A few years back, when I was working as a barista in one of our Coffee Beanery stores, a gentlemen came in to peruse the bagged coffee selection. He told me he loved coffee but could no longer enjoy it due to caffeine sensitivity and he wouldn't drink decaf because he had heard it had rat poison in it. After we shared a laugh, I explained that while most decafs are in fact decaffeinated with some pretty questionable ingredients, Coffee Beanery ONLY uses Swiss Water Process, a method that removes caffeine using water and carbon filters.
In light of that long ago conversation, this Coffee 101 segment will briefly touch on the different decaf methods and why Coffee Beanery makes the best decaf coffee you can get your hands on!
Why Decaf Gets a Bad Rep
As I mentioned above, most decaf coffee uses chemicals, like methylene chloride and ethyl acetate to remove caffeine from their coffee. Methylene chloride has been banned in some industrial products for toxicity and ethyl acetate can actually alter the flavor of the coffee bean. The beforementioned decaffeination chemicals are commonly used and less expensive, therefore are the industry norm. These methods also leave the coffee at 97% caffeine free.
Decaf gets a bad reputation because many of the early chemicals, used to decaffeinate (such as benzene and trichloroethylene) are now known carcinogens with some of those ingredients also being linked to deaths in rodents, so that is probably where the rat poison stories came from. Thankfully, those ingredients are outlawed today.
The Best Way to Decaffeinate for the Best Beans
Here at Coffee Beanery, we are proud to use the Swiss Water Process (SWP), which uses no taste altering solvents or possible toxic chemicals. How does the SWP process work? The short version is that the green coffee beans are soaked in water and the caffeine is then drawn out of the bean where carbon filters trap the caffeine molecule. If you want to know more about the process, check out this link.
The other great thing about this method is that this process leaves the coffee 99.9% caffeine free, making SWP coffee a better choice for those sensitive to caffeine.
So if you're living a caffeine free life, we know you'll enjoy not only the amazing flavor of our beans, but also the peace of mind this better-for-you decaf brings.