Decaf Coffee Beans – Picking the Right Ones For Your Decaffeinated Brew
Reality is not objective. There is much more to what we see. Take for example a cup of brewed coffee. Just plain black liquid? Well, that is what your eyes will tell you, but a cup of coffee is much more complex that what it appears to be.
Scientists say that there are more than 1,000 compounds in one cup of coffee. And the unarguably dominant one is caffeine. It may play a major role in giving coffee its distinctive flavor. Caffeine is also responsible to the big energy boost that coffee drinkers feel right kona coffee after downing a good cup of coffee. The downside is that it may make some feel edgy and jittery. That is why such people prefer decaf coffee.
Decaf is coffee without high caffeine content. It still retains coffee’s distinctive flavors, but does not taste exactly like pure coffee. Caffeine is responsible for creating that bitter and somewhat acidic flavor of coffee, so do not believe someone who says that they sell decaf that tastes exactly like pure coffee. The fact is decaf would taste milder than coffee with 100 percent caffeine content.
It does not mean, though, that you cannot enjoy a good cup of decaf coffee. Critics who say that decaf tastes terrible may have just tried those mass produced instant decaf coffee. Just like in making regular coffee, it is necessary that you prepare your own decaf brew from fresh decaf coffee beans. That is the only way one can enjoy and appreciate the great taste of coffee minus high caffeine content.
But not all decaf coffee beans are the same. To acquire the perfect decaf coffee, you should have an in-depth knowledge about decaf coffee beans, particularly how they are made.
The direct and indirect methods are the most common decaffeination process. In the direct method, beans are steamed for 30 minutes to remove the waxy coating and the open up the beans’ pores. Afterwards, the beans are rinsed with a solvent, usually dichloromethane or ethyl acetate, for 10 hours. The solvent penetrates the beans and forms a bond with caffeine molecules. To make sure that caffeine will be removed, the solvent-soaked beans will be steamed for another 10 hours.
The indirect method works in the pretty much the same way. The difference is that beans are soaked in hot water instead of being steamed. Solvent is applied in the bean-water mixture in order to remove caffeine from the water.
A more natural way to remove caffeine is the Swiss water process. In this method, unroasted beans are put in a huge pot of boiling water. The beans release caffeine and coffee solids into the water. The beans will be removed from the pot and the water will be filtered in order to remove caffeine. The beans are then bathed again with the water. No coffee solids are lost in the process and the beans retain much of their natural flavor and aroma.
The CO2 method is a new promising caffeine removal process wherein beans are exposed to a compressed CO2 form. Caffeine then combines with CO2 and is removed through charcoal filtering. Because the beans were not soaked in a solution, coffee solids and its essential oils are retained, allowing the decaf coffee beans to retain their natural alluring richness.