After any big family meal at my Grandmother’s house we would always take an hour or two digestion break, until the desserts were broken out. In that time my Grandmother and Aunts would bustle around the kitchen, cleaning up the remains of dinner, putting the finishing dollops of whip cream on the pies, and pulling out the percolator to brew some strong decaf coffee.
All the adults would enjoy cup after cup of the coffee between bites of pumpkin pie and long stories. The perfect after dinner drink, I learned.
Some people won’t even sniff decaf coffee and laugh at the thought of consuming a cup just for the taste. As I mentioned in my last post coffee is most definitely a tool to get me out of bed in the morning, but after my one necessary cup I can be sensitive to too much more caffeine. Decaf coffee still contains around 2% of the caffeine content but it’s a pretty great option for an after dinner drink or for when you feel like enjoying a second cup without the jitters.
There are different ways to decaffeinate coffee beans, some healthier than others. Some of the most common ones are…
Direct Method- The green coffee beans are first steamed and then soaked in a synthetic solvent called dichloromethane. They are then steamed again after to remove most of the solvent, but inevitably some of this chemical remains on the beans. Not the healthiest way to extract the caffeine, but unfortunately the most common.
CO2 Process- The coffee beans are soaked and then immersed in pressurised chamber filled with CO2 which soaks up the caffeine. The CO2 then is evaporated and your left with decaffeinated. This method avoids harmful chemicals and is more of a natural process.
Swiss Water Method- The coffee is soaked in water that is saturated with all the desirable components of coffee that are often lost in the decaffeination process. The caffeine is extracted from the beans into the water, and is removed through a filtration process, and then the same process is repeated until the beans are nearly 99% free of caffeine. This is the most natural method of filtration and leaves the beans with mostly the same taste and aroma as caffeinated coffee.
You can ask your local coffee shops or read labels to see how the decaf coffee is produced.
Lately I’ve been enjoying this instant decaf coffee which is processed with CO2. With a little of my paleo creamer, it’s a great afternoon pick me up without keeping me up late into the night. And at night? Perfect with a