Decaffeinated coffee – a handful of information. I think I can confidently say that most of us appreciate the taste freshly brewed coffee, especially in the morning, after a sleepless night or after work until the late hours of the previous day. Often it turns out that it is the only rescue to quickly recover and start to function normally. But coffee is not only a stimulant, we also drink it for the same taste and aroma, it is often an inseparable element of a social or business meeting. But what about people who can not tolerate caffeine? The solution can be decaffeinated coffee, which often does not differ significantly from traditional coffee. Manufacturers decaffeinated coffee wanting to maintain the taste and aroma as close as possible to coffee containing caffeine, get rid of it before burning grains. Because the coffee just after the smoking process takes on its unique taste.
History decaffeinated coffee dates back to the first half of the 19th century. When the poet Goethe asked his good friend, chemist Runge, to examine the composition of the coffee and check its connection with his insomnia. As you can guess, Runge discovered that there is caffeine in coffee and that she is responsible for his troubles. Thus, thanks to problems with Goathe’s dream, the first production of decaffeinated coffee began. However, the greatest return occurred only several dozen years later. A man named Ludwig Roselius initiated the production of decaffeinated coffee on an industrial scale. In order to remove caffeine from coffee beans, he used benzene as a solvent. In this way he obtained both decaffeinated coffee and, unfortunately, also highly toxic coffee. Currently, other substances are used for this purpose, because benzene due to its toxicity has been banned.
Decaffeinated coffee how does it arise at all?
The decaffeination process is currently carried out in three different ways:
1) using chemical solvents – at the beginning the grain is subjected to steam under pressure. Thanks to that, the seeds swell and increase their volume. The caffeine is also removed from the grains using the solvent under pressure. Solvents that are previously subjected to nutritional tests are used for this process. This is necessary due to the fact that small amounts of this agent may remain on the beans. Of course, at the end there is a repeated use of steam under pressure to rinse off the remains of the solvent used, but for safety, harmless substances are used to not endanger our health.
2) using supercritical gases – caffeine is removed using carbon dioxide at a temperature of about 70 ° C and like in the above method it is carried out under high pressure. A big advantage of this method is that the surface of the coffee bean remains intact, and only the caffeine is removed.
3) using water (SWISS WATER treatment) and caffeine-free extractors – this method involves soaking coffee beans in hot water using charcoal. Unfortunately, this method deprives the seeds of other substances that are responsible for the taste of coffee.
Decaffeinated coffee a Caffeine content
It is not the case that decaffeinated coffee is completely decaffeinated. There are traces of it in it. This is, of course, regulated by the European Union. Regulations say that in green beans, the caffeine content can not exceed 0.1%, whereas in coffee extracts, i.e. in soluble coffee 0.3%. Thus, a cup of decaffeinated coffee usually contains about 1 mg – 5 mg caffeine, depending on how it is brewed.
For people intolerant to caffeine is a good alternative, but remember to not overdo it with the number of cups you drink. 1-2 cups still provide a small amount of caffeine, but 4-5 may turn out to be a large dose for people who completely exclude caffeine from their diet.
Coffee without caffeine does not differ significantly in flavor from its caffeine version. This is mainly due to the fact that caffeine is removed before firing, from green beans, and the whole range of flavors coffee reaches only a few days after firing. It is important, however, how this caffeine has been removed from the grain. As mentioned above, one of the methods of caffeine depletion is using solvents, which are then rinsed out of the grain. Unfortunately, small amounts can remain in the beans and although they are not harmful (in small amounts), the taste of coffee under their influence may be slightly different. The taste is also influenced by the way the coffee is prepared, so you can see some differences between the traditional zalewajka and decaffeinated coffee prepared, for example, in a cafeteria.
Decaffeinated coffee and health
Many people who reach for decaffeinated coffee choose it from the belief that it is healthier and less harmful than traditional coffee. This is not true, as caffeine has many beneficial health effects. First of all, it stimulates the circulatory system, the motor and respiratory system. Positively influences thinking and concentration, thanks to which we can learn and work more effectively, because we do not feel so fast tiredness and drowsiness. Positively affects the overall coordination of the body’s functioning. Caffeine stimulates the adrenaline hormone, stimulates the psychomotor functions of the central nervous system. As a result, after drinking a cup of coffee, we feel better not only physically, but also mentally. There are opinions that coffee has positive properties for protection against the occurrence of more serious diseases such as T2D, cirrhosis and liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease.
Of course, like everything, caffeine in excess is also harmful. The daily dose should not exceed more than about 300-400 mg / d, or 3-4 cups of coffee. This is a moderate amount, which should not hurt us, of course assuming that other factors that affect health such as sleep, proper nutrition etc. are also preserved. Coffee rinses out magnesium, has a diuretic effect, which may result in malaise, dehydration, therefore it is not recommended eating it in very large quantities.
Finally, the question – what to choose? A few decaf coffees or maybe a smaller amount of coffees but with a standard caffeine content? I would definitely recommend the second version, of course, assuming that the person who consumes it does not show any contraindications, is not caffeine-sensitive and she is not pregnant. Caffeine has too much positive action on our body to completely exclude it from the daily diet. In addition, the advantage of access to coffee with caffeine, and without it is huge. Although you can already find high-quality coffee without caffeine on the market, the choice is still quite limited.
Drink coffee for good health! 🙂