Buy Decaf Coffee Beans

/ Buy Decaf Coffee Beans

For many coffee fans, part of the great joy of a good cup of coffee is the caffeine boost they get when drinking it. In fact, lots of us can’t imagine starting the day without it. However, caffeine isn’t for anyone, and some people are actively sensitive to it. But still love the taste and aroma of great coffee. This is why decaf coffee was invented.

Contrary to myth, there is no such thing as completely caffeine-free coffee, nor is there a ‘decaf coffee bean’. However, coffee roasters have developed ways to extract a lot of the caffeine coffee beans usually contain via special processes. If you are wondering if you can buy decaf coffee beans, the answer is yes, and at Pearl Lemon Cafe we can offer you some delicious ones.

The Natural Decaf Coffee Plant Myth

Many news releases from 2004 made headlines regarding a naturally caffeine-free coffee plant. One study program in Japan in 2001 had offered good news among the many attempts to modify the enzyme on the caffeine pathway of every coffee plant.

Japanese researchers were able to reduce the caffeine content of their controlled plants by up to 70% using RNA interference, a gene-silencing approach. However, the goal of developing a naturally caffeine-free coffee plant is still a long way off. The study is still ongoing and confidential as of today.

But what makes making coffee plants caffeine-free such a difficult task? The answer lies in caffeine’s ability to protect coffee plants from insects.

The coffee plant uses caffeine as a natural pesticide. Caffeine-free wild coffee plants would be at a serious disadvantage. How would the coffee plant protect itself from insects once that caffeine has been removed? No one has an answer yet, so the search for a coffee plant that is naturally caffeine-free continues…


The Science Behind Decaf Coffee Beans

This is where things get a bit science-y for a few minutes…

Decaffeination usually entails soaking coffee beans in water while they’re still green (before roasting) so that the caffeine they contain naturally can be made soluble, or dissolved. However, there are several methods for removing the caffeine from coffee beans.


Around 1905, German coffee dealer Ludwig Roselius devised the first commercially viable decaffeination technique. One legend regarding the origins of decaf suggests that Roselius got a cargo of coffee beans that had fallen off a ship and steeped in seawater. Roselius chose to roast and test the beans rather than throwing them away. He discovered that the coffee had been decaffeinated, but that it still tasted like coffee, if a little salty.

Roselius then discovered that he could remove caffeine from coffee beans using benzene, a chemical that was also used in paint strippers and aftershave at the time. Kaffee HAG was the first company to produce instant decaf coffee. General Foods called the coffee “Sanka,” and it was a mid-century staple among those looking for a ‘healthier’ coffee.

Because benzene is a proven carcinogen, it is no longer used to decaffeinate coffee. Instead, coffee roasters that utilize chemical solvents have turned to alternative compounds, including ethyl acetate and methylene chloride, though the latter has been controversial because excessive doses of the substance can be poisonous and cause central nervous system damage.

Another method for decaffeinating coffee was developed in Germany, rather by accident. Kurt Zosel, a chemist at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Ruhr, was experimenting with supercritical carbon dioxide. When a gas is heated and put under a lot of pressure, it enters a supercritical condition, which may be used to separate different chemical compounds, such as caffeine from coffee when it’s pumped through the beans, according to Zosel.

In 1970, the chemist patented his process of decaffeination, which is still commonly used today. Also, during the supercritical carbon dioxide decaffeination process, crude caffeine can be recovered and used in sodas, energy drinks, and other products.

Yet another coffee decaffeination technology, known as the Swiss Water Process, became commercially popular in the 1970s. Green coffee beans are steeped in water in a batch. That water becomes saturated with all of the soluble components of coffee, such as chlorogenic acid, amino acids, and sucrose, and the caffeine is then filtered out using charcoal.

Green coffee extract, an uncaffeinated liquid, is then put into columns of new, rehydrated green coffee beans that still contain caffeine. As the beans and liquid achieve equilibrium, the caffeine migrates from the coffee beans to the green coffee extract, leaving the beans almost caffeine-free.

Espresso in glass cup, roasted coffee beans, grounded coffee, geyser maker  on wooden table. Alternative Coffee brewing concept. Process of making coffee

Decaf Coffee Beans: The Roast Matters

Because decaf coffee beans have been chemically altered, they are harder to roast well, so the difference in the quality of roast decaf coffee beans can be significant. Getting it right is quite an art – as well as something of a science experiment, and it’s something that not every coffee roaster gets quite right.

Is Decaf Coffee as Healthy as Regular Coffee?

One of the problems with the processes of creating decaffeinated coffee beans is that in doing so lots of the antioxidants that coffee beans naturally possess are stripped out, so those potential health benefits are lost when you buy decaf coffee beans.

On the other hand, some people are super sensitive to caffeine and find that even a single cup of caffeinated coffee can have an adverse effect. For these people, decaf coffee beans offer a way for them to enjoy the taste of all kinds of delicious coffee drinks without the side effects that standard coffee might produce.


Why Buy Decaf Coffee Beans from Pearl Lemon Cafe?

If you want to buy decaf coffee beans, we still want to ensure that you get the best possible coffee as a result. This means that we take the time to source the best in high quality, expertly fresh roasted decaf coffee beans before we sell them, or make use of them in our lively Fulham coffee shop to produce one of our wonderful coffee drinks.

This means that opting for decaf coffee beans does not have to mean sacrificing quality or taste. When you buy decaf coffee beans from Pearl Lemon Cafe you can take them home and create amazing brewed coffee, tasty lattes, or even a ‘lo-test’ espresso shot.

If you are in the area, pop into our Fulham coffee shop and allow our expert baristas help you choose the decaf coffee beans that are right for you, or contact us to have them added to one of our customisable coffee subscriptions.

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