Dec 10, 2009|
Question

Dear Dr. Brew,

How do they make decaffeinated coffee? I mean really...how do you extract caffeine from a coffee bean anyway?

Curious in Illinois

Answer

Dear Curious,

Since BUNN does not process, roast or sell coffee, an explanation of decaffeinization is best done by the experts at the Coffee Research Institute. There is a excellent explanation of Decaffeinated Coffee Beans on their website at http://www.coffeeresearch.org/science/decaffeination.htm.

But we are concerned with brewing coffee, and one question that has been on my mind for some time are the lack 0f brewing standards for decaffeinated coffee.

Should we be brewing decaffeinated coffee using the same standards as regular (non-decaffeinated) beans? Since approximately 2-3 % of the bean’s soluble material is removed from the bean in the decaffeination process, should we be looking to achieve an extraction (soluble yield) more in the 16-20% range when brewing decaffeinated coffee rather than the 18-22% extraction rate of regular beans?

Is it time to look at brewing decaffeinated coffee with a refined set of standards? Our population is living longer and decaffeinated coffee consumption is sure to increase either by choice or health reasons.

Worth pondering... What do you think?

Happy Brewing,
Dr. Brew

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