I know this may be stating the obvious but the purpose of decaffeinated coffee is to enjoy the smell and taste of coffee without the side effects of caffeine.
It’s also a great option for those that suffer from anxiety, or are pregnant, have heart trouble… or who are simply just not a fan of the jitters.
Personally, I drink a LOT of coffee. I like to have decaf when I want to continue savouring the taste of coffee, but it’s that little bit late in the evening…
If you can still feel the effects of caffeine after a cup of decaf, then you may be sensitive to caffeine in general. I’m in that category - I can still feel the effect of decaf after I drink it. (It doesn’t stop me from drinking it though!)
According to the National Coffee Association, the decaffeinated process removes approximately 97% of caffeine. It is rare to find decaf coffee that is 100% caffeine free.
A regular cup of coffee has about 95mg of caffeine, whereas a decaf cup contains about 2mg. It’s quite a difference, yes?
Here are four ways to carry out the decaffeination process: the Swiss water process, extracting caffeine with a solvent - such as ethyl acetate, indirectly extracting with a solvent - such as methyl chloride, and extracting with ‘supercritical’ carbon dioxide.
The swiss water method is the cleanest and most sustainable way, whereas the carbon dioxide process sounds like it’s the most urgent and important way (ok, yes, that is a terrible crack at humour).
Pioneered in the 1930s, not only is the swiss water my own personal preference, but it’s also the method used by the products sold at Sicilia Coffee.
The Swiss water process reportedly removes up to 99% of caffeine (as opposed to the 97% with the other methods).
At Sicilia Coffee, we have three decaf products: Decaf, Decaf Forte and Decaf Organic. The difference between our Decaf and Decaf Forte is that the latter is stronger in taste/flavour. We also have Espresso Mezzo, which has reduced caffeine. I know, what a great idea, right? Mezzo might also be good for the uncertain and indecisive coffee drinker. (Do I really want that hit of caffeine? Maybe I’ll just dip my toe in…)
There can be a bit of a stigma around decaf coffee drinkers; drinking decaf means we aren’t daring enough to take caffeine head on so therefore it’s an open invitation to be sneered at. : ) Positively, decaf coffee drinkers are health-conscious. We listen to our bodies and respect our caffeine thresholds. So sneer away!
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