While a large number of coffee-lovers are crazy for the strong caffeine flavor of the coffee, some people are still there who wish to drink coffee; however, they have to keep themselves away from it due to strong flavor of caffeine or having a problem with the impact of caffeine on their health. For these people, there are various methods invented to make coffee comparatively less decaffeinated. All these decaffeinated processes are proven effective to make the coffee flavor milder as it is the presence of caffeine in the coffee that makes it bitter and acidic flavor.
If you are eager to know ‘how is coffee decaffeinated,’ keep an eye on these popular methods of decaffeination –
The process of decaffeination was first invented by Ludwig Roselius in 1905. He simply followed the general process of soaking the green beans in warm water in 160-210°F where some kind of solvent is used to dissolve or extract the caffeine. Roselius chose to use benzene, one type of toxic hydrocarbon for eliminating the amount of caffeine from the presoaked coffee beans. Since benzene is a kind of human carcinogen, this method is not safe for the human body, and that’s why it is not used nowadays.
While searching for ‘how is coffee decaffeinated,’ you may come across another popular method of using direct solvent. Here instead of immersing in water, coffee beans are steamed for 30-minutes and then washed with solvents. Usually, an ester called ethyl acetate or methylene chloride is used for extracting and dissolving the caffeine. Since ethyl acetate is naturally found in some fruits and vegetables like apples and bananas, after using it as solvent, the method is known as ‘natural decaffeinated process. In this way, up to 96-97% of caffeine can be extracted from the coffee.
Swiss Water Method is quite popular in these days where a charcoal filter is used with highly compressed CO2 or a carbohydrate solvent in order to absorb the caffeine. In Swiss Water Method, at first the coffee beans are soaked in warm water, and the first lot of coffee beans is removed. Then with the activated carbon filters the caffeine is shredded off from the solution. Now the solution is left for saturating the flavor compounds which can be reused for soaking the new lot of green coffee beans decaffeination process. For the decaffeination of organic coffee, it is the most-used method now.
Another popular method for how is coffee decaffeinated is the sparkling water decaffeination method that has some similarity with the CO2 method. However, while for the CO2 method, caffeine is removed with the activated carbon filters, in this method the caffeine is rinsed from the CO2 by sparkling water from a secondary tank. It is considered safe enough since the solvent used here contains around 99.7% compressed carbon dioxide as well as 0.3% water.
Because of certain health benefits, the number of decaf coffee-lovers is rising day by day and at present, however, you should always remember that even after following any of these above-mentioned methods of decaffeination, a small amount of caffeine always remains present in the decaf coffee.