Curious about decaf? Read on for the inside scoop.
The first commercialised decaf beans were invented in 1903 by German merchant Ludwig Roselius. He came across the process accidentally when a shipment of coffee became waterlogged at sea- amazingly losing its caffeine while retaining the flavour.
He refined this method by using benzene as a solvent (which, being a known human carcinogen, is no longer used to produce decaf coffee!)
These days, there are a few ways in which our coffee beans are decaffeinated. It's always done at the green bean stage, as this is the most effective way to keep them tasting, well, like coffee.
The Swiss Water method involves soaking the coffee in a caffeine reduced water and green coffee extract solution. This draws out the caffeine into the solution. Activated charcoal is used on the now caffeine-rich water to absorb the caffeine, so it can be used on a fresh batch of green coffee beans.
This method is classed as organic and typically removes around 94-96 percent of caffeine.
Another method is the direct solvent method. Methylene chloride or ethyl acetate extract the caffeine from the green coffee beans. Although Methylene chloride has been given the all-clear from food authorities, it's other uses include paint stripping and degreasing. Ethyl acetate, however, is derived from fruit and classes as organic.
It may come as a surprise to find out that no decaffeination method will remove 100 percent of caffeine.
People with caffeine sensitivities often do well to stay away and opt for herbal teas instead, or maybe Wild Timor's iconic ruby and golden latte options.
We'll stick to our classic Wild Timor Coffee beans for now.