Decaffeinated Coffee: A Brief Introduction

BY BORIS POVOLOTSKY - 29 Jan 2023

Decaffeinated Coffee: A Guide

Coffee is a beloved beverage for millions of people all over the world, providing a daily source of energy and comfort. But for those who are sensitive to caffeine or need to limit their intake, decaf coffee offers a great alternative.

Decaffeination: The Process

Decaf coffee is made by removing the caffeine from the coffee beans. It has to be done before roasting when the beans are still green. A common method is the Swiss Water process which is based on water and carbon filtration and is considered superior to other common methods that involve chemical solvents. Through this process, they’re able to save the good flavors associated with the beans.

Another method, known as the Swiss Water Process, is based solely on water and carbon filtration. The coffee beans are first immersed in hot water to extract their caffeine and flavorful components. The initial beans are then discarded, and the resulting flavor-rich water (called “green coffee extract”) is passed through a carbon filter that is sized to capture only the large caffeine molecules. The decaffeinated green coffee extract is then used to wash and filter the next batch of beans. Caffeine is thereby filtered from the beans without recourse to chemical agents and without the beans losing many of their flavorful components. This is the primary method used to decaffeinate organic coffee beans.

Quoted from Britannica

There are several methods for removing caffeine from coffee, including the use of solvents such as methylene chloride and ethyl acetate, as well as a water process.

Regardless of the method used, the goal is to remove as much caffeine as possible while preserving the flavor and aroma of the coffee beans.

Decaf still contains caffeine

The decaf process results in a product that contains only a small amount of caffeine. On average, an 8-ounce cup of decaf coffee contains 2 to 5 milligrams of caffeine, compared to 95 milligrams in a regular cup of coffee.

Despite the reduction in caffeine, decaf coffee still provides the same rich, comforting flavor and aroma as regular coffee. Many people find that decaf coffee is just as satisfying as regular coffee and that it provides a good option for those who need to limit their caffeine intake.

Honestly, decaf coffee is just as great as regular coffee, it’s a social misconception that decaffeinated coffee doesn’t carry over the richness of flavors and then therefore, tastes like a dull and stale cup of coffee. Decaf coffee is great to limit daily caffeine intake whether you’re too sensitive to its effects or for any other reason really. As someone who appreciates coffee at any time of day, I really like the fact I can sip an espresso shot or a cortado in the evening without disrupting my sleep quality.

Issue With Decaf

Two issues bother me when I go about purchasing a decaf bag of coffee:

  • Cost. It’s significantly more expensive than regular coffee with most local roasters, why? I guess the process of removing caffeine without removing the flavors is not a redundant task and perhaps requires greater attention in the roasting process.
  • Lack of roaster interest demonstrated by the lack of details in decaf coffee products on their websites. In contrast, other products display an in-depth flavor and history description. I’d like to know more. Or maybe, I’d like to know if the roaster is putting as much love into his decaf beans as he does for other beans.

The great thing is there is so much competition and lots of roasteries to choose from! And so I haven’t been disappointed with any decaf bag I have purchased in the past so far.

Regardless of whether you’re having decaf or not, here are a couple of helpful posts:

I hope you enjoy the content around here, I’m just a fellow coffee hobbyist, I’m not an expert by any means and largely educate myself by experience and reading. If you notice any mistake, a typo, or just want to talk — reach out: boristofu@gmail.com.


Check out some interesting topics...

Drinking Black Coffee As A Beginner - Coffee is an acquired taste and getting used to black coffee takes time. It'll always be bitter and intense but you'll love it.

The 3 Best Espresso Machines Under $500 For 2023 - Looking for an affordable Espresso Machine? Explore the Top 3 Espresso Machines Under $500 for the best espresso without breaking the bank.

Best Tamping Station Mat For Espresso Preparation - Checkout how a tamping station keeps your espresso setup clean and precise. Elevate your home brewing game effortlessly

Best 4 Grinders Under 500$ - A good grinder has more impact than a high-end espresso machine. Let's learn about 4 grinders that will up your espresso game for good.

The Best Lever Espresso Machines For Home - We provide you a list of unique lever espresso machines that will hook you into lever espresso machines for good

Best Roast Level For Robusta Coffee Beans - Is Robusta Still Relevant in 2023? Let's understand Robusta once and for all. Spoiler: it is absolutely useful

Best Espresso Machine Water Softener - Learn about the importance of espresso machine water softener and why it's a crucial factor your espresso machine's health and your espresso quality

The Best Black Friday Espresso Machines And Accessories Deals - 2023 black friday is here and this is the perfect time to upgrade your home barista game with the tools you've been longing for

How Many Mg Of Caffeine In A Cup Of Coffee - Find out how much caffeine content is in your favorite drinks based on studies and what factors impact caffeine extraction during the brew

Coffee And Health - How Are They Related - Important correlations between coffee and various health subjects. Enrich your knowledge regarding your coffee drinking habits and their affects on your health

Coffee Ratios For Every Taste, From Classic To Modern - Discover the perfect coffee to water ratios for classic and modern coffee beverages. Elevate your coffee game with our guide on coffee ratios.

Cortado Vs. Cappuccino: Differences & Recipes - Don't worry, after reading this guide you'll understand the differences and similarities between cortado and cappuccino once and for all.

Decaffeinated Coffee: A Brief Introduction - A common myth has it that decaf coffee simply can't taste as good. Luckily, it couldn't be further from the truth and let's see how

Espresso Benefits and Side Effects: A Balanced Overview - All about health benefits and side effects of drinking espresso as well as useful recommendations and guidelines for you.

Double Shot Espresso Caffeine - Discover caffeine limits and content in a double espresso shot. Get insights on espresso's caffeine impact. Learn more.

Normcore Scale Review: Easily One Of The Best Coffee Scales - It's better to get one digital scale for your coffee once than buying a new cheap one each year. This normcore scale might be the last you'll ever need

The Best Heat Exchanger Espresso Machines - An overview of the best heat exchanger machines to up your espresso game in 2024. If you're looking for your first espresso machine or upgrading your single boiler, you've come to the right place.

The Best Starter Espresso Machine For Beginners In 2024 - You can make superb espresso at home in 2024 with ease! This guide will help you choose the best starter espresso machine for you as well as everything else you might need

Long Black vs. Americano - What Are The Differences? Once And For All - Find out what are the differences between a long black, an americano and a lungo and how to make each one of them.

Once And For All: What Is A Single Origin Coffee - Everything you need to know about single origin coffees, why it is so popular, and why you should care.

This Is The Dripping Coffee Experience, All About Making Great Coffee At Home

Everything we write about we write either from personal experience or from great research online. Great coffee at home has never been easier, but with too much information out there, it might be difficult to understand where to start, and we hope to help you with that. Send us an email