How is decaffeinated coffee made?
Decaffeinated coffee – when and where was it actually invented and how is decaffeinated coffee made?
What is caffeine?
In order to answer the questions, we first want to clarify what caffeine actually is and why it can make sense to drink decaffeinated coffee. Caffeine is a naturally occurring compound that is also found in the coffee plants. This is where the name caffeine comes from, as the chemical properties and mode of action of caffeine were initially examined in detail using the example of the coffee plant.
Caffeine works by stimulating the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This increases blood pressure and heart rate. It takes 15 to 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream and take effect. Decaffeinated coffee can therefore be particularly useful for people who have high blood pressure.
When and where were the first coffee beans decaffeinated?
Decaffeinated coffee was first produced in 1903. The Bremen coffee dealer and founder of the Kaffee Hag company Ludwig Roselius developed the process named after him. The reason for this is very personal: his father died unexpectedly at the age of 59. Ludwig Roselius began researching the health effects of caffeine because doctors suspected his excessive coffee consumption as the cause of his death.
Roselius first soaked the whole bean in a brine to allow it to expand. To extract the caffeine, he added benzene to the beans. The Roselius process is no longer used today because the process involved working with carcinogens.
Process that decaffeinates coffee beans
Decaffeinated coffee is an alternative for people who cannot tolerate coffee ingredients. This means no one has to go without the enjoyment of coffee. But which procedures can be used and how do they work?
Swiss water process
After the water has removed the ingredients from the beans, the caffeine is filtered out of the water using activated carbon. The caffeine is then removed from the new beans with added water. The unroasted coffee beans are soaked in hot water until all of the water-soluble components of the beans, such as caffeine, are in the water. After the water has removed the ingredients from the beans, the caffeine is filtered out of the water using activated carbon. The caffeine is then removed from the new beans with added water. After many repetitions, almost caffeine-free coffee is created.
Carbon dioxide process
Carbon dioxide is a natural component of the air. The beans are first softened with hot water, then placed under high pressure and rinsed with liquid or gaseous carbon dioxide. This is how caffeine is isolated from the bean. No chemicals are used in this process.
The indirect process of decaffeination of coffee beans is similar to the Roselius process. Here, too, the coffee beans are first soaked in water to extract all the soluble components of the coffee beans. The caffeine is now removed from the resulting water-coffee mixture. However, this no longer happens with benzene as in Ludwig Roselius' process, but with dichloromethane or ethyl acetate.
Finally, the caffeine-free water mixture is boiled with newly added beans. Only the caffeine is removed from the new beans, but not the components that are important for the coffee aroma.
Direct decaffeination involves first exposing coffee beans to steam and then soaking them in a solvent for several hours. In a further step, the beans are separated from the solvent and dried for several hours to remove any residue.
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How harmful is decaffeinated coffee?
According to a study, decaffeinated coffee is said to have no negative effect on health. Decaffeinated coffee is even easier to tolerate. If you have too much caffeine or if you have a caffeine intolerance, the effect can become negative. The consequences can be tremors, rapid heartbeat, sweating and even stomach problems.
The method is also very crucial. If a decaffeinated coffee bears the organic seal, you can be sure that no chemical solvents were used in the method. You can also enjoy our Decaf coffee without any worries.
Many of the benefits of coffee are also retained in caffeine-free coffee. The coffee beans contain around 1000 antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage and therefore contribute to a lower risk of disease.
Can decaffeinated coffee be drunk during pregnancy?
Decaffeinated coffee can definitely be drunk during pregnancy without any concerns or risk. According to the regulation, decaffeinated coffee can only contain 0.1% caffeine within the EU. 200 mg of caffeine is safe to consume during pregnancy. A cup of decaf coffee contains approximately 2-5 mg of caffeine. To be precise, you could drink about 40 cups of decaffeinated coffee while pregnant.
Is there a naturally decaffeinated coffee bean?
The procedures described require a lot of effort and money to be invested in removing the caffeine. Caffeine is also necessary for the plant to deter pests due to its bitter taste. But is there a coffee plant that already contains decaffeinated beans?
In fact, scientists in Ethiopia discovered a caffeine-free coffee plant. Since the discovery, various investigations have been carried out. However, the results are not yet promising because the plant does not flower at the same time, which leads to irregular pollination.