Afraid of the caffeine’s side effects? Or you have a medical condition that does not allow the consumption of caffeine? But, in both cases, you would like to enjoy the taste of coffee, then decaf might be the best option for you. Practically, decaffeination assumes the sole removal of the caffeine from the coffee beans, without altering other properties, like taste, of the coffee. And considering that caffeine is only one out of a total of 400 other substances found in the composition of coffee, you will not feel like anything is missing if you drink decaf coffee. Usually the decaffeination process is done on unroasted beans, making the coffee ready for the roasting part and packaging without any content of caffeine in it.
Decaf Coffee Standard
Still, if you wish to consume decaf coffee around the world, you should know that standards regarding the allowed minimum quantity of caffeine in the decaf coffee differs according to region. Thus, in the USA, you will find that decaf coffee is only around 97% caffeine. In Europe, on the other hand, decaf coffee is allowed to have a quantity that will not exceed 0.1%, meaning that decaf coffee here is 99.9% caffeine free. Thus, if you real wish to have a real decaf coffee, the EU varieties are what you are looking for, since a cup of coffee, of 5 ounces, will have a content of caffeine of only 5 milligrams. In the US, a cup of decaf coffee will contain an amount of caffeine ranging from 20 to 32 milligrams.
Decaf Coffee Producing Process
When picking your decaf coffee, there are other things you should look for, besides the percentage of caffeine. There are many ways of producing decaf coffee, some being organic and some may use some chemicals in the process. The most preferred ways of extracting caffeine out of coffee beans are the Swiss water process and the process using CO2. These two methods do not use any chemicals during the procedure, making the decaf coffee a healthier one. For instance, the Swiss water process uses only water for taking caffeine out of coffee. The green coffee beans are just soaked in extremely hot water. It is said that the method keeps other coffee properties intact and produces a more refined taste. The carbon dioxide method involves sinking the coffee beans in highly compressed CO2, which has atmosphere values starting with 73 and going up to 300. The coffee beans are held in this compressed gas for about 10 hours, before the decaffeination process is completed.
For your knowledge, there are other two methods of extracting caffeine out of coffee, with the use of chemicals. The direct contact method of decaffeination involves the application of certain chemicals on green and unroasted coffee beans, with the purpose of extracting the caffeine. The other method, called the indirect contact method, will use hot water as a first step, but certain chemicals, like ethyl acetate, is used to finish the process.
Decaf Coffee Benefits
How many people consume decaf coffee? About 10% of all coffee consumers prefer the decaf version. That means that 1 out of 10 coffee drinkers will like their beverage without the stimulant substance. But since these are only numbers offered by the National Coffee Association, in reality their number can be much higher. And this assortment of coffee can still have great benefits over our health, even without caffeine. For instance, it can act as a protector for the liver. A study took place on a time span of 10 years, where 28,000 participants wished to find the benefits of decaf coffee. The results showed that individuals who enjoyed three cups of decaf coffee every day, had a better liver health. This means that their liver had a lower quantity of the enzymes that are responsible for causing inflammations and damages to this organ.
Still, even if decaf is good for your liver, you should be careful about the cholesterol levels, as this beverage can have a negative impact over them. If your doctor told you to be careful and monitor your cholesterol levels, as you are exposed to developing heart conditions, not even decaf coffee is a recommendable beverage for you. It may easily increase the levels of LDL cholesterol, the exact type you need to avoid, and have a negative impact over the health of your heart. So it is not necessarily the caffeine in coffee that may harm your heart, as influencing the bad cholesterol is another way to aggravate any heart condition.
Don’t lose hope, as there are some conditions decaf coffee can prevent, like prostate cancer in the case of men. The Harvard School of Public Health decided to conduct a study, based on a number of 47,911 participants of male gender, with the purpose of determining whether decaf coffee can influence in better their life quality. The results were quite promising, as the men that consumer about 6 cups of decaf coffee daily, decreased their risk of developing prostate cancer with 18%. And the chance of dying because of this illness was with 60% lower than in the case they did not consume the beverage at all. It looks like all we need out of coffee is the potent antioxidants, and not the caffeine. But, regarding type-2 diabetes, decaf coffee is not offering spectacular results. A consumption of 6 cups daily will lower the risk with only 6% in developing the illness, in comparison with regular coffee, which manages to decrease the risks with 33%. Still, it is better than nothing, since the presence of caffeine may do you more harm and right.
Thus, decaf coffee is a beverage preferred by many and the best part is that it can be consumed in any part of the day, without the fear of suffering from insomnias. To make an idea about how appreciated decaf coffee is, you should know that about 18% of the total Counter Culture’s sales are being made exclusively out of selling decaf. Forget about headaches, palpitation and nervousness, as you can enjoy the same taste of roasted coffee, without the side effects of caffeine.