A quick google search about decaf coffee might put you off of decaf altogether. If you’d believe the internet, decaf is unhealthy, tastes bad, and bad for the environment. And even though this is also the internet, you can believe us: not everything you read about decaf is true! Let’s explore some common claims about decaf coffee and decaffeination.
Claim 1 - Decaf coffee is unhealthy
You might think that the health benefits of coffee come from the caffeine. Coffee is known to contain a bunch of healthy compounds, including antioxidants and vitamins. While some decaffeination methods also remove some of these compounds, it leaves most of the healthy stuff in your drink!
You could even go so far to claim that some of the health effects are stronger in decaf coffee. Some of the health effects of caffeine are still being actively researched and debated. One thing is clear though, drink caffeine in moderation, and decaffeinating your coffee does not remove the healthy stuff!
Claim 2 - Decaffeination uses harsh or harmful chemicals
True, but only sometimes!
There are different processes for removing caffeine, and while some do use chemicals, others don’t! Decaffeination processes that use chemical solvents (methylene chloride or ethyl acetate) are still widely used, and use volatile chemicals that can damage the environment. The CO2 method uses “supercritical CO2”, which requires a lot of energy and is therefore not great for our environment either.
Water-based methods such as the Swiss Water Process and the Mountain Water process, however, do not require any solvents. As the name suggests, they use water for caffeine extraction.
Let’s not forget that the Decaf Pouch, which decaffeinates your drink after brewing, is based on all-natural and biodegradable ingredients, no harmful chemicals required!
Claim 3 - Decaf just doesn’t taste as good as regular!
Also only sometimes true!
Some decaffeination methods do end up removing some of the tasty compounds that make coffee such a delight. But other decaffeination processes do take extra care to preserve the flavor characteristics of the bean. With some extra care and research, you can find that good tasting cup of joe that you love!
Claim 4 - Decaffeination is bad for the environment
Again, this highly depends on the type of process! Most commercial methods do have some negative effects on our environment; chemical solvents may be released, CO2-methods are energy-intensive and the water-based methods waste a lot of coffee beans and require intensive cleaning steps. At Decafino, we value our environment and have put a lot of research into ensuring that our product is green and clean!
Claim 5 - Decaf isn’t truly caffeine free
This is probably the claim that is the most true.
No cup of decaf coffee is 100% decaf, because the processes used cannot remove all the caffeine. There is no need to worry though, a little bit of caffeine will not have a major negative effect for most of us, and cutting down on caffeine will already be beneficial for your sleep habits and your wellbeing.
Decaf can be great! Cutting down on caffeine will improve your sleeping, your daytime functioning, and all that without cutting down on any of the beneficial health effects of wonderful tastes!
If you have any other decaf claims you’d like to have fact-checked, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Valerie Bentivegna