its packaged and shipped off. Therefore, its fresh by default.
This Don Pablo coffee is decaffeinated via the Swiss Water decaffeination process. There are no chemicals used. Its all-natural but not organic.
When it comes to taste and aroma, Don Pablo shines like a bright star in the dark decaf sky! Its by no means acid or bitter like most low-caf brands.
The taste is complex and rich and features natural cocoa and caramel notes. You can even taste a hint of citrus! It can complement most desserts and pastries.
If you are a true medium roast aficionado, this 99.9% caffeine-free coffee will probably disappoint you as it tastes more like a dark roast.
If you dont mind that, youll be looking at a smooth blend well worth trying.
- Some find its taste overwhelming
Lifeboost Organic Decaf Coffee Beans Best Overall
Our top pick is from Lifeboost, and we especially love it because of the fact that its Fair Trade sourced. This means that the relationship between the roaster and the farmers has been certified as being equitable and mutually beneficial. For more information about this designation, take a look at this helpful guide.
When you sip this coffee, youll notice a pleasing lack of acidity and a big, rich coffee flavor. Expect some hints of fruit and even a hint of bitterness.
This coffee is produced using the Swiss Water method meaning its decaffeinated using water, rather than potentially unhealthy chemical solvents. Its also shade-grown and pesticide-free.
For these reasons, Lifeboosts tasty decaf medium roast is our top pick. Its a little pricey , but trust us its worth it.
Who says you cant enjoy unique coffee varieties in decaf? Volcanicas Sumatra Mandheling Decaf allows you to taste distinctive earthy, full-bodied Sumatran beans without the caffeine. And dont worry, you wont have to sacrifice any flavor with these single-origin beans.
Like our top pick, these beans are decaffeinated without chemicals using the Swiss Water Process. This more delicate process helps the beans maintain their powerful, exotic flavor. Plus, theyre available in three convenient grind sizes , making this coffee our pick for pre-ground beans.
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How To Prepare The Best Decaf Coffee Beans
The decaf coffee you choose has to be produced by a reputable roasting company that buys the highest-quality decaffeinated coffee beans available on the market.
It should be purchased in the form of whole beans and as fresh as possible.
Once you find your favorite brand of coffee, you should also:
- Store it appropriately keep it in a dry and cool place and, more importantly, in an airtight container that will keep it fresh for longer and preserve its flavor.
- Grind it properly invest in a high-quality grinder as it will greatly influence the final taste and texture of your decaf coffee. Always grind the decaf beans on fine or medium. Make sure you use your grinder ONLY for decaf coffee or otherwise you risk drinking the caffeine from the previously ground regular coffee.
- Brew it properly You have reached the final and easiest step. Decide what type of coffee you are up to an espresso, a latte, or perhaps a creamy cappuccino. Of course, use a high-quality coffee maker if possible, and follow the instructions and measurements to the letter .
If you do everything right, the taste will be intense and rich!
Extra Info: Most decaf options on the market today are produced using Arabica beans as they have naturally low caffeine content.
Can You Drink Decaf Coffee While Pregnant
Yes, you can drink decaf coffee while pregnant. However, if you are caffeine sensitive or have tried decaf coffee before and found out that it made you feel ill, then you should consider cutting back on it. While its safe for pregnant women to drink decaf, its always best to drink it in moderation.
Recommended Reading: Can Decaffeinated Coffee Cause Constipation
But Have You Heard Of Paint Stripper
Do you know the stuff they use to remove paint from walls? And the stuff we clean industrial factory floors with? It’s an industrial solvent called methylene chloride. Stores have stopped selling it because it’s so dangerous:
Public health organizations, including NRDC, had pushed for the ban of methylene chloridebased paint strippers, as the chemical has been linked to multiple deaths. Its fumes can cause liver toxicity, cancer, and harm to the nervous systemthey can even trigger fatal heart attacks. More than 200,000 consumers petitioned for the ban, and advocates in 12 states also gathered outside Lowes stores to pressure the company to remove them from their shelves.
Why am I telling you this?
Well, the majority of decaf coffee is produced like this:
coffee beans are soaked in hot water to extract much of the caffeine from the beans. The beans are then removed from the water and the methylene chloridesolvent is added to bond with the caffeine. After the methylene chloride/caffeine compound is skimmed from the surface of the mixture, the beans are returned to reabsorb the liquid.
Eight O’clock Whole Bean Coffee The Original Decaf
Eight OClock is the most affordable option on our list, on top of that, its also the oldest operating coffee company. Originally founded in 1859 as the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, it became Eight OClock Coffee in 1919 and hasnt looked back since.
Despite the name and branding changes, Eight OClock Coffee retained all of the good bits, including roasting only high quality, 100% Arabica beans and roasting only in their own facility under the expert supervision of master roasters.This is a coffee name that you likely recognize if you grew up in the United States and makes an excellent option for a no-frills, everyday brew that lets their beans do the talking. No extensive backstory. No named artisan roasting processes. None of that.I mean, if youve survived 150 years of business, I guess that says a lot of what you need to know, yeah?Eight OClocks The Original Decaf is sweet, fruity, and well-balanced. This medium roast is a blend of Arabica that mimics their Original Blend, so you get all of the classic flavor of Eight OClock coffee without the caffeine!
- Available at most grocery stores and much cheaper than other brands
- Simple, mild-tasting medium roast
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What Is Swiss Water Process Coffee
These decafs differ from their more traditionally decaffeinated bros because they employ pure water instead of harsh chemicals to gently remove caffeine. One of the biggest downsides of decaf coffeelikely one of the reasons people shy away from itis that chemical decaffeination can result in a chemically tasting, lackluster cup. Not so with Swiss Water, my friend.
Our favorite thing about Swiss Water decaf is how it doesnt taste like decaf. Whaaaat? Take Black Knight for instance. The caffeinated version has big flavor, a rich mouthfeel, and sweet, baked fruit notes. The Swiss Water version has all those characteristics, too! No more compromising or settling for less than you deserve. You deserve flavorful decaf. Your coffee should give you the confidence to look a caffeine junkie right in the eye. And maybe share a cup to show them what Swiss Waters all about.
We have a theory. It might be unpopular, so have mercy. Swiss Water decaf drinkers might be the true coffee connoisseurs because theyre tasting the coffee for everything that it is. Think about it. Why do a lot of people drink coffee? It makes us move. It peps us up. Decaf doesnt make you feel like youre exploding, so decaf drinkers must really love the taste. If you dont agree, .
Theories aside, the Swiss Water Process is a modern marvel, so lets walk through each step. How do they make Swiss Water Decaf?
How To Brew Decaf Coffee
Most people who do not like decaf coffee probably havent brewed this kind of coffee blend properly. Contrary to the belief that decaf coffees arent as tasty as regular coffee. Storage, quantity purchases, decaffeination method, grind size, and ground brewed volume contribute to a delicious cup of decaf coffee.
Heres how you can make a decent cup of the best decaf coffee.
Buying in bulk is the worst decision youll ever make for decaf coffee if you want the freshest brew in the morning. Instead of ordering pre-ground beans, grinding the whole beans before brewing it is the best way to enjoy its flavors.
If buying a pre-ground is inevitable , get only the amount of coffee beans youd think you can consume in a week. Likewise, choose the type of roast that has an enormous impact in terms of flavor.
2. Look for a decaf coffee with the Swiss Water Method as the decaffeination process used.
Between the two processes mentioned, the SW method is the best and safest way of removing caffeine from the coffee beans. It preserves more flavor through the help of the GCE. Best of all, it frees you from worrying that you might be drinking chemicals with your coffee.
3. Find proper storage for your decaf coffee.
4. Grind your decaf coffee beans slightly finer than regular coffee.
5. Use more decaf coffee grounds when you brew.
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Top : Best Decaf Coffee Brands To Buy In 2020
We put together a list of some of the best decaf coffees online. These coffees represent a spectrum of roast profiles, countries of origin, flavor distinctives, and yes, decaffeination processes. Take a look and see how they compare!
|OUR TOP PICK|
- Swiss Water Process is the best way to preserve flavors in decaf
- Environmentally sustainable Certified Organic and mountain shade grown
- Growing and processing this bean with top-notch brings up the price
Were becoming big fans of LifeBoost Coffee as a company, and their organic decaf is just as impressive as their other beans. In fact, when it comes to taste, youd probably never realize this coffee doesnt have caffeine because theres no drop in flavor quality!
If youre looking for a sustainable bean, this ones hard to beat. Purchased at Fair Trade prices , this coffees ethically sourced.
Its also mountain shade grown and Certified Organic, so there was never any chemical fertilizers or pesticides used. Its decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process, whichonce againuses no chemicals. It only takes water. This is safer and produces a much higher-quality flavor.
LifeBoosts decaf is a bean you know has been treated well from farm to cup.
Coming from the mountains of Nicaragua, this organic decaf is well-rounded with notes of chocolate and caramel, a hint of subtle fruit aromas, and a mild acidity that helps all the flavors pop.
Save 50% off LifeBoost Decaf Coffee –>
Best Dark Roast: Peet’s Coffee Decaf Major Dickason’s Blend
With an extensive variety of blends and a wide-ranging grocery store presence, many already love Peet’s Coffee. The Bay Area company makes several types of decaf coffee, one of the most popular being Major Dickason’s Blend, which is also sold as a caffeinated option. It’s an extremely dark roast with a smoky, slightly spicy flavor.
The coffee is sold in both ground and whole bean varieties , and you can find bags of 10.5 or 16 ounces. Just keep in mind that it drifts toward the expensive end and might be a little harder to track down than the more-common caffeinated blends. If this specific flavor doesn’t appeal to you, check out Peet’s other decaf dark roasts, including House Blend, French Roast, and more.
Roast: Dark | Size: 10.5 or 16 ounces | Available In: Whole bean and ground | Direct Contact Process
Kicking Horse Decaf is a highly reviewed option that many coffee lovers choose to when avoiding caffeine. It’s fairly priced and easy to find both in-store and online. As a cheaper alternative, try Seattle’s Best Decaf Portside Blend a real value-for-money option.
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Have You Ever Wondered How Starbucks Decaf Is Processed
Is it methylene chloride, Swiss water process or CO2 processed? After a quick email and very fast reply, Starbucks confirmed most of their decaf is the direct method or otherwise known as methylene chloride method. Their very detailed response is below to read.
Please know most of our decaf Coffees are decaffeinated using the direct contact method of decaffeination. With direct contact, a solvent is introduced to the green Coffee beans as they soak. The solvent bonds with the caffeine in the beans and removes it. The solvent is then taken away from the beans and the Coffee is roasted at over 400*F. Since the solvent has a much lower boiling point the Coffee beans that come from this process produce a cup of Coffee that has no detectable trace of methylene chloride.
Want to know all the facts about the best must try decafs? Read my article on the 20 Best Decafs with processing and certifications notes! Need Starbucks now? Head over here to get some Starbucks Decaf!
How Do You Buy The Best Swiss Water Process Decaf Coffee
- Is it worth buying an swiss water process decaf coffee?
- What benefits are there with buying an swiss water process decaf coffee?
- What factors deserve consideration when shopping for an effective swiss water process decaf coffee?
- Why is it crucial to invest in any swiss water process decaf coffee, much less the best one?
- Which swiss water process decaf coffee are good in the current market?
- Where can you find information like this about swiss water process decaf coffee?
buying guides for swiss water process decaf coffee
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How Does Coffee Become Decaffeinated
Before scientists could understand how to decaffeinate coffee, they had to understand how to isolate it as a compound, first. However, nobody set out to decaffeinate coffee from the start the experiments that led to the isolation of the caffeine compound in coffee beans were used to compare it to belladonna extract.
Even when decaffeination was finally achieved, it was done by pure accident a shipment of coffee beans became soaked with ocean water. Although most of the caffeine was leached from the beans, the flavor remain unchanged! Eureka!
The earliest commercially viable decaffeination methods used solvents like benzene, which were later classified carcinogenic. Now, coffee can be .
Most methods still use a solvent-based decaffeination process, though with food-grade, human-safe solvents. It can be difficult to measure the exact percentage of decaffeination, so always assume theres still a little caffeine left in the bean no matter what process is used. Its not uncommon for some enthusiasts to criticize the point of decaffeinating coffee, asking is decaf coffee really decaf if some remains?
Cooper’s Cask Coffee Ethiopian Decaf
The aroma of coffee is a major part of the pleasure of drinking it, and decaf coffees should be no exception.
This medium roast coffee is especially aromatic, with a bold, smooth flavor and notes of chocolate orange, sweet lemon and black tea. Also try their Costa Rican Farm Gate Decaf, which has notes of honey wheat, bittersweet chocolate and molasses biscuit.
- Method Used: Swiss Water Process
- Single Origin or Blend: Single Origin
- Roasted in Small Batches: Yes
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Dean’s Beans Mexican Chiapas Decaf
Dean’s Beans really celebrate the qualities of single origin coffee, focusing on the unique character of each region given by altitude, soil quality and local farming methods.
Their shade-grown Mexican Chiapas Decaf is a smooth medium roast with low acid content and a warm, cookie-like nuttiness.
Theyre also certified organic by the USDA and you can even compost the bags once youre done.
- Method Used: Natural Water Process
- Single Origin or Blend: Single Origin confirmed for French Roast decaf and Mexican Chiapas decaf
- Roasted in Small Batches: Yes