Decaf coffee is made from regular coffee beans that go through a process to remove the majority of the caffeine. However, decaffeinated coffee is not completely caffeine free, and EU regulation for decaf coffee is less than 0.3% caffeine.
Decaf simply refers to the decaffeination process of coffee, which removes a certain amount of caffeine from the coffee beans. It is similar in taste and appearance to regular coffee, but just has a lower caffeine level.
Now we know what decaf coffee is, where did it come from? Decaf coffee was first commercially available in 1906 in Germany. Created by Ludwig Roselius, who thought his father died of too much caffeine, he made it his mission to create a blend that had all of the taste without what he thought was ‘poison’. However, he found the answer to his problems by accident. During one of the coffee bean shipments a box got immersed in seawater and when brewed it was discovered that the water had removed most of the caffeine content from the beans. This revelation led to Roselius, patenting a way of steaming coffee to remove the caffeine and it’s still a process which is used today.
Much like regular coffee, decaf coffee beans start their decaffeination process as green, unroasted beans. The beans are then warmed and soaked to dissolve and remove the caffeine.
There are three methods for decaffeination, using water alone, using water and supercritical carbon dioxide, or using a mixture of water and solvents.
When people discover what is decaf coffee, they often wonder what the difference is to regular caffeinated coffee. Aside from the significantly reduced caffeine content, there’s usually only a very slight difference in taste and smell. But, providing you’re purchasing a quality coffee such as what we offer in our wonderful NESCAFÉ decaf range, you won’t have to compromise on taste.
Now you know what decaf coffee is, why not explore more unforgettable coffee types and find out what a flat white is?