How to choose the best decaffeinated coffee
There is a way to cut back on your caffeine intake and still enjoy the taste of your favourite cup of coffee. Our range of decaffeinated coffee is big on flavour without the stimulating effects of regular coffee, which at times can be unwelcome.
Responsibly-sourced and certified organic, many of the coffee varieties in our collection are decaffeinated using just fresh water in a completely chemical-free process.
What is decaffeinated coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee is made using coffee beans that have been stripped of almost all their caffeine.Some decaf coffees contain just 2mg of caffeine, which is significantly less than you might find in a regular cup of coffee (around 95mg).
There are three proven ways to remove the caffeine molecules from coffee:
- Using carbon dioxide,
- Chemical solvents, or the
- Swiss Water method
Concerned coffee drinkers are increasingly turning their back on methods that use chemical solvents, such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate, to strip out the caffeine.
Exposure to these chemicals can be toxic, but scientists are quick to point out that they are only harmful in high amounts and therefore not in decaffeinated coffee. Despite this, some people think that removing caffeine using chemicals alters the coffee’s flavour.
This has led to a rise in the popularity of chemical-free processes, like Swiss Water.
SwissWater decaffeinated coffee
Swiss Water is a way of removing caffeine from coffee beans without using any chemicals. The technique was developed in Switzerland in 1933 then later adopted by the Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company in British Columbia, Canada.
In a complex process that takes place over 8 to 10 hours, the beans are saturated with water and then flushed with something called green coffee extract (GCE).
GCE = pure water + all the soluble solids found in green coffee except caffeine.
Essentially, the caffeine is transferred from the coffee beans to the GCE. With the right time, temperature, and flow, this method can achieve a 99.9% caffeine-free coffee without using any chemicals – a win for the environment and for your taste buds.
The best decaffeinated coffees
At Pumphrey's Coffee, we have a range of decaffeinated coffees to suit all tastes. If you're unsure where to start, our 'pick of the best' is here to give you some inspiration.
1. Swiss Water decaffeinated Italian high roast
Decaffeinated coffee in Italian is still a flavoursome treat for all the senses. Our espresso roast has a dark chocolate, bitter edge but without the caffeine. Roasted in the traditional way with beans that have been decaffeinated using the Swiss Water method, this dark roast coffee is perfect for using with an espresso machine or a moka pot.
2. Decaffeinated Brazilian medium roasted coffee
This medium roast coffee is made using Arabica beans that have been decaffeinated using traditional methods. Its nutty, smooth taste with chocolate undertones is typical of Brazilian coffee, and it makes a great alternative to our house espresso, the Daterra Sunrise.
3. Swiss Water Costa Rican decaffeinated coffee
Decaffeinated using the Swiss Water decaf process, these medium roast coffee beans from Costa Rica have a lively flavour that balances acidity with citrus notes. They are grown by a co-operative of producers, known as the Café de Altura, on the outskirts of San Ramón in the West Valley.
Is decaf coffee better for you?
There are some proven health benefits to drinking caffeinated coffee. Several studies have shown that it can support heart health and lower your risk of liver-related conditions, but the caffeine contained in coffee doesn't agree with everyone.
In some people, it can cause:
- Insomnia, restlessness
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
Decaffeinated coffee has all the health benefits of regular ground coffee without any of the side effects, and using the Swiss Water method it tastes just as good too. In fact, some of our customers choose to drink decaf because it has a mellower, less bitter taste.
When you switch to decaf, you can enjoy your favourite cup of coffee at any time of day without the added worry of not being able to sleep at night. The charge of energy that some people get after drinking coffee is the only thing missing from a decaf.
Decaffeinated coffee - the key takeaway
For our customers who want to cut back on their caffeine, our range of decaffeinated coffee makes a great alternative and is just as big on flavour. What you lose in natural stimulants, you more than make up for in taste, and by using the Swiss Water method, we can guarantee that our coffee is chemical-free and certified organic.