Simmer Down Decaf
What's Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee is coffee that has had at least 97% of its caffeine removed before the beans are roasted. It is a good choice for people who enjoy coffee but don't want the side effects of caffeine. There are several ways to decaffeinate coffee, the most common being to soak the beans in a solvent such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. Decaf coffee still has a full-bodied flavour and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
What are the different processes of Decaffeination?
CO2 decaffeination is a process used to remove caffeine from coffee beans without the use of chemicals. The process involves soaking the beans in water, then using liquid or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) to extract the caffeine from the beans. This method is often used to remove 95-99% of the caffeine from coffee beans, leaving about 5mg of caffeine per 12-ounce cup of coffee. The captured caffeine is then sold to beverage and supplement companies for use in their products. This is how our very own Simmer Down Decaf coffee is decaffeinated - you can buy it here!
Swiss Water Decaf is a method of removing caffeine from coffee beans also without the use of solvents or chemicals. It is a trademarked process that was developed in Switzerland in the 1930s, but is now used in other countries as well. The process involves soaking the beans in water to extract the caffeine and flavour compounds, then filtering the solution through activated carbon to remove the caffeine. The filtered solution is then used to soak a new batch of beans, which absorbs the flavor compounds but not the caffeine. The result is coffee that is 99.9% caffeine-free, with all of the original flavour intact. As with CO2 decaf, Swiss Water Decaf is a popular choice for people who want to avoid the chemicals used in other decaffeination processes.
The Direct-Solvent Process involves steaming the coffee beans for about 30 minutes to prime them for caffeine extraction, followed by rinsing them with either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate for about 10 hours. The caffeine-laden solvent is then drained away and residual solvent is removed by steaming the beans again. The Indirect-Solvent Process is similar to the Direct-Solvent Process, except the beans are soaked in water and then the water is passed through a chamber containing the solvent.