Not all decaffeinated coffee is the same
Not all decaf coffee is the same. Dramatic flavor changes occur depending on the decaffeination process. We use carbon dioxide (CO2) to naturally decaffeinate our Kona coffee. The taste results are far superior to other methods. Keep the flavor – lose the caffeine.
The Natural CO2 Method
CO2 is the natural way to decaffeinate coffee. The caffein molecules become mobile because of the heat and pressure of the C02 passing through them. Finally CO2 and caffein removal happens after several hours under heat and pressure completeing the extraction process. Consequently the oils, which are responsible for the coffee flavor remain. The decaffeinated green beans are now ready to be roasted.
This process is perhaps the reason numerous decaf coffee flavors become compromised. First steam opens the pores of the coffee beans. Then a bonding caffein molecule solvent attaches to the caffein molecules. Steaming the beans again removes the solvent. The beans are then re-dried and finally roasted. Using unhealthy chemical solvents negates the benefits. Also the solvent process affects the taste of the coffee, and not in a good way.
Swiss Water Method
Soaking in soda water removes the caffein and oils from the green beans. Then, activated charcoal filters the water to remove the caffein. Finally, re-soaking in water reintroduces the flavor. Furthermore there are drawbacks to this method. These water soluble oils exposed to air can evaporate, oxidize or even turn rancid. This widely used method, although being safe, leaches flavor from the coffee.
All decaf coffees contain some caffeine
Finally, all decaf coffees contain a small percentage of caffeine. There is no such thing as “caffeine free” coffee. The product in it’s natural state would have to start without caffeine to labeled “100% caffeine free”.