There are still many coffee connoisseurs who don’t know about the decaffeination process in coffee; in fact, it’s not just one way. The method of decaf coffee is coffee that has almost no caffeine in it. This coffee undergoes a unique process so that the caffeine content in coffee will be reduced as much as possible.
History of Decaf Coffee
Decaf coffee was first discovered by a coffee trader from Germany named Ludwig Roselius in 1903. Roselius then started selling decaf coffee for the first time with the Kaffee label, which became famous in France. Meanwhile, for the United States, this decaf coffee has just started to be marketed under Sanka, which in French means without caffeine.
In the decaf coffee process, Ludwig Roselius initially used benzene, a chemical compound that turns out to be harmful to the health of the human body. Meanwhile, the decaf coffee process no longer uses benzene but uses a selective solvent that is safe for the human body. Then, what exactly are the types of decaf coffee processes? Here’s a full explanation for you.
1. Water Process [Switzerland]
At first, the decaf coffee process was first developed in the 1930s, although it is not widely used for now. The decaf coffee process is done by soaking green coffee beans using hot water to reduce the caffeine in the green beans.
The drawback of this decaf coffee process is that the characteristics of the coffee will also disappear along with the loss of the caffeine content in the coffee. After going through the soaking process, the remaining water will be filtered through an activated charcoal filter to remove the caffeine content in the coffee.
The leftover water from the first green bean that has been filtered is then reused to soak other green beans because the water is considered to have coffee bean extract, which will give characteristics to the coffee beans to be rewashed. The immersion will continue until the coffee you want to decaffeinate is finished, and you still use the same water.
2. Chemical Solution Process
As the name suggests, this decaf coffee process does use a chemical solvent, namely ethyl acetate, which helps remove the caffeine content in coffee beans.
The decaf coffee process will begin by steaming the coffee beans and washing them with ethyl acetate as solvent. After cooking, the green beans will be dried before roasting. After that, the coffee will be burned again to remove the solution content.
Ethyl acetate itself is a natural chemical compound commonly used for food. For this reason, the process of decaf coffee in this way is also often referred to as naturally decaffeinated.
3. Carbon Dioxide Process
The decaf coffee process is known as a process that uses subcritical carbon dioxide extraction. This is the most recent decaffeination process, which will begin by soaking the green beans in a closed steel pan filled with water.
Later, carbon dioxide will work by pumping using tremendous pressure. The carbon dioxide in the decaf coffee process will dissolve the caffeine contained in the coffee beans without affecting the taste and characteristics of the coffee beans.
Thus our brief review of 3 decaf coffee processes that you may not know about. Hopefully, it can be helpful and add to your information about the process of making coffee.