Decaf coffee is the unloved stepchild of the coffee world but, hey, we think that’s pretty harsh!

Decaf coffee has its place on the table and behind the counter. Thousands of people choose decaf in the mornings, afternoons, and even into the evenings. We believe that decaf should contain the same care that goes into traditional caffeinated coffee.

The decaffeination process is actually fascinating and dates back a century. In 1903, Ludwig Roselius marked java history with the first success decaffeinated process. Once patented in 1906, the “Roselius Process” seeped into the mainstream. By steaming the coffee beans with water and benzene, a chemical compound, the solution was able to withdraw the caffeine. Thankfully, this process is no longer used as benzene was later found to be cancerous.

So, how do they decaffeinate coffee today? There are a couple processes:

Sugar Water EA Process

Sugar cane ethyl acetate processing, also known as the natural decaffeination process, begins with fermenting molasses from sugarcane to by fermenting molasses derived from sugar cane. This fermentation creates ethanol, then mixed with the naturally occurring acetic acid, to create ethyl acetate.

When the ethyl acetate, or E.A., is met with water and steam, the caffeine is dissolved, leaving the bean clean and ready to be dried.

Carbon Dioxide

This method replaces those chemical solvents mentioned above (benzene) with liquid CO2. The coffee beans are placed in water and placed in an extraction vessel where liquid CO2 is then forced into the beans 1,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. The pressure is then released and the CO2 turns into gas, eliminating caffeine.

Swiss Water / Mountain Water

Known for its chemical-free process, the Swiss Water process began in Switzerland in 1933 but it wasn’t until 1988 that this method made it to the coffee market. The Swiss Water process relied on solubles and osmosis to decaffeinate the coffee beans. Soaked in hot water, the coffee bean is passed through a charcoal filter that catches the large caffeine molecules.

Don’t fall for the myths! Stick to the facts about decaf coffee and check out our blog to discover how to find the perfect cup of decaf.