Today, we’re going to ask the question:

How much caffeine is in decaffeinated coffee?

First of all, we should ask ourselves, how much caffeine in standard regular coffee?

Well, a typical 12oz cup of caffeinated coffee can be anywhere from 120 mg to 180 mg of caffeine.

How does that compare with decaffeinated coffee?

Well, a decaffeinated cup of coffee of the same size has caffeine levels anywhere between of 2mg and 15mg of caffeine depending on the decaffeination process, brewing method, coffee variety and coffee roasting level.

In essence, the caffeine in a cup of decaffeinated coffee is negligible.

However, the variable that affects the caffeine level the most is what decaffeination process is used to decaffeinated the coffee beans.

Let’s analyse the caffeine levels of the three leading decaffeination process as follows

Methylene Chloride Decaf Coffee Process

The CO2 "Sparkling Water" Decaf Coffee Process


The Swiss Water Decaf Coffee Process

In order of highest caffeine to lowest caffeine levels, the caffeine levels in these decaffeination processes are as follows:

The Methylene Chloride Decaf Process is decaffeinated to a 96-97% caffeine free level and is a process whereby a chemical solvent called Methylene Chloride is used to remove the caffeine from coffee beans, so can contain caffeine levels of 2-3%.

Methylene Chloride is the most popular method of decaffeination in the world. If there is no mention of the decaffeination process on a packet of coffee or instant coffee, then it’s safe to assume that Methylene Chloride was used to decaffeinate the beans.

The CO2 Decaf Process caffeine content is not clear - we cannot find information on how much caffeine is in CO2 Process decaffeinated coffee.  Often called the "sparkling water" process, it uses CO2 to remove caffeine from green coffee beans instead of a chemical solvent. But, we haven’t been able to ascertain what caffeine level the CO2 process is typically.

The Swiss Water Decaf Process is certified 99.9% caffeine free and uses only water (no chemicals) to decaffeinate the beans.

We recommend the Swiss Water Process of decaffeination and Decadent Decaf Coffee Company mainly roasts Swiss Water Process decaffeinated coffee.

To find out more about Decadent Decaf, please visit decadentdecaf or check out our youtube channel for more videos on decaf, caffeine and coffee topics.

August 21, 2022 — Guy Wilmot

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