If your curiosity concerns decaffeinated coffee and its production process, you are in the right place to find the answers you are looking for!
In this article, we will explore different methods of decaffeinating coffee, discovering how its stimulant components are removed without compromising taste and aroma. Decaffeinated coffee not only offers a caffeine-free alternative, but can also satisfy the most demanding palates.
Join us for a journey into the world of quality decaffeinated coffee!
What is decaffeinated coffee and how is it decaffeinated?
Decaf coffee is simply coffee with a caffeine content of less than 0.1% of its weight. The decaffeination process is applied to the green coffee beans, before roasting, using specialized industrial plants that extract the caffeine using different solvents. Let's now look at the four main decaffeination methods and their distinctive characteristics.
1. Water-based method:
This method was one of the first to be used and is still popular today. However, it has some limitations. Water, while not very selective in removing caffeine, can also carry away some of the water-soluble flavors present in coffee beans.
To combat this problem, the water is initially impregnated with the other aromatic compounds of the coffee, thus allowing only the caffeine to be removed.
2. Method with dichloromethane:
Dichloromethane is the most widely used solvent for decaffeination and was one of the first to be used on a large scale. It is highly selective for caffeine and is volatile, easily evaporating from coffee at low temperatures. The raw coffee is immersed in dichloromethane and then removed using water vapor. This method produces a high quality decaffeinated coffee, preserving the organoleptic characteristics of the starting coffee.
3. CO2 (carbon dioxide) method:
The CO2 method uses high pressures and temperatures to create a supercritical state of carbon dioxide. This state allows CO2 to have intermediate properties between a liquid and a gas, making it effective in the selective extraction of caffeine. This method produces excellent decaffeinated coffee without the use of chemicals.
4. Ethyl acetate method:
Ethyl acetate is a selective solvent for caffeine, which is also present naturally in various foods, such as fruit. However, this method has some significant disadvantages, such as high flammability and the potential foreign fruit odor it can leave in the coffee. Therefore, this method is not as widespread as the others.
In conclusion, decaffeinated coffee is no longer synonymous with lower quality. Quality roasters are committed to careful selection of raw materials and use advanced decaffeination methods to offer decaffeinated coffee that maintains the desired organoleptic characteristics. The solvents used are carefully monitored and analyzed to ensure that residues are well below safety thresholds.
If you are looking for a caffeine-free coffee, don't hesitate to try our Cellini Aluminum Decaf in Nespresso®* compatible capsules.
Give yourself a high-quality coffee experience, even without the presence of caffeine.