What is decaf coffee, and where would you find a good one to buy?
I know where he’s coming from. I don’t even question that I’m a caffeine addict, for the number of years that I’ve been drinking coffee and for the withdrawal symptons I experience when I don’t drink it on schedule. But, it’s another thing in my opinion that I really just love coffee as a beverage. And sometimes, especially if I’m working late, I want a coffee but will likely ruin my sleep if I have one. For that reason, I’m drinking more decaf now than I ever have.
First off, what is decaf coffee? The short explanation is that it is like any other coffee in every single way from how it’s grown and processed with one obvious exception…the caffeine has been removed. Most often, this is done chemically, after the seed that is the coffee bean has been removed from the cherry, and subsequently washed and dried. Before the beans are roasted at a roastery near you, and while they are still in their green state, they are “rinsed” with a solvent in cycles, that removes almost all of the caffeine.
There are many natural chemicals to coffee that are important to retain, and for that reason, decaffeination doesn’t remove 100% of the caffeine, leaving approximately 1-2% of it behind. For those that drink decaffeinated coffee for health reasons or to enjoy a coffee without being kept up late, this residual 1-2% of the caffeine is negligible. For all intents and purposes, the coffee is thoroughly decaffeinated at this point.
I thought my brother had a great question then: where will you find a good decaf coffee? The answer is that you will find one from the same local roaster from whom you are buying your regular coffee. Decaffeination occurs before the roasting stage, so your local roaster is sourcing decaffeinated beans along with all of the other coffee that they roast on-site. They may profile the decaffeinated bean differently than a regular bean, but they are still finding the ideal roasting for that specific bean as they do any other.
If you would like a decaf coffee that has all of the flavor of your regular coffee, and you buy from a local roaster, get your decaf coffee beans from the same place.