Decaffeinated coffee: Things you need to know
According to legend, in 1903 Ludwig Roselius accidentally discovered a way to remove caffeine from coffee. It is not known for certain whether this was an accident or whether he was deliberately looking for ways. Later, he sold the method to an American company, which used it until they found out that it was harmful to health – harmful benzene was used in it, and after decaffeination, part of it remained in the beans.
At the moment, there are already about two hundred different ways, but as MyFriendsCoffee says natural decaf coffee still enjoys great popularity. In this article, you will learn what decaffeination is and the difference between the two methods: the traditional method, which is used most often, and the Swiss method, and the difference between natural decaf coffee prepared in different ways.
Why is caffeine removed from coffee?
Caffeine is an alkaloid found in coffee, tea, cocoa, mate, guarana, and cola. It helps these plants defend themselves against leaf-eating insects and attract pollinators. In animals, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, enhances cardiac activity, accelerates the pulse – in other words, it excites the body. Even easier – invigorates.
If you’re a healthy person, caffeinated coffee in moderation can help you wake up in the morning and isn’t harmful. But for people with a weak cardiovascular system, pregnant women, and children, caffeine, even in small doses, can be harmful.
Decaffeination is the process of removing caffeine from green coffee beans. She has two important tasks:
1.to remove caffeine, but not to take aroma and flavoring substances along with it;
2. do not leave foreign substances in the beans that were used for decaffeinating.
In all decaffeinating methods, green, unroasted beans are first soaked in hot, but not boiling water to open them. The next steps are already different: some methods use solvents, and some use carbon dioxide or special organic concentrates. Depending on this, the quality, taste, and aroma of the coffee will change. Next, we will compare the traditional and Swiss decaffeinating methods to see what kind of coffee is obtained when decaffeinated with a solvent and what kind – when using an organic concentrate.
What is the difference between conventional and Swiss methods for removing caffeine from coffee?
At the beginning of the article, we mentioned the discovery of the first method of decaffeination. Later, it was abandoned because the benzene, with the help of which the caffeine was removed, partially remained in the beans. As a result, there was no caffeine in coffee and it did not load the cardiovascular system, but there was benzene, which worsened liver function.
We decided to compare the traditional and Swiss methods, because in the first, as in the Ludwig Roselius method, a solvent is used, and in the second only water and a regular carbon filter.
The traditional method, which is also called European, conventional, or direct, is the most popular method of decaffeinating.
In this case, decaffeination looks like this: first, coffee is treated with hot steam for 30 minutes. Then for about 10 hours, they are kept in methylene chloride or ethyl acetate – solvents that remove caffeine from the grains. Then the solvents are removed from the grains and kept for another 10 hours to remove the residues.
Next, we will analyze drinks without caffeine that are as vigorous as the strongest coffee.
1. Ginseng brew
Ginseng is a popular plant in oriental medicine. It gives strength, energy, and vigor, and also serves as an excellent adaptogen. Ginseng is recommended to use when it is necessary to quickly adapt the body to new conditions for it: a different climate or a new, too active lifestyle. It increases endurance and improves brain function.
You can get a ginseng drink by pouring boiling water over a few pieces of the root. Let it brew and then add honey to taste.
2. Sea buckthorn tea
A beautiful, aromatic, and delicious drink will brighten up any morning. And what is most important, it will give vigor and strength for the entire first half of the day. Sea buckthorn is the champion in vitamin C content among fruits and berries. And since there is little ascorbic acid in foods in winter, sea buckthorn tea can be an excellent source of it.
Prepare sea buckthorn tea according to the rules. It is important to preserve vitamin C, which is destroyed in boiling water. You can also emphasize the taste with aromatic spices and additives: mint, lemon, honey.
3. Cocoa with orange juice
Do you like chocolate with zest chunks? Cocoa with orange juice has this exquisite taste. The drink does not contain caffeine but is rich in flavonoids, which strengthen blood vessels and heal the heart.
Cook cocoa in milk or water. Squeeze the juice out of half an orange and rub a little zest into it. Mix cocoa and orange juice and start your morning with a luxurious and healthy drink.
4. Ginger tea
Ginger has a strong tonic effect. It activates thermogenesis: by temporarily increasing the body temperature, it stimulates blood circulation and metabolic processes. Thanks to this, you will feel cheerful and energized, but without the side effects of coffee (nervousness and pressure drops).