How is Coffee Decaffeinated?
The stimulatory effect of the caffeine it contains is one of the reasons why individuals enjoy drinking coffee. A perfect way to improve your mental alertness and strengthen your energy levels is to drink caffeine. However certain persons, typically for health reasons or because they find its effects unpleasant, tend to avoid caffeine. You can always try decaffeinated coffee if you like the taste of coffee but do not like caffeine. We will share everything you need to know about decaffeinated goods in this article.
Next, what is coffee that is decaffeinated?
Decaffeinated coffee is basically coffee that has lost much of its caffeine, often referred to as 'Decaf'. A selection of processes can be used to do this (more on that below). Within the green coffee bean, each process aims to remove most of the caffeine while maintaining the essential molecules that offer its great flavour and aroma to coffee.
Does coffee with decaf have caffeine?
Yes, It is important to understand that the coffee bean never loses all the caffeine from decaffeination. This is because it will also destroy much of the important compounds that give the bean its wonderful taste and fragrance by extracting all the caffeine from the bean. In other words, you would end up with a bean that tastes incredibly bland if this was finished
Your average coffee cup is about 236 ml and will have about 120 mg of caffeine in it. You should anticipate there to be less than 0.1 mg of caffeine in your cup if you are drinking decaf in the EU. At least 97 percent of the caffeine has been eliminated if you were to drink decaf in the United States, so it would contain 3.6 grammes or less of caffeine. It's important to note that decaf can still include some caffeine if you are trying to stop caffeine for a medical purpose.
Using many processes, coffee can be decaffeinated. Both these techniques can however, modify the chemical structure of the 'green' coffee bean before it has been roasted. The main purpose of decaffeination is to extract the coffee bean from the caffeine while maintaining the molecular components that give the flavour to the bean.
Decaffeination is a difficult process to get correct because there is a complex structure in coffee beans, with more than 1,000 chemicals contributing to the taste and aroma of the bean
In Europe, this is a very popular technique for decaffeination. The green coffee beans are first immersed for several hours in very hot water. This removes much of the caffeine content of the bean, along with the compounds that add flavour to the beans. They extract the green beans and pass the water to another tank. The water is treated with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate, chemicals that bind to the molecules of caffeine. To extract both the solvent and the caffeine molecules through evaporation, the resulting blend can then be heated.
To reabsorb the oils and chemicals responsible for flavouring the coffee beans, the beans are then re-introduced.
In subsequent batches of beans, the water is reused to bring more flavour into each batch. Eventually, a balance is achieved where, without the caffeine,
the beans have much of the flavour of coffee.
To open their pores, the green coffee beans are steamed for about 30 minutes, then exposed to a solvent that is usually methylene dichloride or ethyl acetate. They are washed in the solvent for about 10 hours to remove some caffeine. To extract any traces of solvent, the solvent is drained and the beans are washed repeatedly.
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)
This is the newest strategy for coffee bean decaffeination. Dr. Kurt Zosel, a researcher working at the Max Planck Institute, invented the CO2 process. In lieu of a chemical solvent, this method uses CO2 to remove caffeine from green coffee beans. The green coffee beans are water-soaked and put in a tub of stainless steel.
The bottle is sealed and liquid CO2 is forced to remove the caffeine from the beans at high pressure while leaving behind the flavour molecules. The liquid CO2 rich in caffeine is pumped into another container where the air pressure is released, allowing it to once again become a gas, leaving the molecules of caffeine behind.
Then the gas is pumped back into the first vessel, which is ready for the next batch of beans.