Decaf coffee is rapidly rising in popularity. As a result, the selection of decaf coffee beans is wider than it has ever been before. However, the wide range of options can make it difficult for you to determine which one is the best decaf coffee bean available.
Moreover, in order to know what is the best decaf coffee bean, it’s important to know what it is exactly and how it differs from regular coffee beans. If you are interested in learning more about this information, then you have come to the right page. In this article, we will share the best decaf coffee in 2022 and everything you need to know about this type of coffee.
The Best Decaf Coffee Bean of 2022
Halcyon decaf coffee will satisfy your coffee craving without the negative side effects of caffeine. It is made with high-quality pure Arabica beans. These beans undergo a CO2 decaffeination process that removes 99.9% of its caffeine content.
Where is it From?
The beans used for this decaf coffee are from Las Terrazas. This is situated in a valley region of Huehuetenango. The valley in the region protects the farms against extreme weather conditions and creates an environment with a stable microclimate, making it an ideal place to grow top-quality coffee beans.
It is perfectly medium roasted to give it just the right amount of coffee taste and depth of flavor without necessarily being too strong. As a result, it has a well-balanced, clean-tasting flavor with a smooth body. You’ll also taste hints of pear, golden syrup, and chocolate, making it extra tasty.
Furthermore, you will be relieved to know that this particular decaf coffee undergoes regular testing. This way, pesticides, mycotoxins, and molds are significantly avoided, so you are ensured to get a high-quality and safe product.
What makes these coffee beans even better is that they are packaged using recyclable packing, making them extremely eco-friendly when compared to others. We also have a large bag size option for you. You can choose between 250 grams and a 1-kilo bag.
You can select how you want to grind it for your coffee preparation of choice. Whether you want the beans to be perfect for Espresso, French Press, or an Aeropress, you will get exactly what you need.
How to Buy Halcyon Decaf Coffee
Suppose you are interested in buying Halcyon Decaf Coffee. In that case, you will be glad to know that you can buy it for a very affordable price. You can also benefit from a Decaf Coffee Subscription with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
There are various methods used in decaffeinating coffee beans. These take place before roasting and may use solvents such as supercritical CO2, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, or water to remove caffeine from the beans while still leaving the desirable coffee flavors as close as possible to their original taste.
With this in mind, here are the different methods of decaffeination for coffee beans:
- Organic Solvent Process
The Organic Solvent Process is the oldest known decaffeination process. There are two types of methods used for this process; direct method and indirect method.
The first decaffeination process released for commercial use was invented by Ludwig Roselius, who is a German merchant and his coworkers. In 1913, Ludwig got the idea of decaffeinating coffee after he noticed that a coffee bean freight coffee bean was soaked accidentally with seawater. These beans lost most of their caffeine content without diminishing the coffee flavor.
In 1906, the direct organic solvent process of decaffeinating coffee was patented. The process involved steaming the coffee beans using various bases and acid then adding benzene as a solvent to strip away its caffeine content.
The direct organic solvent method continued to dominate the decaf coffee industry. However, health concerns relating to benzene were raised later on. Today, benzene is considered to be a carcinogen which is why commercial processes nowadays use alternative solvents such as ethyl acetate or dichloromethane.
The process used in this method is still very similar to how it was back in the day. Here are the general steps involved in the process:
- The green coffee beans are first steamed.
- After steaming the beans, it rinsed thoroughly using the solvent of choice. This is the step that removes the caffeine from the bean.
- Repeat steps #1 and #2 8 to 12 times or until the standard is met.
According to the US standard, 97% of the caffeine must be removed for it to qualify as decaf coffee. Meanwhile, in Europe, 99.9% of the caffeine content must be removed to be considered decaf.
The coffee that was decaffeinated this way was sold as Kaffee HAG. The name of that coffee was derived from the coffee trading company Kaffee Handels-Aktien-Gesellschaft, also known in France as Cafe Sanka. This company was later on known as Sanka in the US. Today, Sanka is a worldwide brand under Kraft Food.
The second version of the method invented by Roselius was the indirect organic solvent method. This is also known as the water process since it mostly uses water. It first emerged in 1941, and since then, more people have focused on making the process more natural by finding other ways of removing caffeine from the water without using an organic solvent.
Here, instead of directly treating the beans, it is first soaked using hot water for a few hours. This makes a potent pot of coffee. It is then removed, and the remaining water is treated using either ethyl acetate or dichloromethane to remove the caffeine in the matter.
This two-step process uses recycled water to reach an equilibrium where the water and beans have similar compositions except for their caffeine levels. With this, the only thing removed from the beans is their caffeine content but not their flavor characteristics.
- Supercritical CO2 Process
The Supercritical Carbon Dioxide process is a decaffeination method developed by food scientist Kurt Zosel from the Max Planck Institute. This proves to involve using CO2, which is heated and pressurized above its critical point to remove the caffeine content from the bean.
The general steps involved in this step are as follow:
- Green coffee beans undergo a steaming process. After that, these beans are transferred to a high-pressure vessel.
- A mixture of carbon dioxide and water is circulated around the high-pressure vessel at 65 degrees Celsius and 300 atm. CO2 is a supercritical fluid at this temperature and pressure with properties that are in between gas and liquid.
- Caffeine is stripped away from the CO2 in separate vessels using additional water.
- CO is recirculated back to the pressure vessel.
- Triglyceride Process
The triglyceride process of decaffeinating coffee involves soaking pre-roasted beans in hot water or coffee solution to add caffeine to the beans’ surface. After that, the beans are placed in another container wherein it is immersed in coffee oils extracted from coffee grounds that are left to soak.
The triglycerides found in coffee oils remove traces of caffeine after the beans are soaked in it for several hours at high temperatures. However, in the duration of this process, the flavor elements of the coffee bean remain intact. The beans and oils are then separated from each other. Once it’s separated, the beans undergo a drying process.
The caffeine from the oils is also removed so that it can be used to decaffeinate other batches of coffee beans. This is why this method is also considered a direct-contact decaffeination method.
- Swiss Water Process
Many consider the Swiss Water process as the purest method of decaffeination. This is mostly because it does not use organic solvent, but instead, only water is used. This technique first emerged in Switzerland in 1933 hence its name. In 1980, it was commercialized by Coffex S.A.
The Swiss Water process uses Green Coffee Extract, also known as GCE, as its main caffeine extraction mechanism. GCE is a solution that contains water-soluble components of green coffee minus caffeine. This is achieved after soaking green coffee in hot water. This is then filtered through with the use of an activated charcoal filter to separate the caffeine molecules.
After that, fresh beans with caffeine and other components are added to the GCE solution. In this step, a gradient pressure is formed because of the green coffee and GCE, which cause the molecules from the fresh coffee to transfer into the GCE. Only caffeine molecules transfer to the GCE solution because the GCE is saturated with water-soluble components of the green coffee.
Next, the GCE solution that is now rich in caffeine is passed through the activated carbon filters once again. This is to remove the caffeine. These processes are repeated 8 to 10 times to achieve the final decaffeination target.
Decaf Coffee Caffeine Content
Commercial decaf coffee manufacturers are required to test their newly decaffeinated coffee beans. This is done to ensure that its caffeine content is relatively low.
Under the US standard, decaf coffee must be 97% decaffeinated. To test this, many companies use high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). However, this process of measuring the amount of caffeine remaining in the coffee bean is quite expensive. This is why as an alternative, some companies use near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR).
HPLC is more accurate than NIR, but the latter is the more cost-effective and faster method which is why it is preferred. But, another way of measuring the remaining caffeine content of a coffee bean is by using ultraviolet, visible spectroscopy. This method is highly compatible with decaffeinated coffee that uses the supercritical CO2 method because the UV-VIS range cannot absorb CO2.
You have to take note that decaf is not 100% caffeine-free. This is why you have to be critical when it comes to decaf coffee that is marketing itself as caffeine-free. As long as it is still a coffee bean, it is bound to have traces of caffeine left. Even if the coffee bean is 100% caffeine-free, the chances of it using potent chemicals are high, so it might be risky to your health if you consume it for a long period.
Decaf Coffee Roasting
Decaf coffee roasting is quite challenging. Even expert roasters with years of experience under their belt have a difficult time achieving a perfectly roasted decaf coffee bean. Why is this so?
The main reason roasting decaf coffee is more difficult than regular coffee is that decaf coffee beans get dark quickly. However, what makes this tricky is that its darker color does not indicate its roast level. In fact, most decaf beans are already significantly darker than regular ones even before they are roasted.
Moreover, the snaps of the first crack in decaf beans are slightly softer. These are quite easy to miss, especially if you are not paying attention.
So how can you achieve perfectly roasted decaf coffee? Here are some tips:
- Roast Similar Regular Coffee From the Same Region
One way of knowing whether a decaf coffee bean is ready is by comparing its color change with its regular coffee bean counterparts. This will help you have a better color estimate when roasting.
- Pay Close Attention
It’s already mentioned above that the first crack in decaf beans is slightly softer than regular ones. This means that it is very easy to miss, which may break or make the quality of your roasting.
Aside from paying attention to the sound, you must also pay close attention to the smell of the beans. A sweet but vinegar-like aroma is a sign that the beans are ready. But, if you prefer a darker roast, you can let it continue roasting until you get your preferred level.
- Trial and Error
It’s difficult to perfect roasting decaf coffee on the first try. This is why you should have enough patience to succeed in the process.
Health Benefits of Decaf
One of the reasons why decaf coffee, in particular, is more popular than other coffee types is that it is believed to have plenty of health benefits. But, what are these health benefits exactly? This includes the following:
- Lower the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Regular coffee is known for its ability to mitigate multiple medical conditions such as diabetes type 2. This serious condition can significantly damage your immune systems and circulatory system.
However, many physicians recommend that their patients limit their coffee intake because of its caffeine content. In contrast, some even recommend avoiding it at all. Luckily, you can get the same benefit of decaf coffee.
- Lower Your Risk for Deadly Cardiovascular Disease
In 2019, around 18.6 million people died because of cardiovascular disease. This is a 17% increase in statistics compared to the previous decade. In the same year, over 523 million cardiovascular diseases were reported, which is a 26% increase compared to the figures from 2010. These statistics show that there is a rapid increase in people suffering from cardiovascular disease.
Excessive drinking of coffee can be attributed to increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease. This is because regular coffee contains caffeine which has stimulating effects. Given that most people nowadays drink coffee as soon as they wake up to energize themselves, the rising number of cardiovascular diseases is not surprising.
This is where decaf coffee comes in. Although decaf coffee is not 100% free from caffeine, it has significantly lesser caffeine content. This is why a recent study has associated decaf in lowering the risk for acquiring cardiovascular diseases.
- Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential substances that protect your cells against free radicals. Suppose you are not familiar with free radicals. In that case, these are contributing factors as to why a person develops serious conditions such as cancer, heart diseases, and other medical issues.
Regular coffee is also rich in antioxidants. But then again, it has high caffeine content, which makes it less desirable. The good thing is that this is not an issue for decaf coffee since it contains almost the same levels of antioxidants but with lesser caffeine content.
With the right decaffeination process, coffee beans can retain their antioxidants. You can be comforted knowing that not only are you drinking a delicious beverage, but you are also getting rid of your body’s free radicals.
- Help Lessen Anxiety and Improve Sleep
People nowadays are suffering from a lot of anxiety because of their busy lives. As a result, it can significantly affect their quality of sleep. At the same time, many people also depend on coffee to help them get through the day despite not having enough or proper sleep.
Unfortunately, although regular coffee does indeed help you stay awake, it can impact your ability to get proper sleep. The amount of caffeine it has makes your body alert. This is why you have a “hyper” feeling after a cup of coffee that keeps you going.
Not having enough sleep is quite dangerous. It prevents your body from regenerating damaged cells. Long-term bad sleeping habits can also result in serious conditions and reduced immune system health.
However, these are not issues for decaf coffee because it has little to no caffeine content. This means that it does not contain a powerful stimulant that can wreck your sleeping habits.
Moreover, the lack of caffeine content in decaf coffee can also help it reduce signs of anxiety. This is why it is recommended for those suffering from anxiety disorder who cannot let go of their coffee habits.
- Less Acidity
Do you know why most coffee is combined with milk? Improving the taste and making it more creamy are only some of the reasons behind this practice. But did you know that people are also doing this because they want to lessen the acidity in coffee?
Coffee is acidic, mostly based on how they are roasted. Lighter coffee beans have higher chlorogenic acid levels. On the other hand, coffee beans that were roasted for a longer period over a hotter temperature tend to be less acidic.
The acid content of coffee is one of the factors why it has uncomfortable side effects. Some of these side effects include heartburn and acid reflux.
Decaf has significantly lower acid content than regular coffee because of its decaffeination process. This is why if you are prone to experiencing heartburn or acid reflux, you should totally switch your morning coffee to decaf to feel more comfortable.
- Lower the Risk for Neurodegenerative Disease
Another excellent benefit of decaf coffee is that it helps slow down the signs of aging. According to a study, decaf coffee shows signs of protecting brain neurons. This could help lessen the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The Disadvantage of Decaf Coffee
Like other things in the world, decaf coffee also comes with its fair share of downsides. These are the top disadvantage of decaf coffee that you should know about:
- It Might Contain Dangerous Chemicals
During the decaffeination process, chemicals such as solvents are used to strip away the caffeine content in the bean. Some of the chemicals used in the process are similar ingredients in nail polish remover and paint thinner.
These chemicals, Methylene Chloride, are approved by the FDA to be used for the decaffeination process. However, they still have some health risks since it is not a mild chemical. It can mostly affect your nervous system.
Moreover, Methylene Chloride is a mutagen. This means that it has the potential to become a human carcinogen.
- It Can Increase Your Cholesterol Levels
The beans selected for decaffeination have higher fat content than regular ones. The coffee bean mostly used for decaf coffee is Robusta which contains diptenes. These are facts that stimulate the production of fatty acids in the body. This can affect your cholesterol content later on as well as your heart health.
- Health Drawback
Even if decaf coffee undergoes the process of decaffeination, it still contains traces of caffeine. This is why if you are quitting coffee because of health reasons, then switching to decaf won’t completely do the trick. On top of that, even if it has less acid content, it can still increase your serum gastrin concentrations, eventually triggering acidity.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether you are consuming regular coffee or decaf, it is important to drink it in moderation. Excessive amounts of coffee, no matter what kind it is, excessive amounts of coffee are bound to cause negative medical side effects.
Up to 3 cups of 5 to 8 oz. of regular coffee per day is safe. The same is suggested for decaf coffee, even if it contains less caffeine.
- You Are Not Getting the Same Benefits as Regular Coffee
Regular Coffee is not necessarily evil. It has a wide range of health benefits, and it can help improve your mood with the right amount of consumption.
However, since decaf coffee undergoes an intensive decaffeination process, the natural health benefits of a coffee bean are stripped and mellowed down. It also makes it a highly processed food item.
Decaf Coffee Myths
Over the years, decaf coffee has gained a bad reputation because of the assumptions surrounding them. However, most of these assumptions are far from the truth, while others are not true. Here are some of the untrue myths about decaf coffee.
- It Tastes Bad
In the past, a lot of people thought that decaf coffee was a watered-down version of regular coffee. This might be true at some point because even if the decaffeination methods in the past tried to preserve the flavor characteristics of the coffee bean, it was difficult to do so because of the lack of technology and tools.
Besides, roasting decaf is more challenging than roasting regular coffee. This is why the taste of it can be significantly affected.
However, decaf coffee nowadays can taste amazing thanks to more precise decaffeination methods. Plus, more high-quality coffee beans are produced worldwide thanks to the careful development and growing of these crops. As a result, consumers have better quality beans that are more delicious to choose from, so your decaf coffee won’t necessarily taste bad.
- Special Beans are Used
If you think that genetically modified franken-beans are specifically hand-picked for decaf, then you are wrong. This is because any type of green bean can be decaffeinated. This is why if you want high-quality decaf coffee, it’s only natural for you to use high-quality beans as well.
- Decaffeinated and Caffeine-free Coffees are One and the Same
Decaffeinated and caffeine-free coffee is not the same at all. As suggested, decaffeinated coffee has lower caffeine content, but there are still traces of this. This type of coffee becomes decaf after undergoing decaffeination.
- Decaf Coffee Will Help You Lose Weight
There are some pieces of evidence hinting that regular coffee can slightly help boost weight-loss effort or help maintain weight. However, this is mostly associated with its caffeine content. Since decaf has only a tiny amount of caffeine, it does not offer this type of benefit. Besides, these claims still require further studies, so the verdict is still out for it.
- Decaf Coffee Contain Harmful Chemical
The original method of decaffeinating coffee involves the use of benzene as a solvent. Unfortunately, over time, benzene has been proven to be a carcinogen which increases the user’s risk for cancer.
Although other chemicals are FDA-approved for decaffeination, many people are still hesitant about their potency and potential side effects. This is mostly why decaf coffee is associated with harmful chemicals.
However, decaffeination experts made a lot of efforts to find methods that do not rely on chemical solvents. They have successfully done that through the water decaffeination method. Even if it is more labor-intensive, it does not use synthetic chemicals, making it much safer.
Decaf Coffee Beans Summary
There are various decaffeination processes to choose from. But, one thing is for sure, each of these processes takes hard work and precision to achieve the desired level of decaffeination. It is something that takes years of practice to master, which is why it is only reasonable that the price of decaf coffee beans is more expensive than regular ones, especially if it is decaffeinated using the Swiss water method since it is more labor-intensive.
However, it is also undeniable that there are benefits of decaf coffee that are worth considering. You will get some of the health benefits of coffee and its delicious flavor without feeling jittery and hyper due to its caffeine content. But then again, you should only drink decaf coffee in moderation. Even if it’s decaf, drinking excessive amounts of coffee is bound to have harmful side effects on your body.
So, there you have it; check out Halcyon Decaf Coffee, the best coffee in 2022. Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of decaf coffee and what it is all about.