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Posted by Daisy Rea on June 11, 2014
Are you a decaf coffee drinker? Learn about our decaf coffees and check out our coffees online.
Pumphrey’s Coffee currently purveys a varied range of decaffeinated coffee beans. The range boasts blends decaffeinated in both the oldest, most common ‘Traditional Method’ and also a more modern approach to decaffeination: ‘The Swiss Water Process’.
Decaffeinated coffee’s popularity is ever growing: it provides a solution for those looking for their java fix but would prefer to go caffeine-free. There's a lot of hype, similarly with green teas, that decaffeinated coffee has many health benefits and may aid the prevention of developing certain diseases. We're not sure how true these claims are but either way, the demand for decaf coffee is on the rise.
Decaffeination of coffee is performed while the coffee is in its un-roasted, green bean stage. This is an advantage to us at Pumphrey’s because we can apply our expert roasting knowledge to the beans. Our open flame roaster allows us to influence or tweak the flavour nuances found in the blend.
The two methods mentioned here approach decaffeination differently. Processes akin to the ‘Traditional Method’ began to appear commercially around the turn of the 20th Century. This long practiced technique requires solvent to evaporate the caffeine from within the green beans. Methyl Chloride is used in our beans, but don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds!
The beans are either soaked or steamed to open their pores - this makes extraction easier. The solvent is then added to the mixture as it selectively unites with the caffeine. Being a solvent, it rapidly evaporates from the coffee, leaving behind decaffeinated beans. They’re then washed, dried, packed and ready to go. The coffee hasn’t been roasted yet so oils haven’t developed, this means the beans can develop their flavour as normal once roasted, which is where we step in to deliver you freshly roasted and tasty coffee.
The second of the two methods is the Swiss Water Process which is relatively recent, becoming a commercial option in the 1980s. This is described as a ‘natural’ way of decaffeination. The beans are soaked in water which is then passed through a natural charcoal filter to extract the caffeine. The problem with this however is it also extracts the flavour, which isn’t ideal if you’re looking for a tasty brew. So the next step in the process is to steep the green beans in ‘flavour charged water’. This is water in which a previous batch of beans has been soaked, so the water is saturated with flavours and naturally occurring oils already, meaning only caffeine can then be extracted into that water. Therefore the beans retain most of the flavour and lose the majority of the caffeine. Ta-da!
Coffee decaffeinated in this way is organic and environmentally friendly and undergoes audits to ensure its 99% caffeine-free. Consequently the cost is every so slightly higher for the Swiss Water Processed beans, but many are prepared to pay this for a tasty, decaf and organic product.
Please note that coffee being decaffeinated in any manner is never 100% caffeine free.
So you know the processes, now comes the fun part: tasting our Traditionally Decaffeinated and Swiss Water beans to find your favourite.
We offer a selection covering from the rich, dark, espresso type beans through to the more mild and smooth. Decaf Italian and Brazilian coffee are available via the Traditional method, both of which are on the stronger side of the scale - very tasty. We also supply Swiss Water Italian and Swiss Water Brazilian. You can try one of each process to taste the difference.
In addition to these, we accommodate the milder-coffee drinker with: Swiss Water Costa Rica, Swiss Water Colombian and Swiss Water Mandheling.
Just last week, however, we were successful in sourcing another type of Swiss Water bean, a Honduras - fantastic news for our loyal customers, some of whom come to us specifically for our range of delicious decaf beans.
Our new Swiss Water Honduras is a medium, very pleasant drink with a smooth mouthfeel. It has a slightly savoury flavour with a kick of acidity towards the finish; very tempting any time of day.
Find out more here: http://www.pumphreys-coffee.co.uk/products/view/1440/
Remember online orders of £50 or more receive free delivery.