How Water Process Decaf Coffee is Done

One of the questions we get asked most frequently is “how do they decaffeinate coffee”

Ever wonder how they get decaf coffee? No – coffee does not naturally grow without caffeine in it. Here’s how it’s done.
Apparently there is a tree that grows decaf naturally – it’s not very popular or cost effective. Getting the caffeine out of coffee is not a very simple thing.

When coffee is decaffeinated, the harvested and processed coffee beans are shipped to a plant that does the decaffeinating. Swiss Water is a company in Vancouver, BC does exactly this. There is also another similar company in Mexico that sells a “Mountain Water Process” decaf. Either of these are a very good methods of creating a excellent decaf coffee.

How does this work?

The basic premise for decaf coffee is this:

  • Soak the green coffee beans in water for a period of time so the beans expand and are prepared for extracting
  • Run water saturated with a coffee extract through the expanded green coffee so it extracts all of the caffeine.
  • Dry out the beans so they go back to their original size
  • Package and ship

    This process, when it’s done with water, takes a long time. Since time = money, there are some places that have used chemicals such as dichloromethane or ethyl acetate to help speed up the process. This leaves, in my opinion, a very unfortunate flavor profile.   Here’s a quick video from Swiss Water® that shows how they decaffeinate their coffees:

Click here to learn more about caffeine extraction

Swiss Water has an even more in-depth video about the scientific principles behind caffeine extraction:


Dream Maker – Decaf for Coffee Lovers

I’m surprised at the number of people who turn up their nose at decaf coffee. So many won’t drink coffee in the evening because they’re afraid of the effect and yet claim that they dislike decaf coffee. Personally, I think it’s because they haven’t had a good decaf coffee. If you are looking for a great decaf coffee, make a point of searching out a water process decaf. In our case, our Dream Maker Decaf is a great way to go. It’s full of flavor, smooth and even with no bitter flavors. Currently, the coffees that we’re using in this blend are all Swiss Water Process decaffeinated coffees. Although, from time to time, we do substitute a mountain water process decaf in the mix. If you haven’t had the joy of enjoying a good decaf coffee, stop by our roaster and we’ll be glad to brew you up a cup. If you’re ordering online, use the discount code “FreeDecaf15” and we’ll drop in a free sample bag of our Dream Maker Decaf Coffee for you to try (offer expires Dec 31, 2015).  

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