Are there any health benefits of taking decaf coffee? To start with, not everyone loves coffee with a high concentration of caffeine. It could be a medical reason or a personal choice.
What Is Decaf Coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee, or simply decaf, is coffee that has 97% of the caffeine removed. Unlike coffee lovers who take coffee as a morning boost, decaf coffee is the complete opposite.
The strong caffeine in coffee has both negative and positive impacts on health. If you are looking to limit the caffeine intake, then decaf coffee is a welcome solution.
It gives you another option of enjoying coffee.
How is Coffee Decaffeinated?
The process of removing caffeine from coffee beans is time-consuming and expensive. It involves several steps. There are different methods of decaffeinating coffee.
The safe ways are using water or organic solvent. The end goal is to have caffeine-free coffee. Let’s have a look at the popular Swiss water decaf process.
The green coffee beans are soaked in water. The water expands the coffee beans and opens up the pores for caffeine extraction. The next process is to immerse the coffee beans in Green Coffee Extract (GCE).
The GCE fluid removes the caffeine in the coffee beans. The fluid passes through carbon columns, which then attract the caffeine. Once the liquid is caffeine-free, it is taken back to the coffee beans.
The process is repeated several times until it reaches maximum caffeine removal. The process does not involve chemical use.
The benefit of using the Swiss process is that it helps maintain the coffee flavor and oils.
Other methods are:
As mentioned earlier, there are several ways of removing caffeine from coffee beans. There are brands that will use water, while others will use carbon dioxide or solvents.
Carbon dioxide is the latest method of decaffeinating coffee.
Carbon dioxide method
The carbon method is the most recent form of caffeine extraction. Instead of using chemicals, this method makes use of carbon dioxide.
To start with, green coffee beans are soaked in water for some time. They are then transferred into an extraction vessel or a stainless steel container.
It is properly sealed, and carbon dioxide is forced into the container at very high pressure. The purpose of carbon dioxide is to extract caffeine.
The carbon dioxide draws the caffeine from the coffee beans. The carbon dioxide that is heavy with caffeine is transferred into the absorption chamber.
From here, the pressure is released and the carbon dioxide goes back to the gas state, leaving the caffeine. The coffee beans are ready to be dried and roasted for sale.
The solvent-based method
The solvent method includes two processes. There is the direct and indirect method. As for the direct method, it starts by steaming the beans for about 30 minutes. It helps in opening up the pores.
Once the beans are ready, they are rinsed with either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. This process is done more than once for about 10 hours.
The caffeine-soaked solvent is drained off. The beans are steamed again to remove the remaining residue.
After maximum caffeine is removed, the beans are roasted and packaged for sale.
Best Decaf Coffe Brands
With so many brands offering decaf coffee, it can be hard to pick the best. But, that is why we have this review. You do not have to waste time and resources testing each of these brands.
Starbucks Decaf Ground Coffee -Decaf Verona
The Decaf Verona is 100% Arabica, with each pack having 6, 12-Ounce of ground coffee. It is a dark roast with rich, dark cocoa roast.
To achieve a unique flavor, the Decaf Verona combines coffee beans from Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
Which is your most preferred brew style? With the Starbucks Decaf Verona, you can brew using the drip coffee, coffee press, pour-over, and Moka pot.
Maxwell House Decaf Original Medium Roast Ground Coffee
Maxwell House decaf coffee is 100% Arabica and Robusta. It is pre-packaged in a resealable canister. It helps to maintain the freshness of the ground coffee.
The canister contains 29.3 Oz of medium roast ground coffee. You can use it with automatic drip coffee machines.
Eight O’Clock Ground Coffee, The Original Decaf
The Eight O’Clock medium roasted decaf coffee is 100% premium Arabica. It delivers the same great taste, and it is Kosher certified. The Original decaf is available in K-cups.
When making single-serve coffee, you can use the K-cups. The 12 Oz decaf coffee delivers sweet, fruity, and balanced coffee.
Starbucks VIA Instant Decaf Coffee Packets
One box of Starbucks decaf coffee comes with 50 packets. It is easy to make coffee with instant decaf coffee. Moreover, it is 100% Arabica and has a decaf Italian flavor.
You do not need a coffee machine or grinder to make coffee. With the decaf coffee in your cup, add hot water, and wait for 10 seconds, then stir.
Use each packet to make single-serve coffee.
Folgers Classic Decaf Decaffeinated Instant Coffee Crystals
Available in different sizes, the Folgers classic decaf has a delicious taste and rich aroma. With its medium-level roast, it is easy to make a cup of coffee.
The 8-ounce decaf is 99.7% caffeine-free. To make coffee, mix it with hot milk or water. Do you need a recipe to make the best out of the Folgers classic decaf?
There are different recipes to make the best decaf coffee for your mornings and any other time you need to hydrate.
Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf Coffee
Decaffeinated coffee should maintain the coffee flavor and coffee oils. But, this depends on the methods of extracting caffeine. The Kicking Horse decaf coffee can be organic whole beans or ground coffee.
Kicking Horse uses the Swiss water process to extract caffeine from organic decaf coffee beans. It maintains a deep, dark, and delicious taste of the coffee beans.
The brewing methods for the whole beans are drip, pour-over, espresso, cold brew, and french press.
As for ground coffee, the best brewing methods are cold brew, drip, and pour-over. This Arabica coffee is Kosher certified.
Peet’s Coffee Decaf House Blend K-Cup Coffee Pods for Keurig Brewers
Peet’s Coffee Decaf house is 100% Arabica. It contains K-cups for use with the Keurig coffee machine.
Each pack has ten K-cup pods, which are recyclable. Each has a dark roast. The coffee beans are hand-roasted to extract all the flavors.
Don Francisco’s Decaf Vanilla Nut —Flavored Ground Coffee
How often do you sip your cup of joe? Brewing coffee from well-roasted beans gives you the energy to carry on with the daily activities.
Don Francisco’s flavored decaf coffee is a family-owned company that is four generations strong. The decaf vanilla nut flavor contains medium roast ground coffee.
It is 100% Arabica and 99.7% caffeine-free. Upon purchase, it comes as a pack of three. With a balance in flavor and acidity, you can enjoy a quality cup of coffee at any time.
Lion Coffee, Swiss Water DECAF
Decaffeinated coffee should not lose its flavor or oils. It should be the same as the original coffee, only that it has no caffeine. Lion Coffee uses the Swiss water process to decaffeinate coffee.
The Lion Coffee has a vanilla macadamia flavor with a light roast. The decaf coffee is fresh, made out of Arabica beans. Each pack comes in different sizes, and therefore, you can choose based on the preference.
The Lion Coffee brand has been in existence since 1864. It is Hawaii’s favorite coffee brand.
AmazonFresh Decaf Colombia Ground Coffee
The AmazonFresh from Amazon brand has a decaf Colombia, medium roast flavor. It is brown and has a balanced aroma, flavor, and acidity.
To achieve the best brew, use cold filtered water. The brew styles to use with the AmazonFresh decaf are- french press, pour-over, auto drip, and espresso.
It is 100% Arabica coffee grown in Colombia. Each bag contains 12 ounces of ground coffee. Besides AmazonFresh, there are other top Colombian coffee brands.
What Should you Consider When Buying Decaf Coffee?
When decaffeinating coffee, maintaining the flavor and oil of the coffee beans should be a top priority.
For a coffee lover who prefers taking with no caffeine, here is what you should consider when buying decaf coffee:
- Method of extraction
There are several methods of extracting caffeine from coffee. There is the Swiss water method, organic solvents, and the most recent one- using carbon dioxide.
The Swiss method is the most popular. It maintains the flavor and oil in the coffee beans. It is also environmentally friendly as it does not involve the use of chemicals. The coffee beans have to be green. Check out the best green coffee beans for sale.
- Roast level
There are different types of coffee lovers. Some people prefer strong coffee, while others prefer medium roast coffee. Each of the brands above indicates the roast level on the packaging.
Carefully check the roast level before making a purchase. The available roast levels are -dark, medium, and light. Additionally, you need to check the flavor of the coffee. Examples of flavors are vanilla, macadamia, or chocolate.
Different brands will have varying prices. How much do you want to spend on coffee? The price of the decaf coffee is dependent on the brand. Therefore, the amount you are willing to spend should be within your budget.
- Type of decaf coffee
Decaf coffee can be instant, ground, or fresh coffee beans. If you have a coffee machine, you can go with the coffee beans or K-cup pods.
- Brewing styles
Different brands have brewing instructions on the packaging. You can use decaf coffee for drip, french press, pour-over, or espresso brewing.
If you are specific on a brewing style, find out more from the brand on the most recommended brewing styles.
Pros and Cons of Decaf Coffee
There are benefits of drinking decaf coffee. Not everyone loves a high concentration of caffeine. Besides, there are reasons which make people choose this type of coffee.
Reasons Why People Take Decaf Coffee
Different people take decaf coffee for several reasons. The two major reasons are health-related issues, while the second reason is a lifestyle.
Let’s have a closer look at these reasons:
- To reduce the amount of caffeine intake.
Too much caffeine can be sensitive to certain people. The reason why someone can consider shifting to decaf coffee is to reduce caffeine intake.
If someone has underlying health conditions, they can shift to decaf coffee. For instance, people who suffer from hypertension need to reduce the amount of caffeine intake into their bodies.
Caffeine-sensitive individuals can use decaf coffee as it has 1-2% of caffeine concentration.
- Reduce caffeine side effects
There are so many side effects of taking caffeine. First, it may lead to addiction. Lack of caffeine can lead to headaches. To have a reduction of such side effects, you can result to taking decaf coffee.
Decaf coffee has no severe side effects. In fact, you can go for a day without taking coffee. It is more of a beverage than a stimulant.
- Decaf coffee is easy to control
Regular coffee is hard to break a routine. It influences the habit, mood, mental focus, and concentration of an individual. For instance, there are coffee lovers who cannot start a day without caffeine.
Such dependence on caffeine can be hard to stop. In fact, lack of caffeine use can have health implications for them. But with decaf coffee, it is easy to monitor and control coffee drinking.
Coffee lovers who take decaf coffee do it to maintain a coffee drinking routine and reduce caffeine reactions.
- Reduce insomnia
Insomnia is a lack of sleep. If you cannot function without taking a cup of coffee, then you should switch to decaf coffee. Decaf does not deprive you of your sleep.
If you have trouble sleeping, think of the number of cups you have had in a day. Decaf coffee does not mean it is free of caffeine.
- Reduce discomfort
An example of coffee with a high concentration of caffeine is Turkish coffee. This type of coffee is unfiltered and has side effects on the users.
For a first time user, it can cause restlessness. But, taking decaf coffee has no such discomfort at all.
Is Decaf Coffee Good or Bad?
This question is dependent on the user. There are individuals who take decaf coffee due to health issues, while others cannot stand too much caffeine.
For instance, decaf coffee is not good for expectant mothers. It has a higher risk of losing a pregnancy. On the other hand, it keeps the brain active and awake.
Both caffeinated and decaf coffee have positive and negative impacts on the body. Too much caffeine in coffee can cause anxiety and lack of sleep.
Decaffeinated coffee has some level of caffeine. The available methods of decaffeinating like using carbon dioxide or Swiss water do not guarantee 100% removal of caffeine.
Decaf coffee can be a personal choice. If you have health-related issues or not sure whether decaf or caffeinated is right for you- you can consult your nutritionist to be sure.
What Is The Difference Between Decaf Coffee and Caffeinated Coffee?
Whether you prefer decaf or caffeinated coffee, both have benefits to the body. If you take each in excess, it comes with drawbacks as well.
Most people will often take coffee in the morning. It helps to keep them active and ready for the day. Can you count the cafes on your way to the office? You cannot miss a coffee shop on any block.
But what is the difference between decaf and caffeinated coffee?
- Quantity of caffeine
You can agree that the level of caffeine in decaf coffee is minimal compared to regular coffee. In fact, decaf coffee has 97% of the caffeine removed.
A regular cup of coffee has 70g-140g of caffeine. As you can see, this is a big difference compared to the 2% caffeine in decaf.
Depending on the extraction method, the decaf coffee may lose some of its flavors in the process. Not all brands will use the water method to extract.
On the other hand, regular coffee maintains most of its flavor and oils. The roasting process maintains the freshness of the coffee beans.
Depending on the brand and the method of extraction, there will be a difference in the taste. Regular coffee will have a strong taste as compared to decaf coffee.
Caffeine has a high stimulation compared to decaf coffee. For instance, if you take coffee before bedtime, you will remain awake. As for decaf coffee, it does not have high simulation.
Taking coffee in the morning keeps you active throughout the day. Decaf coffee has less stimulation.
- PH Level
Regular coffee is less acidic compared to decaf coffee. It has an average PH value of 5, while decaf coffee has more than 5.
For someone with acid problems, you should avoid using decaf coffee.
- Side effects
Caffeinated coffee has more side effects than decaf coffee. Some of the side effects of regular coffee are lack of sleep, anxiety, and restlessness.
Decaf coffee has fewer side effects. Examples are high acidity and bad cholesterol.
Caffeine can also increase blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. If you consider the side effects of regular coffee, they are more compared to decaf coffee.
Similarities of Using Caffeinated and Decaf Coffee
Both decaf and regular coffee have side effects when used excessively. You need to limit the amount of coffee intake to avoid the side effects that come with caffeine.
The similarities of using both decaf and caffeinated coffee are:
- Coffee keeps you energized and alert for longer hours.
- Vitamin B2 helps in producing energy that breaks down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
- They both have Vitamin B5 which helps to convert food into energy and making up the blood cells.
- The potassium found in coffee helps to retain water in the body and thereby reducing blood pressure.
- Manganese improves bone and helps to regulate blood sugar.
Which is The Best Decaf Coffee?
It can be hard to choose the best decaf coffee from the many brands in the market. The best brand based on this review is the Starbuck Verona decaf coffee.
It has a variety of brewing styles, and it is easy to make. You can make decaf coffee with different brewing styles and has few side effects.
Which of the above brands will you be using next?