It’s coming to the start of a New Year and with it we have new resolutions to be made and broken!

Sometimes, we look at what we can cut out in our life – alcohol, carbs, caffeine and the like....

So, what better time to go back to basics and ask the question:

What is a decaffeinated coffee?

The official explanation is: “Decaffeination is the act of removing caffeine from coffee beans, cocoa, tea leaves and other caffeine-containing materials”. It means that the caffeine has been removed from the coffee and it is almost 99.9% caffeine free (as per European Union standards).

Decaf coffee traditionally used chemical solvents to remove the caffeine and this was linked to various medical side effects. This is no longer the case. Things have moved on from the technologies of the 1960s and 1970s. Indeed, this is one of the myths that Decadent Decaf aims to dispel!

There are 2 main methods of modern decaffeination:

The Swiss Water Decaf Process

Developed in Switzerland in the 1980s, the Swiss Water Process is a chemical free process. The green (raw) coffee beans are immersed in water to extract the caffeine using water saturated with desirable coffee components, thereby reducing the extraction of coffee oils and flavours during the decaffeination process. This means the caffeine is extracted, but not the flavour. This steaming process takes 8 to 10 hours and involves moving the decaf batch into various baths of steam. Currently, Decadent Decaf only uses premium, high-grade coffee beans decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process.

The CO2 Decaf process

In science-speak, this is called supercritical fluid extraction. Basically, the process starts with the beans being immersed in carbon dioxide (same gas as in sparkling water) for around 10 hours.After a thorough soaking, the pressurized CO2 containing dissolved caffeine is removed from the chamber which is returned to atmospheric pressure, allowing the CO2 to evaporate. This allows the caffeine to be removed using charcoal filters. Again, this process avoids the use of any harmful substances and Decadent Decaf is investigating sourcing premium, great tasting beans using the CO2 Process for the future.

There are number of benefits to drinking decaf coffee:

Less anxiety/stress and better quality of sleep than drinking classic caffeinated coffee

Decaf coffee still contains high levels of anti-oxidants that can prevent conditions associated with the ageing process and cancer. Studies have shown that regular decaf drinkers have reduced risks of incurring colon cancer. For female drinkers, the risks of breast cancer are also reduced.

Studies have shown that women who drink one to three cups of decaf decrease all-cause mortality.

Decaf coffee reduces the risk of incurring diabetes. The high anti-oxidant levels of decaf will protect the cells from damage that can lead to diabetes. Also, the decaf process will not eliminate chlorogenic acid, which helps regulate blood glucose levels.

Caffeine has been linked to heart conditions like irregular palpitations, heart attacks, and strokes.

Decaf contributes to the prevention of mental decline due to old age and Alzheimer's disease. The polyphenols found in coffee beans are not lost during the decaffeination process, which are responsible for boosting the brain's cognitive abilities and improving memory.

Fat free/sugar free beverage.

It’s a great source of hydration. The old myth that coffee is a diuretic has been proven wrong by scientists.

That’s all folks! Happy New Year!

The Decadent Decaf Coffee Team

December 30, 2016 — Guy Wilmot

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