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mazingerz88's avatar

How is coffee decaffeinated?

Asked by mazingerz88 (28431points) May 21st, 2023 from iPhone

What is the process of getting rid of the caffeine in coffee? Thanks.

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3 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I presume someone will tell how the professionals do it. So, I will tell you how I do it!

Caffeine is soluble in hot water – very much like sugar. A typical cup of coffee has 100mg of caffeine. My drip coffee maker makes about 8 cups at a time and has a sneak-a-cup feature. That means there are about 800 mg of caffeine in the pot if I let it all finish draining and mix well.
But I don’t. (of course)
In the morning when I want more caffeine, I will sneak a cup when the machine has been dripping for a minute or two. That first cup has extra caffeine that has washed out. The remaining cups are therefore lower in caffeine. If I want totally decaf after the pot is empty, I pour water over the old grounds and drink that.
Presto! Decaf! And it was free!
I am not picky about flavor. I mostly want the hot water.

You can run the experiment yourself by mixing 1 gram of sugar crystals in with the coffee and tasting it as it drips out. The first cup will be much sweeter than the last.

SnipSnip's avatar

There are four ways:

Swiss water process.
Super critical carbon dioxide.
Direct solvent.
Indirect solvent.


mazingerz88's avatar

^^Thanks so much jellies! The decaf coffee in the restaurant where my friend and I had breakfast earlier tasted so badly compared to the caffeinated one.

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