We perceive coffee as a refreshing drink. How about those who can’t afford it but yet appreciate good coffee? Decaf coffee may be the solution. But is there no harm in it? We dealt with it together with experts.
Decaffeinated coffee has not yet grown, but it can extract in different ways. Only green grains for this. There are several basic ways:
- Water + solvent;
- The use of compressed gas.
1. water method assumes that chemical components are in principle. Coffee beans in hot water extract caffeine and flavoring substances. Then, with the help of special filters, caffeine is removed from this water and a new batch of coffee with it. As a result, the caffeine of the new pack goes liquid, and taste and aroma grains. It turns out to be almost the same as a “normal” drink but not harmful to the heart.
This method is considered the most environmentally friendly and the “cleanest” since no foreign components get into the grain.
2. The use of solvent is, oddly enough, a traditional method. As an active substance, ethyl acetate. Previously, methylene chloride negatively affected the Earth’s ozone layer and harmed human health.
One drawback of this technique is that, no matter how long the beans are soaked, part of the solvent will stay in the grains, negatively impacting the coffee’s flavor and even causing health problems for heavy coffee drinkers. Pure methylene chloride is hugely harmful. If you inhale it in small doses, you can feel dizziness and nausea. High concentrations cause headaches, vomiting, and loss of orientation.
3. Compressed gas is one of the most advanced methods. Most often, it is carbon dioxide. The grains are soaked traditionally and then again — in compressed gas and a small amount of water. The gas turns into a liquid and becomes the solvent that washes out the caffeine.
This method is safe and reliable: neither the high caffeine content nor the solvent remains in the grains. The technique used in the production affects decaf taste and its price. Taste is critical here because, it turns out, only for the sake of it do people use this drink. Therefore, only high-quality Arabica is used in production, giving a greater variety of balanced flavors.
But the question remains: is this helpful coffee (as proper as regular coffee)? And is there no harm from it?
Benefits and harms
On the one hand, decaf does not negatively affect the heart. However, fans of it need to consider that some amount of caffeine in the grains remains. Therefore, such a cup of coffee will not be ultimately “innocent” anyway.
On the other hand, a solvent may remain in such coffee if it extracts caffeine. Some studies confirm the connection of the use of this solvent with the occurrence of many diseases. Therefore, those who prefer coffee without a vital component should buy the highest quality and safest.