A typical green coffee bean consists of approximately 74% of insoluble components and 26% of water-soluble components, including 1.2 percent caffeine on average.
Coffee is known to be one of the most consumed beverages on this planet, after tea. Coffee contains caffeine, antioxidants, and nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, niacin, and riboflavin. It stimulates the central nervous system and helps you stay active, thereby releasing energy to the body. Caffeine is responsible for simulating the effect felt after coffee consumption.
Coffee without Caffeine
Decaf coffee has some percentage of its caffeine removed through a decaffeination process. The quality and taste of the decaffeinated coffee depend on the quality of the coffee seeds, decaffeinated method, time of roasting, and consumption.
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According to the United States standard, coffee can only be decaffeinated by 99 percent, while the European Union standard is 99.9 percent.
The first attempt of isolating refined caffeine from coffee seeds was made in 1820 by Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, a German analytical chemist. He never used this process commercially to make decaffeinated coffee.
In 1903, Ludwig Roselius discovered a method of decaffeinated coffee by accident when his shipload of coffee seeds soaked with seawater.
Decaffeination of Coffee
Decaffeination eliminates practically all the caffeine from the beans. It is completed while the beans are still ‘green’ before roasting coffee beans in a coffee machine.
The decaffeination process takes place in food manufacturing offices. The entire process includes:
- Streaming coffee seeds with water and salt solution, also known as a Brine solution.
- Using the solvent Benzene to extract the caffeine without changing the taste and flavor of the coffee.
Making Decaf Coffee
To make decaf coffee, one must know that decaffeinating operation is classified into two methods;
1. Solvent-based Organic Process
These are processes whereby caffeine is removed from coffee seeds using chemical solvents like Ethyl acetate or methylene chloride. The organic approach is further divided into two methods that are;
One Method: The Direct Natural Decaffeinated Method
In this method, the green coffee seeds are streamed for about 30 minutes to open their pores. Therefore, they are continuously rinsed in a solvent for about 10-12 hours. The caffeine solvent solution is drained away, and the coffee seeds are streamed once more to remove any leftover solvent altogether.
Other Method: The Indirect or Water Processed Method
- Coffee seeds are soaked inside hot water for some hours to remove caffeine, oils, and other flavors from the coffee seeds.
- After that, the coffee seeds are then removed from the water and rinsed with a solvent for about 10 hours.
- Then they are streamed to remove all traces of the solvent.
- The solvent is used again to remove the caffeine in the water by leaving behind the other constituents.
- The coffee seeds are reintroduced to water to absorb oils and different flavors.
2. Non-solvent or Inorganic Process
This decaffeination is done without the use of any solvent. This method uses solubility and osmosis to remove caffeine from coffee seeds.
- First, coffee seeds are soaked in hot water to extract the caffeine.
- Then water is removed and passed through the activated charcoal filter, whose proposal allows only smaller oils and flavor molecules to pass through.
- In the process, it traps large molecules of caffeine, and as a result, we have coffee seeds with no caffeine and flavor.
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