Each coffee lover has their own reasons to love coffee and drink it every day. Some people like coffee because it gives them the energy to start their day and keep moving and working. Other people simply enjoy the taste of this drink. However, there are people who cannot enjoy some regular coffee as they cannot handle the caffeine that is contained in this drink.
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If you are one of those people who cannot drink coffee because of high caffeine content, then this article is exactly what you need.
Some people cannot even think about reducing the amount of caffeine they consume daily. However, there are people who have no other option as their bodies cannot deal with big amounts of caffeine. For such people, the only option is to drink decaf coffee. But there is a question if there is a decaf alternative for your favorite espresso?
You may think that it is impossible, but the truth is that decaf espresso really exists. Sounds like something unreal? We can prove that it is not a dream, just keep reading this article and you will understand that decaf espresso is not a myth.
What Is Decaf Espresso
Decaf espresso sounds like some sort of an oxymoron. While the concept itself may seem strange and silly, decaf espresso really exists and can be a great alternative for people who cannot drink regular espresso because of some health issues.
Espresso is not a type of beans, but it is the brewing method. You can brew coffee with a French press or the best single-serve coffee maker, or you can use an espresso machine. The main specific of this method is that hot water is pumped through ground coffee under high pressure so you can get a cup of freshly brewed coffee less than in a minute.
As a result, this method allows you to enjoy a concentrated drink with excellent rich taste and aroma. It means that even if the caffeine is removed from your espresso, its rich flavor will stay in any case.
During the decaffeination process, about 97% of caffeine is removed from coffee beans. Usually, the decaffeination process is similar for all types of coffee beans. It means that you can use the same beans for a regular espresso as well as for decaf espresso.
Benefits of Drinking Decaf Espresso
Lots of people give preference to decaf espresso as it is a great way to reduce their caffeine intake. Of course, one standard shot contains less caffeine than an average cup. However, lots of people prefer Doppio and the content of caffeine in it is pretty high.
You may ask, what is the point of drinking coffee if it contains less caffeine? The point is that decaf coffee has a bunch of benefits, especially for people who cannot drink regular coffee.
Great for People With Caffeine Sensitivity
Caffeine sensitivity is usually related to a whole bunch of issues. It may cause stomach irritation and heart problems. Also, it may lead to increased anxiety. However, if you have a caffeine sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy your favorite coffee drinks. Decaf espresso is your solution. By the way, homemade mocha coffee will help you reduce stress and anxiety.
Perfect for Evening Brewing
One other benefit of decaf espresso is that you can drink it even in the evening.
If you want to enjoy your coffee in the evening and avoid staying up late, decaf espresso is the best choice for you.
Alternative for Pregnant Women
Big consumption of caffeine during pregnancy may lead to a bunch of complications. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that pregnant women cannot drink coffee. In this case, decaf espresso can be a perfect alternative. It will let you keep your daily routine and make no harm to your baby.
As you can see, decaf espresso has a bunch of benefits for people who cannot drink regular coffee and look for alternatives.
How Does Decaf Espresso Work
As we said before, the main thing about decaf espresso, it allows reducing the intake of caffeine significantly. The thing is that you need to know how low the level of caffeine in your decaf coffee is? The point is that even decaffeinated espresso contains some caffeine.
One average cup of decaf coffee contains 5 or even 10 times less caffeine in comparison with regular coffee. When it comes to espresso, the difference is not so big, but still, it is very significant.
The amount of caffeine in your espresso, even decaf one, depends on the type of coffee beans that are used for it. There are two main species and types of coffee.
For example, any coffee lover knows well that Arabica contains less caffeine than Robusta. Most espresso blends contain Robusta, but if you want to reduce the amount of caffeine as much as possible, you should look for pure Arabica.
Pros and Cons of Decaf Espresso
- Recent studies show that decaf coffee consumption allows reducing the risk of diabetes. Different elements of decaf coffee decrease stress level and positively influences glucose metabolism. One of these elements is magnesium.
- One other element in decaf coffee is B-3 that helps to clean your body. Also, it helps to protect your brain and body from stress and anxiety. Moreover, it makes your metabolism faster and helps you lose weight.
- Decaf coffee helps your brain be more stress-resistant. Also, due to bioactive polyphenol, it helps your brain work more effectively.
- Protects from rectal cancer and cardiovascular diseases. While regular coffee causes heartburn, decaf coffee may have the opposite effect. Moreover, it reduces the risk of rectal cancer.
- The high content of B-2 improves your immune system and makes your skin healthier.
- High calcium content makes your bones and teeth stronger.
- Iron in decaf content improves the circulatory system of your body.
- Decaf coffee may increase cholesterol levels, which may lead to cardiovascular diseases.
- Decaf coffee may lead to the incredible of Gastrin that increases the release of acid in your stomach.
- High acid content may lead to a decrease in calcium in your body.
Methods of Espresso Decaffeination
There are three main ways to make decaf coffee. One of them is divided into two sub-methods. There is a solvent method that uses methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. The other two are Swiss Water and carbon dioxide methods.
The solvent decaffeination method is divided into two main types. They are called direct and indirect methods.
Indirect Solvent-Based Process
When it comes to the indirect-solvent method, coffee beans are left for several hours to soak in very hot water. It extracts caffeine, oils, and flavor elements from the beans.
After the water is removed, coffee beans are washed with ethyl acetate or methylene chloride for about 10 hours. During this process, chemicals bond with caffeine in beans, and during the heating, they evaporate.
After it, the beans are placed back in the water so they can absorb back the oils and flavor.
Due to its popularity in Europe and especially in Germany, this method is also called the European Method and mainly involves methylene chloride.
Direct Solvent-Based Process
During the direct-solvent method, coffee beans are left in hot water for about 30 minutes. After it, they are rinsed with a solvent for 10 hours that allows removing caffeine. As soon as a solvent is removed from beans, they are properly steamed to make sure there are no solvent leftovers.
Usually, it is ethyl acetate that is mainly used for this method. It is also often called “The Natural Decaffeination Method” or “The Ethyl Acetate Method.”
Swiss Water Process
This method differs significantly from solvent methods as it has nothing to do with any chemicals. There are two main components this method consists of – osmosis and solubility. They are the key to the decaffeination process during this method.
First of all, coffee beans are left in hot water so they can soak well and dissolve the caffeine. After it, the water goes through the special activated charcoal filter. This filter is made in such a way that it easily catches larger molecules of caffeine while small molecules of flavor and oils can easily pass through it.
As a result, there is a bunch of beans with no caffeine and flavor, as well as a bunch of water with lots of flavors and no caffeine. This water is also known as “Green Coffee Extract.”
After it, all the coffee beans with no caffeine and flavor are extracted from the tank and the other bunch of beans is placed there. These beans are soaked in the water from previous beans. As this water already contains flavor and oils molecules, it allows extracting only caffeine from new beans. It helps to keep as much flavor as possible while making coffee decaffeinated.
This method is mainly used specifically for organic coffee, as it is an environment-friendly method. Farmers who grow organic coffee mainly use this method for coffee decaffeination. Also, coffee decaffeinated with the method is constantly tested on the caffeine level and should contain only 0.1% of the caffeine in comparison with regular beans.
Carbon Dioxide Process
The Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Method is one of the newest decaffeination methods. It involves the usage of liquid CO2 as a replacement for chemical solvents. The main thing is that this method helps to remove only caffeine from coffee beans.
During this process, coffee beans are soaked in water and then placed in the extraction vessel that is made of stainless steel. As soon as the vessel is properly sealed, the CO2 is inserted there under very high pressure that allows extracting caffeine from beans.
In this case, the CO2 performs the role of solvent and removes caffeine from beans while keeping flavor inside. After the process is finished, the CO2 is pumped into a different container with low pressure. Due to it, the CO2 becomes a gas and leaves the caffeine molecules behind. After it, the CO2 can be used again for the next portion of beans.
Because of its price, the process is mainly used by large manufacturers for large amounts of commercial coffee beans that you usually buy in your local grocery store.
Types of Decaf Espresso Coffee Beans
Nordstrom Decaf Blend
Nordstrom is mostly known not for their coffee. However, their decaf espresso is absolutely great and for sure worth mentioning.
The first important thing about it is that it is a dark-roast coffee. You may think that it means that this coffee is really bitter but believe us, it is not the case.
These beans may have slightly different aroma from one package to another, but the flavor always has the notes of almond and vanilla. They are very light, but still pretty noticeable. Also, there is a rich flavor of dark chocolate. It is absolutely amazing and even remains hot chocolate somehow.
One other great thing about this coffee is its consistency. It is known for its creamy and really smooth texture. There are lots of reviews that pay special attention exactly to this thing.
Also, this coffee has a rather low acidity level, so it is great for people who cannot drink coffee because of stomach irritation but still, it is better not to drink too much as the coffee still has some acidity. Some people find it hard to drink coffee as their bodies cannot deal with caffeine and acidity at the same time. It is not the issue for this coffee as it is decaf and it can be easier for your body just to deal with some acidity instead of trying to process it together with caffeine.
The only problem with this coffee is that it is quite expensive. If you are going to drink it regularly, be ready to spend quite a lot of money.
No Fun Jo
No Fun No is for sure an amazing option for people who look for decaf espresso. The company offers only one decaf espresso, but you can buy it as already pre-ground coffee or whole beans. Moreover, the company has a variety of package sizes, so you can buy just a little to give it a try or get a big package that will last long.
This coffee is absolutely perfect for people who prefer it when their coffee is sweet. While having amazing blueberry and white chocolate taste, this coffee contains no artificial flavors or toxins.
Moreover, it is a middle-roast coffee, so you don’t need to worry; it can be bitter. You can be sure that the taste of your coffee will always be perfect.
The price is rather good as the cost of one ounce is around $1 and it can be even less if you buy bigger packages. Believe us, it is a great price, especially when you can enjoy excellent decaf espresso with amazing taste.
Koffee Kult Colombian Decaf
Koffee Kult is known for its desire to conquer various coffee challenges. When it comes to decaf espresso, they did their best to prove that even decaf coffee can have a rich flavor. Believe us, they did a great job as their decaf espresso tastes really good and it is one of the world’s best decaf coffee.
As well as the previous two options, this coffee has a pretty sweet taste with rich notes of chocolate and a syrupy finish. We are sure that you will enjoy it and will not forget this amazing taste for a long time.
The coffee has its amazing taste due to medium roast, so it is pretty light and flavored with just a small hint of bitterness. It is achieved due to the roasting and processing of coffee beans.
The brand offers a variety of packages, including whole bean and ground coffee options. The price is rather good and this coffee is for sure worth a try.
How to Brew Decaf Espresso
When it comes to brewing espresso at home, most people compare it with chasing the rainbow.
If you tried espresso in different cafes and coffee shops, you know that even experienced professionals can make it wrong.
Step 1 – Making the best coffee choice
When it comes to choosing the best coffee for your espresso, it is better to give preference to blends specifically created for this brewing method. Also, it is better to choose dark roast, but if it is too bitter for you, the middle roast can be a great alternative.
Do not forget to pay attention to the taste. For example, Colombian coffee is known for its nutty chocolate taste, while Ethiopian coffee varieties and Costa-Rican beans have floral and fruity notes. However, the best option for espresso is, for sure Guatemalan coffee.
Step 2 – Brew ratio
The best brewing ratio for espresso is 1:2. It means that for a regular shot of espresso that is 36g, you need 18g of ground coffee.
The perfect brewing time is about 25 seconds; it’s if we try to say the exact time. However, in general, it should be more than 20 seconds and less than 30.
Step 3 – Brew temperature
Brewing temperature significantly depends on your espresso machine, but according to a common standard, it should be 93 degrees Celsius.
We brew at 93 deg. However, these things are very much subjective and dependent on the machine or your classic espresso coffee maker. By the way, if you want to know how to get rid of limescale from your Cuisinart machine or espresso maker, we have a solution for you.
Step 4 – Make the brew richer
If you want to have an intense, rich brew, the best solution is to tighten the grind up and use thick, gloopy poor. Just keep in mind that it may reduce subtle flavor notes that make your coffee bright.
If you want, on the contrary, to make your coffee brighter, you need to pour a longer espresso.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
There are lots of things that influence the price of your coffee. Quality is only one of them. High-quality coffee for sure isn’t cheap, but not every expensive coffee is really great. It means that you need to be attentive when choosing your decaf espresso. Read everything on the package attentively before making your final choice.
Do’s And Don’ts With Decaf Espresso
- Choose coffee beans instead of pre-ground coffee.
- Keep your coffee in a properly sealed container designed for coffee storage to keep it fresh.
- Read the information on the package, including the decaffeination method, carefully.
- Use clean water to brew your decaf espresso.
- Use special equipment to brew your coffee.
- Never keep your coffee where sunlight can damage it.
- Do not use too hot or cold water to brew your decaf espresso.
- Avoid using regular blends; give preference to espresso blends.
- Never keep your decaf espresso in places with high moisture.
FAQ About Decaf Espresso
How much caffeine is in decaf espresso vs regular?
As we said before, even decaf espresso contains some caffeine; however, its content is significantly lower. A regular shot of espresso contains about 63mg of caffeine, while the same-size shot of decaf espresso contains only 3mg of caffeine. As you can see, the difference is really huge.
Will decaf espresso keep me awake?
We said it before already, but the content of caffeine in decaf coffee is really low. It means that it can hardly impact your sleep. According to the studies, less than 5mg of caffeine per cup cannot make you stay up. However, you still need to have some limits as caffeine is not the only element in your coffee that keeps you awake.
Is decaf espresso bad for you?
Decaffeinated espresso is often known as decaf and it is very similar to a regular espresso. The only difference is that decaf espresso contains much less caffeine than the regular one. According to different researches, there is no proof that decaf espresso can have a bad effect on your health. On the contrary, it is a proven fact that it has a bunch of benefits.
Are the chemicals used to decaffeinate coffee harmful?
Coffee experts claim that liquid carbon dioxide and Swiss Water methods do not have any health risks as there are no chemicals that may have an impact on your body. However, when it comes to solvent methods, they are rather controversial, especially when it involves methylene chloride. This chemical may cause irritation, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Is decaf coffee okay for anxiety?
Due to the fact decaf espresso contains less caffeine, it means that there are fewer issues with sleep and anxiety. Moreover, it has lots of benefits and perfect for people with conditions related to sleep, anxiety, and other similar problems.
Decaf espresso is not a myth. Moreover, it is a great alternative for people who cannot drink regular coffee but still cannot imagine their lives with this amazing drink.
The caffeine content there is significantly less than in regular espresso, while the taste of the drink is the same and absolutely great.
Now, you know everything about decaf espresso and can choose the perfect beans and brew an excellent cup of decaf espresso.
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