Ever since the discovery of coffee, experimentation with it has been, and still is, ongoing.
In the early 1800s, the isolation of caffeine from coffee was successful. However, it wasn’t until the early 1900s until decaffeinated coffee became commercialised, somewhat accidentally.
Ludwig Roselius and co-workers, in Germany, discovered that their freight of coffee beans spilt and ended up soaking in sea water. Determined not to lose the load, they tested the beans and realised that although much of its caffeine content had disappeared, it hadn’t lost its taste.
What is decaf coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee is a product of coffee beans which have the majority of their caffeine content removed. Typically, around 95% of caffeine is removed, ahead of roasting, leaving a familiar tasting but less potent product.
What is the difference between decaf and regular coffee?
Obviously, the key differentiating factor is the caffeine content. Although the decaffeination process extracts the caffeine from the coffee bean, it still leaves all of the other nutritional values intact.
Despite this, coffee aficionados would argue that the main difference is down to the missing flavours and aromas, as well as the preferred properties of caffeine itself; snubbing the unnatural process of decaffeinated coffee.
How much caffeine is in decaf coffee?
Decaf coffee is not completely caffeine free. As mentioned above, around 95% of caffeine is usually removed, but the average cup usually contains around 3mg of caffeine. This is a minimal amount, in comparison to regular coffee which has anywhere between 70-140mg of caffeine.
The gap in caffeine is dependent on a variety of factors such as the type of coffee (Robusta coffee beans contains nearly twice as much caffeine as Arabica, for instance) and methods employed whilst brewing the coffee.
How do you make decaf coffee?
As you can imagine, there is a rather scientific approach to extracting caffeine from coffee. Yet there are a few consistent factors: water, organic solvents and carbon dioxide, as well as similar, regulated temperature.
After the coffee beans have been harvested, they enter a processing phase where they can be decaffeinated in a variety of ways.
What are the different methods for making Decaf coffee?
There are three renowned methods for decaffeinating coffee and they are as follows:
MC Decaf is not a method named after an infamous rap artist who loved decaffeinated coffee. In fact, the MC is an abbreviation of Methylene Chloride.
Methylene Chloride is a transparent chemical with an essence of sweetness to its aroma. To decaffeinate coffee using this solvent requires unroasted coffee beans to be first steamed, to draw out the caffeine from the inside to the outside. Next, the Methylene Chloride is applied to remove caffeine before steaming the beans once more to remove any chemicals attached.
Fortunately, the high temperatures at which coffee roasts at are enough to evaporate any remaining Methylene Chloride which evaporates at less than half the roasting temperature of coffee.
The use of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) requires a form of liquid CO2, in place of chemical solvents.
Decaffeinating coffee this way requires the coffee beans to have been soaked in water before being sealed in an extraction vessel. Liquid CO2 is then forced into the coffee at extreme pressures, in order to extract the caffeine. Next, the caffeine filled CO2 is transferred into a separate chamber and released, returning to its gaseous state, leaving the caffeine extract behind.
Swiss Water Decaf
This technique is a non-solvent method which uses water, temperature and time to eventually create a 99.9% caffeine free, decaf coffee.
The first step of the process is to make the ‘green coffee extract’. Once the extract is created, it is used to decaffeinate the coffee.
Initially, coffee beans are soaked in very hot water and passed through a charcoal filter. The charcoal filter attracts the caffeine to it and leaves the green coffee extract which is now ‘caffeine free’.
Following this, the next set of coffee beans are then soaked in the green coffee extract and because all compounds are then equal (except the caffeine), the caffeine ‘leeches’ out.
Why should you choose decaf over regular coffee?
Although there are a lot of arguments championing the health benefits of coffee – too much of anything is often bad for you, especially caffeine. Individual tolerance to caffeine varies. Too much caffeine may overwhelm your nervous system, causing digestive issues, irritable sleeping patterns, restlessness and anxiety.
Medical experts also advise those on prescriptions, children and pregnant ladies to restrict caffeine from their diet, also.
That’s why decaf coffee exists. It acts as a replacement for those who enjoy drinking coffee but, for whichever reason, want to bypass the caffeine. Similar to normal coffee, decaffeinate coffee still contains lots of beneficial antioxidants and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and vitamin B3.
Decaffeinated Coffee Bags
As the demand for decaffeinated coffee transcended, and the search for a premium tasting decaf coffee heightened, Lincoln and York took it upon themselves to developed a solution.
Through the use of the NC Decaf method, and by harnessing all of the knowledge and expertise within their staff force, last year, ‘Bags of Flavour’ were launched. The idea behind these coffee bags provide was to provide coffee drinkers with quality tasting coffee in an instant.
The decaffeinated coffee bag has proven popular and continues to deliver that quality coffee flavour without the caffeine that customers crave.
For any further information, regarding our decaffeinated products or anything coffee related, please get in touch.