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BaristaGuru - Key Facts about Decaffeination

Decaffeination Methods

Although caffeine is water soluble above 175 F, water alone is generally not used to decaffeinate coffee because it strips away too many of the essential flavor and aroma elements. Decaffeination usually involves the use of a solution containing water and coffee flavor elements, plus a decaffeinating agent.

There are basically two methods of decaffeination: direct and indirect contact. In the first the beans come directly in contact with the decaffeinating agents, after being softened by steam.

In the latter method, a water/coffee solution is normally used to draw off the caffeine; after being separated from the beans, the solution containing the caffeine is then treated with a decaffeinating agent.

In both methods, the agent is removed from the final product.

Now let's take a look at the agents that are used in decaffeination.

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