Ever wondered how you end up with a cup of decaffeinated coffee in the first place? One of the things that most coffee drinkers experience is a series of palpitations, insomnia, and other stimulated effects on the body that some don’t find comfortable. For those reasons, some coffee drinkers opt to have a decaffeinated version of their coffee.
Decaf is simply removing the caffeine out of our coffee, but how exactly is coffee decaffeinated? The aim of making decaf is removing about 96% to 97% of caffeine from the coffee beans.
Activated Charcoal Decaffeination
Activated charcoal is used because it works like a magnet of caffeine but the downside to it is that it also totally removes the flavor from the coffee beans. Firstly, the coffee beans are soaked in pre-boiling point water to dissolve the caffeine and that flavor of the coffee. It’s like making a huge batch of brewed green coffee beans. The extract passes through an activated charcoal filter to remove the caffeine.
The decaffeinated extractfull of the coffee oils and flavoris reintroduced in a new batch of decaffeinated and flavorless coffee beans. It’s also known as the ‘Swiss Water’ Decaf where 99.99% of caffeine is removed.
The coffee beans are soaked in near boiling hot water for hours t remove the caffeine and flavors from the coffee. The beans are then washed in a water tank with methylene chloride (or ethyl acetate) for 10 hours. The extracted caffeine-rich liquid is heated and the solventalong with the caffeineevaporates. The flavorful liquid is reintroduced to the coffee beans to reabsorb most of its lost oils and flavor.
Coffee beans are steamed for less than an hourtypically 30 minutesto make the coffee beans more porous. It is then washed repeatedly under a water and ethyl acetate mixture for about 10 hours. The beans are then steamed to make the ethyl acetate or like chemicals evaporate.
Liquid Carbon Dioxide
This is a decaffeination method used for mass production of decaf coffeewhich means the popular brands of decaf coffee you often buy from stores go through this decaffeination method. The coffee beans are placed inside an extraction chamber where it is exposed to liquid carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is forced into the beans at 1000 PSI of pressure extracting the caffeine. The caffeine-rich carbon dioxide is then transferred to a different chamber to separate the caffeine from the carbon dioxide so that the liquid carbon dioxide will then be reused.
In conclusion, sure decaf is a great option for those who can’t drink the regular stuff, but I never liked it. You know when you make your coffee and you leave the pot too long on the burner? That’s how I feel about decaf.