What is decaf coffee? Well, the answer to that question depends on who you ask.
Some people will say it’s a coffee without caffeine. Others might tell you it’s just regular coffee but with fewer calories or less of an effect on your sleep cycle.
Decaffeinated coffee typically contains 1% – 2% caffeine, and while this may seem like a lot, it’s actually pretty low compared to other caffeinated beverages such as tea and soda which can contain up to 90%.
And yet another group of people might think of decaf as simply being “regular” without the caffeine content. But in all cases, what they’re really talking about is decaffeinated coffee beans! What does that mean? It means that instead of using caffeine to extract the coffee beans, they use a different solvent entirely.
It’s typically methylene chloride or ethyl acetate in the US and Germany but can include distilled water in some cases.
1. Does Decaf Coffee Taste Different?
This is a question that’s hard to answer because it really comes down to personal preference. Even though the caffeine has been removed from the beans, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t going to be any taste difference at all!
If you’re not a coffee connoisseur but have tried both regular and decaf, you’ll probably notice that one or both drinks taste different. It’s also important to note that if you drink an entire cup of regular coffee versus the exact same amount of decaf, you’re likely to get a much stronger effect from the caffeinated version.
This is because it takes about 45-50 hours for caffeine to leave your body naturally and during this time, you’ll still be getting a much stronger dose than when drinking decaf.
2. Does Decaf Coffee Have Any Side Effects?
If the only difference in taste is due to less caffeine content, that means that there are no real side effects right? Well, this isn’t true either–just because the beans have been removed of caffeine doesn’t mean that there won’t be any other side effects to drinking decaf coffee.
Let’s take a look at caffeine for example. It’s said that caffeine can cause stomach discomfort, anxiety, insomnia, jitteriness and headaches in some people.
The same thing could happen when you’re drinking decaf if the beans are processed incorrectly or you have an allergy to the solvent used in the decaffeination process. Also if you drink too much coffee, especially on an empty stomach, this could lead to side effects of nausea or vomiting.
So are there any benefits of drinking decaf? There are for some people, but these vary depending on your caffeine sensitivity level. Some potential benefits of decaf coffee include:
It’s more easily tolerated by some people It won’t cause you to get the jitters and will help with general anxiety It may be better for your sleep cycle; although more research is needed Medical studies have shown that caffeine can reduce blood flow to the brain and affect insulin levels in both men and women.
3. 10 reasons why decaf coffee is the best choice for you and your family.
1) Decaffeinated coffee has less caffeine than regular coffee: Studies show that a cup of decaffeinated coffee contains about half the amount of caffeine as a cup of caffeinated-coffee, which means it’s gentler on the stomach and easier to sleep after drinking.
2) You can drink more cups without feeling jittery: If you get nervous or shaky when you have too much caffeine, then decaf is your answer! A study done in 2005 showed that people who drank around three cups of caffeinated-coffee per day were twice as likely to suffer from high blood pressure than those who drank just one.
3) Decaf is healthier: Coffee can be very acidic and wreak havoc on your teeth and digestive system – decaf coffee, on the other hand, is naturally more alkaline and helps balance out your body’s pH levels.
4) Your heart and brain will love you for it: Studies show that decaf coffee is good for your cardiovascular system because it can help reduce blood pressure and prevent cholesterol build up, meaning healthier blood vessels. As I mentioned above, caffeine may also be bad for insulin sensitivity which means you could be at increased risk of developing diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
5) You won’t lose out on any nutritional benefits: As long as the beans are organically grown, there’s no reason you can’t still expect to gain antioxidants, minerals and vitamins from your decaf coffee.
6) It won’t affect your sleep cycle: A study in 2010 showed that people who drank caffeinated-coffee before bed had less deep sleep than those who drank decaf. That means you’ll feel more rested and refreshed in the morning after drinking a cup of decaf at night.
7) You can enjoy it with less guilt: Substituting coffee for water in your diet is great way to reduce calorie intake and get hydrated, but unfortunately caffeinated-coffee can have the opposite effect.
Want to know what that means? One study found that drinking caffeinated-coffee with a meal actually increases calorie absorption by 96%! Decaf, on the other hand, will have no effect on your calorie intake so you don’t have to feel guilty about having another cup!
8) You’ll avoid some of the less desirable side effects: Although it depends on how often you drink coffee, excess caffeine can cause stomach discomfort, anxiety, insomnia, jitteriness and headaches.
9) It won’t affect your heart health in the long run: If you are looking for a delicious way to maintain cardiovascular health then try drinking decaf coffee every day.
Studies show that for people who already have cardiovascular disease, caffeine can cause further damage to the heart muscle by increasing blood pressure and making the heart pump faster.
10) You’ll reduce your risk of developing diabetes or metabolic syndrome: If you are insulin resistant then drinking caffeinated-coffee may skew your body’s glucose tolerance.
People who are insulin resistant already have high blood sugar levels due to poor insulin function, so the caffeine in coffee can increase blood pressure and worsen this condition.
4. How is decaf coffee processed?
Decaf coffee is made from green coffee beans. The seeds are put in a solvent to dissolve the caffeine-rich outer layer, leaving behind the inner part of the seed, which is then rinsed with water several times before being dried.
5. How is decaf made?
Coffee beans are cleaned before they’re either soaked in a hot water and ethyl acetate bath or steamed. The caffeine molecules go into the liquid, while the flavor goes into the steam. Once these separate, the liquid coffee concentrate is mixed back with the beans and some of its moisture is returned, resulting in a cup of decaf coffee.
1. How is decaf processed?
Green coffee beans are either soaked in hot water or steamed to remove the caffeine-rich outer layer, leaving behind the inner part of the seed. The beans are then rinsed with water several times before being dried.
2. Is there arsenic in decaffeinated coffee?
No, the FDA has confirmed that this is not the case.
3. What does decaf taste like?
Decaf coffee doesn’t actually taste like bad coffee, it tastes like no-coffee; meaning there are still over one thousand natural flavor compounds in the beverage which make for a delicious cup of coffee!
4. How long does decaf coffee last?
Decaf coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container and used within one month. Remember – fresh roasted coffee is best! 5. How much caffeine is in decaf?
The amount of caffeine varies by the type of bean, but typically ranges from 1-2%. The roasting process also affects the caffeine levels in the coffee. Light-roasted beans contain around 1% caffeine, whereas medium-roasted beans contain 2%.
As you can see, there are many benefits to drinking decaf coffee. The caffeine has been taken out of the beans but the flavor hasn’t! So now that you know how it is made and why it might be better for your health than regular, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a bag of organic decaf coffee beans today, and enjoy!