Coffee 101: How Is Decaffeinated Coffee Made?


It’s estimated that as many as 50% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee each and every day.

Similar statistics can be found across the world for this delicious brewed beverage, and it’s easy to see that coffee is one of the most popular drinks in human history.

Of course, it’s likely that you drink coffee at least once a day, especially if you are reading this article. This also means that you’ve probably experienced the less positive side of coffee in the past, with many people finding that caffeine can be more powerful than they expect.

Decaffeinated coffee can solve this problem for most people, giving you the chance to enjoy the taste and smell of coffee without the surge of energy that comes with it. But how exactly is the caffeine taken out of coffee? Let’s find out.

The Benefits of Decaf Coffee

Before diving into the methods used to create decaffeinated coffee, it makes sense to explore some of the benefits that come with beverages like this. Many people find that they are able to improve their lives when they start using a drink like this. Of course, though, you will need to try it for yourself to see the full benefits.

  • Better Sleep: Many people find it hard to sleep when they drink coffee, even if they don’t have a mug for hours before bedtime. Caffeine impacts everyone to a different degree, with some people being able to withstand the effects of this chemical, and others being highly sensitive to them. Using decaf coffee will save you from sleepless nights without depriving you of the drink that you love.
  • Less Stress: Caffeine can raise your blood pressure and cholesterol, while also increasing your stress levels in day-to-day life. Drinking decaffeinated coffee will give you a sense of calm that you won’t get with the regular stuff. 
  • Fighting Addiction: Caffeine is an incredibly addictive substance, leaving people with issues like headaches when they aren’t able to get their fix. Decaf coffee can give you the tools to overcome this sort of dependency, giving you the chance to lower your caffeine intake without having to give up your favorite drink.

The Benefits Without Downsides: Decaffeinated coffee comes with many of the benefits of regular coffee, without being bogged down by the downsides that also come with it. This can make this version of this popular drink perfect for most people.

How is Coffee Decaffeinated?

Removing caffeine from coffee is a surprisingly simple process. While it isn’t possible to remove 100% of the caffeine in coffee, the process below is able to reduce it dramatically, producing coffee drinks that come with practically none of the caffeine-based side effects. This is important to keep in mind if you are very sensitive to caffeine, as some decaf coffees contain more caffeine than others.

The most common decaffeination method is the one this article is covering. This process involves washing the coffee in solvents that are able to remove the caffeine, and there are three main steps that are followed.

  • Step One: Swelling: Green coffee beans are soaked in water or steam to make them swell. This makes it much easier to remove the caffeine from the beans, while also kicking off the production process.
  • Step Two: Caffeine Extraction: Water or a stronger solvent is used to wash the beans. This will be done several times to ensure that as much caffeine is removed as possible, while also ensuring that the beans are safe to consume.
  • Step Three: Drying: Once the beans have had their caffeine removed, it will be time to start drying them. Getting the beans back to their normal moisture levels is crucial, as this will make it possible to roast them properly.

As you can see, this process is surprisingly simple. Water is commonly used for this process, but solvents like ethyl acetate, methylene chloride, and supercritical CO2 can also be used to achieve the same results. It’s important to keep in mind that this process will usually be handled under lab conditions, and this means that it isn’t always a good idea to try it at home.

Decaffeinated coffee is a lifesaver for many people around the world. If you love coffee but don’t want to deal with caffeine, this type of brew can give you the chance to enjoy your drink without compromise. This type of coffee is only getting more and more popular in the modern age, with many people looking to remove substances like caffeine from their lifestyle.