People around the globe use the caffeine found in coffee every day to give them a jolt of energy before they begin whatever the day can throw at them. Some, on the other hand, drink decaffeinated coffee for the taste without the crazy caffeine buzz. The decaffeination process is meant to remove all or most traces of caffeine from the finished product.
According to the USDA, most decaf coffee blends actually contain about 3% of the average caffeine content compared to a regular cup. There are currently four commonly used processes for decaffeination, two of which are solvent based and two that are not. The most commonly used solvents in decaffeination include Benzene, Trichloroethylene, Dichloromethane, and Chloroform. The two of choice though have become Methylene Chloride and Ethyl Acetate.
Methylene Chloride, also known as dichloromethane, is found in most hardware stores as a paint stripper. While the Dichloromethane used in the roasting process is in much more minute quantities than a concentrated paint thinner, there still may be residual chemicals found in your beans. It is also used much more commonly than its safer, more natural counterpart Ethyl Acetate due to cost and impracticalities in the gathering.
Methylene Chloride is terrifying because, in commercial quantities, there are labels warning of cancer risks and other health warnings. There have been at least 56 accidental deaths due to Methylene Chloride since 1980 due to asphyxiation and heart attack caused by fumes of the chemical.
Tyler’s Acid Free Coffee uses a Swiss Water Process (SWP) for our decaffeination. This process is completely chemical free and was founded in Switzerland. This process uses solubility and osmosis to decaffeinate. Very hot water is used at first to dissolve caffeine, and then a filter is used to allow other molecules that may have washed off to sift back through while leaving the caffeine filtered behind. After this, the now flavorless and caffeine-free beans are discarded, the flavorful water is to be reused with a fresh batch of beans. This process leaves a caffeine-free bean without a significant loss to flavorful and aromatic molecules found in the coffee. Tyler’s Coffee believes coffee should be as natural and healthy as possible, which is why we use absolutely no chemicals in our roasting processes.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance that is derived from the leaves, fruits and seeds of over sixty plant varieties in the world. It is usually found in coffee beans, tea leaves and cocoa.