Drinking decaf coffee is an excellent way to enjoy the full flavor and health benefits of coffee while skipping out on the energizing effect of caffeine. But what is decaf coffee? How is decaf coffee made? And how much caffeine is in decaf coffee? In this guide, we get to the bottom of the most delicious cup of decaf coffee - exploring the benefits, how it is made, and where to buy it.
What is decaf coffee?
Decaf coffee is coffee that does not contain caffeine, which is a naturally occurring crystalline compound that stimulates the central nervous system. Coffee does not commonly grow in decaf varieties. Instead, the caffeine is removed from the beans through a decaffeination process.
How much caffeine is in decaf coffee?
Caffeine is primarily found in the raw coffee cherry seed, a green coffee bean. The amount of caffeine in decaf coffee depends on the specific decaffeination process. Most decaffeination processes remove around 97% of the caffeine. At San Francisco Bay Coffee, we use the Swiss Water® Process to make decaf coffee that removes 99.9% of the caffeine and is 100% delicious.
How is decaf coffee made?
Legend has it that decaf coffee was discovered when coffee beans fell overboard a ship, and the salt water soak decreased the caffeine levels in the beans. Now, there are four ways to make decaf coffee - soaking in water, directly using water and chemical solvents, indirectly applying water and chemical solvents, or using water and supercritical carbon dioxide.
The Swiss Water Process
At San Francisco Bay Coffee, our environmentally-friendly and chemical-free Swiss Water® Process uses the following steps to remove caffeine from the beans:
- High-quality green coffee beans are cleaned and soaked in hot water to open the pores of the bean.
- The opened pores allow the oils, flavor, and caffeine to flush out of the bean. The beans are taken to filtration, where oils and flavor are reabsorbed.
- Next, the beans are dried.
- Finally, the beans are polished to prepare for roasting.
In total, the process takes 10 hours, and an expert team carefully and continuously monitors the beans to ensure compliance with the end result of 99.9% less caffeine and 100% delicious!
3 key benefits of decaf coffee.
There are many benefits of drinking decaf coffee. Here are the top three:
- Rich in Antioxidants - Coffee is rich in antioxidants that help the cells repair oxidative damage and help prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Thankfully, the decaffeination process preserves almost all the antioxidants in regular coffee.
- Rich in Nutrients - Like regular coffee, decaf coffee contains trace amounts of valuable nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, niacin, and vitamin B3. A trace amount of nutrients may not seem notable, but drinking two or more cups of coffee per day can add up quickly and contribute to overall health and well-being.
- Less Jitters - Some people experience a jittery feeling when drinking coffee, which is caused by caffeine. If you want to skip the jitters and just enjoythe aroma and taste, a cup of decaf is an excellent choice.
What is the best decaf coffee?
At San Francisco Bay Coffee, we are passionate about providing you with the finest decaf coffee from around the world. Our decaf coffee is a step above the rest because we start with high-quality beans and use an environmentally friendly, chemical-free caffeine extraction process. Notably, our decaffeination process removes the highest amount of caffeine, so you can be sure you can enjoy the brew and rest easy.
Our top decaf coffees include:
Fan-favorite Decaf Espresso Roast Whole Beans are sourced from Central and South America Arabica beans. The beans are roasted dark to create a bold, full-bodied coffee with a smoky finish. These delicious beans are also available in convenient Decaf French Roast OneCUP™ Pods that make brewing one of our most popular coffees quick and easy. Another popular option is the Decaf Gourmet Blend, Ground, made with Central America's finest beans. The beans are roasted to medium with tasting notes of toasted almond, baker's chocolate, and sweet mandarin with a balanced flavor and a smooth finish.