Caffeine Removal Methods For Decaf Coffee by primusboy

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									Caffeine Removal Methods For Decaf Coffee
Not too long ago, a coffee tree was discovered that has almost no
caffeine. But, until this tree finds its way into mass production, we
must continue to rely on present-day methods to remove caffeine from
coffee products. The question is how these methods impact the taste of
coffee.
Research suggests that most people really cannot tell the difference
between regular coffee and decaf coffee provided both are processed and
brewed properly. For those coffee drinkers who can tell the difference...
One technique removing caffeine from coffee is hot water and rinsing in
type of chloride, specifically methylene. Yes, your coffee has seen water
already several times before reaching you. After the berries are picked,
they are rinsed to soften the fruit for easier removal after which the
berries are rinsed again to rid of any stubborn flesh.
Would you be surprised to learn that your coffee grounds have actually
taken a dip in a swimming pool prior to serving? Well, not actually a
swimming pool, but close to it. They are dipped in water diluted with
hydrochloric acid rather than methylene chloride.
The difference in taste between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee is
less likely to come from the amount of caffeine as it is from any
chemicals remaining and whether the flavor-producing So, the taste
difference is less likely to come from the presence or absence of
caffeine as from any remaining processing chemicals and whether they
removed flavor-producing elements.
Chemical removal of the caffeine from unroasted beans begins warming the
beans in steam or even hot water which opens the pores of the beans. They
are rinsed in methylene chloride to bind the caffeine only to then be
flushed away.
Another option is to soak the beans in hot water for several hours. The
caffeine then soaks out into the water. The beans are removed and
methylene chloride is poured into the bath where it bonds with the
caffeine and not the flavor-producing elements that were washed away from
the bean. The beans are then soaked again where they can reabsorb the
flavor components they had lost earlier in the process.
The Swiss method is a completely different process. It soaks the beans in
hot water for several hours but does not use methylene chloride. Rather,
water is filtered through activated charcoal to remove the caffeine. More
or less pure carbon, charcoal's molecular structure has been altered
which provides a large area to which other molecules can stick.
The Swiss method is more expensive than the earlier method and less
desired by manufacturers. But, it should come as no surprise, that there
are still debates about whether the first method also removes some of the
taste in which quality control makes the greatest difference.
But, the individual coffee drinker can take matters into his or her own
hands to reduce caffeine intake. The darker the roast, the less caffeine
it contains which occurs from the roasting process. Or, combining regular
and decaffeinated is one option for those who need to simply reduce the
intake a bit.
As far as taste, you may lose a bit of the lavish flavor that comes along
with a strong cup of caffeinated coffee. But, then again, what makes a
good cup of decaf coffee is often said to be a matter of preference.
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