Coffee Time: What's the Deal with Decaf?

This is my sixth post about coffee. I know, it seems like I have a one track mind and some people would insist that I do think a lot about coffee. But I want to share my love for this smooth fragrant brown elixir so that everyone can experience the same warm depth of satisfaction that I receive from each cup of home roasted richness.

Wait. Before I go any further with our coffee discussion, I have a confession to make.......don't be shocked....... I...drink...decaf. There I said it.

People are funny about Decaf. I've had people turn down a completely wonderful home roasted and brewed cup of coffee because it was decaf. I've also known people who insist that they will only drink decaf and then submit their systems to weak cups of chemically washed brown liquid.
So what's the deal about Decaf? Where does it come from and is it possible to get a quality cup of decaffeinated coffee?

There are two primary ways to decaffeinate coffee beans. One way is by submitting the beans to a chemical wash. In this method a solvent, methylene chloride, is used to treat the green beans drawing out the caffeine. Though these beans are supposed to be thoroughly washed to remove any chemical traces, it's hard to believe that they can get rid of all of the chemical residue and besides the word solvent just doesn't sound so good.
Water Washing is anther method of caffeine removal. Green beans are mixed with water and then carbon dioxide is added to carbonate the water so that the beans are floating around in little bubbles. The carbon dioxide captures the caffeine molecules and removes them from the coffee beans but leaves unaltered the proteins and carbohydrates that give the coffee it's wonderful flavor and smell. The beans are then dried naturally and ready to bag up and send to you. The benefits of this process are that everything is done naturally and the proteins and carbohydrates are not chemically altered in any way.

Let's talk about taste. I've found that a freshly ground cup of decaf is every bit as good as a cup of caffeinated coffee. I've actually served decaf to unsuspecting guests, who swear that they would never drink un-caffeinated coffee, and have received great compliments on my joe. We often make 1/2 caf and 1/2 decaf in the morning and for afternoon coffee time. This makes a very enjoyable cup that gives a little mental lift without the jitters.

Decaf green beans are sold by most coffee bean sellers. Sometimes they are a little more expensive than their caffeinated cousins but still so much less expensive than buying the roasted beans from the store. So, save some money and expand your coffee time experience by roasting and brewing some water washed decaf.

Other Coffee Posts: Shoestring Savings: Coffee Time, Home Roasted Coffee Time,
Coffee Time- I Would Sell My Cow For A Bag Of These Beans, Coffee Time - The Easy Way to Roast Coffee at Home, Coffee Time - The Difference Between City Roast and French Roast
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1 comment:

Janelle said...

I will admit that I was once one of those decaf nay-sayers. The only kind I had ever had was the chemical washed and I ended up with and instant migraine and an upset stomach. After having Dee Ann's glorious decaf and experiencing no such symptoms or compromise of taste, I have since even roasted and served my very own decaf beans. I am now reformed. I work with kindergartners and first graders so as a survival tactic I double up the regular joe to full potency. However, there are times when I just want that heavenly elixir of life to melt away the stress of a long day, but still be able to sleep and a cup of my very own decaf java will do the trick.