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What Our Customers are Saying

"I am extremely happy with this product. I have tried many different coffee beans over the years, but this one is unbelievable! I just love it. I am truly letting you know that your coffee is Superior! "

Lori S.
Fairview Park, Ohio


Decaffeination Process

Chemists have identified several hundred chemicals in coffee. Removing caffeine without ruining the flavor balance of all the other chemicals isn't easy.

We offer nearly all of our regular coffee varieties in decaf. Our decaffeinated coffees have flavor and body so rich that even expert cuppers find it difficult to detect the difference.

So how do they do it? Caffeine is removed from the green coffee beans before they are roasted. First they are steamed, which brings most of the caffeine up to the surface, and then the caffeine is removed by washing with a solvent, which absorbs the caffeine. To be called "decaffeinated", a coffee must have more than 97 percent of its caffeine removed. Methylene chloride or ethyl acetate (an organic solvent) are typically used to remove the caffeine, while preserving the delicate oils which give coffee its aroma and flavor. Coffee is decaffeinated at decaffeination plants located primarily in Germany and Vancouver, British Columbia. There are two different decaffeination methods: direct and indirect.

The Direct Method In the direct method, the beans are first steamed or soaked in water. Then a solvent solution is mixed directly with the beans to remove the caffeine. After the beans are air dried, they are ready for roasting.

The Indirect Method In the indirect method, sometimes called the "water method", the caffeine - together with many desireable flavor and aroma components - is first extracted into water by soaking the green coffee beans. The resulting solution is drained off, and the caffeine is removed from the water using an either a solvent or a filtration process. The now caffeine-free solution, with all the remaining desireable flavor components is returned to the beans and dried on to them. The solvent itself never touches the beans, hence the name "indirect". Many processes employ this "indirect" technique. We offer quality beans that have been decaffeinated in the following ways.

Swiss Water Process In this indirect method, coffee beans are thoroughly soaked in water. The caffeine-rich water is then passed through activated charcoal filters to remove the caffeine. The decaffeinated beans are then soaked again in coffee oils and caramels to replace the rich bean flavor. Our decafs employing this method are designated "SWP" in the description.

German Water Process This indirect method extracts the caffeine differently than the Swiss process. The caffeine-rich water is drawn off and chemically treated with a solvent to remove the caffeine. The decaffeinated beans are then soaked again in coffee oils and caramels to replace the rich bean flavor. Unless specified, this is the method the majority of our decafs use.

Natural Coffee Oil Process This indirect method removes caffeine by bathing the coffee beans in natural coffee oils, which are then drawn off and decaffeinated.

Did you know? The German decaffeination process is so complete that the purified caffeine is sold to cola companies.

Since the turn of the century when a German chemist named Ludwig Roselius lost a lot of sleep over how to remove the caffeine from coffee, methylene chloride has been the solvent of choice. It dissolves other components minimally and vaporizes easily, so it's remaining traces can be driven off by heat. But in the 1980s, methylene chloride came under fire as a carcinogen. It is still used for decaffeinating, but the FDA limits its amount in the finished product to 10 parts per million. Industry sources point out that the actual trace amount is typically less than a hundredth of that.


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Price Comparison

1 cup coffee at home $0.20

1 cup of coffee at your local coffee shop
$2.50 - $4.50

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