When I hear a coffee is decaffeinated, I used to immediately think that it is a lesser of two evils.
My first impression is that the taste is inferior to “regular” coffee.
Second thought, how did they take out the caffeine?
People drink decaffeinated coffee mostly for health reasons. Regular coffee can make them feel jittery, make their heart race, or will not let them fall asleep.
While they are all valid reasons to drink decaffeinated, here’s a reason why you shouldn’t drink commercially decaffeinated coffee: how they remove that caffeine can be very unhealthy!
Looking up the process of decaffeination, the following statements have been made by multiple “experts” (their own definition) on how it all works.
Here is one thing they all agree on: There are various methods on how they remove the caffeine. And two, the method takes place before the roasting begins.
Some commercial coffee companies ie. seen on your store shelves, use “organic” solvents (insert eye roll 🙄 here) such as dichloromethane or ethyl acetate to extract caffeine.
Let’s look at dichloromethane first: In a nutshell…. https://pubchem.ncbi.nim.nih.gov states dichloro. is widely used as a solvent, paint stripper, and for the removal of caffeine from coffee & tea.
Ethyl Acetate (acetate, think nail polish remover) is used in glues, nail polish remover, on a large scale for solvents, and for the removal of caffeine from coffee beans and tea.
Sounds like what you can buy at your local hardware store!
So being The Duke and I try to offer healthy items at the coffee shop, how can we justify even offering decaffeinated coffee? Good question!
The coffee we offer at Duke & Dutchess Coffee Shoppe comes from locally roasted beans by Pamlico River Coffee here in Bath, NC. And…. the decaf beans they purchase to roast are not done chemically. The caffeine is extracted by the Swiss Water Process. Where was that method invented at? Come on…. take a guess….. If you guessed Switzerland, you are correct!! This method was pioneered in the 1930’s with the idea of if you had green coffee extract (green beans soaked to have a concentration of the green coffee properties), you can remove the caffeine naturally with no chemicals. In a nutshell, green beans full of caffeine are soaked for the needed time in water, the caffeine concentrated water is then run several times through carbon absorbers removing the caffeine from the GCE(green coffee extract). This process is repeated several times until 97%+ of caffeine is removed.
And this is what we offer to you, our friends at Duke & Dutchess Coffee Shoppe. It may cost a few pennies more but after all, why shouldn’t you treat yourself like royalty too!