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Decaff: How it's done

Firstly, a little bit about the science of caffeine or its molecular name C8H10N4O2. 

Caffeine has several pharmacological effects, the most notable being a stimulant for the central nervous system which causes raised alertness and agitation. Additionally it stimulates cardiac muscles while relaxing smooth muscle.

Some of the physiological effects of caffeine can be increased respiratory rate, raised blood pressure, increased blood flow to muscles, reduced blood flow to skin and organs and the release of glucose by the liver.

So if that’s not what you want in moderation, then decaff is for you.

The decaffeination process was developed in 1903. Since then the processes have been refined while the chemical solvent processes of using methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to strip caffeine molecules from the green coffee bean are still used.

We believe the best method is using the Swiss Water (registered process) or water processed. Both these methods use water to strip the caffeine from the green (raw) coffee beans.

The decaffeination process involves several steps where the beans are cleaned and hydrated with pure hot water so as to dissolve and extract the caffeine molecules.  This water is then passed through a carbon filter to remove the caffeine molecules.

Some of the flavour and oil molecules are also removed from the beans so the beans from this batch are disposed of and the flavour and oil rich water is used to hydrate a new batch of beans and extract caffeine. This liquid is then passed over carbon filters which are preloaded with a mixture of cane sugar and formic acid. As the water is already “flavour” saturated, it prevents the flavour and oil molecules from being dissolved from the beans so the filters only remove the caffeine.

The beans are then dried and packed.

The average 12oz cup of coffee contains 120-180mg of caffeine but the same size decaffeinated cup of coffee contains 2-6mg.

The international recognised standard for decaffeinated coffee beans is 99.9% caffeine free.

We believe this process produces the best tasting decaff coffee and it is chemical-free. That is why we only use Swiss water or water processed decaff.

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