A good source of antioxidants is in coffee. Our custom roasted organic decaffeinated coffee beans are of Arabica varieties. Our organic decaffeinated coffee beans are decaffeinated by a chemical-free water process. This is the preferred decaffeinating method. The water process is sometimes referred to as the Swiss-Water process. The Swiss water process removes caffeine but not the natural antioxidants in coffee beans without the use of solvents or chemicals.
The Decaffeinating Process in a nutshell
There are several ways to decaffeinate coffee. Most start with soaking the raw green coffee beans in water to remove the caffeine. The most common methods of extracting caffeine use a chemical solvent. The beans are soaked to loosen caffeine and other coffee solids. The caffeine is removed from the water the beans were soaking in. After the caffeine is extracted from the water, the coffee beans are re-soaked. The coffee beans in the now decaffeinated water can reabsorb the flavor compounds that were removed in the initial extraction.
Swiss Water Process
Using the Swiss Water Process, green coffee beans are soaked in hot water to allow removal of caffeine and compounds which are responsible for the flavor of the coffee. The very first batch of coffee beans are discarded, the caffeine is stripped from the water using activated carbon filters. This remaining water is saturated with the coffee flavor compounds and is used to soak a new batch of raw, green (unroasted) coffee beans.
Now you have water that is not caffeinated pulling the caffeine out of the beans. The water decaffeinates coffee because the beans are saturated with all components soluble in water other than caffeine. Therefore, only the caffeine in the bean is allowed to escape whereas the rest of the compounds are in equilibrium. Again, the caffeine will be extracted from the water.
Chemicals typically used
Traditional chemicals that used to decaffeinate coffee are Methylene Chloride (MC) or Ethyl Acetate. Both have a low boiling point. Benzene was one of the first chemical used in the traditional method but was abandoned, because it was found not to be healthy for people. At Nectar of Life Coffee Company, we don’t want to ruin an organic decaffeinated coffee by using strong chemicals.
Ethyl Acetate naturally occurs in fruits and because of that people will call this process “natural.” Likewise, people will argue that the chemicals are not directly on the beans, so they say it is not a problem. However, the chemicals are in the water that the beans are re-soaked in. My personal theory is if we can pull caffeine and coffee solids from a bean and then have the bean reabsorb coffee flavors back into the bean, wouldn’t chemicals in the water also be able to enter the bean. At least in small trace amounts.
At Nectar of Life Coffee Company, we would always want you to choose the natural Swiss water process for your organic decaffeinated coffee, because we know you don’t want artificial chemicals in your organic coffee, even if you have to pay a little more.
Like our naturally caffeinated organic coffee, our custom-roasted swiss water process organic decaffeinated coffee is shade grown under a canopy of native shade trees. Beans are depulped and washed using the pure water from the Andes glacier-melt. Our organic coffee beans are hand selected by food graders; “Palliris”, after having been sun-dried on wooden tables. The decaffeination process is done before the raw green beans are roasted.
People often complain about the flavor or taste of decaf. That is what is wonderful about our process decaf. Nectar of Life Coffee Company organic decaffeinated coffee is that it tastes great. People have tried organic decaffeinated coffee to see for themselves if they like it and immediately order more. Our coffee roaster signs and dates each bag of coffee because it is something to be proud of. Our organic decaffeinated coffee is certified USDA Organic, Bird Friendly and Fair trade. There are more reasons to include organic coffee in your daily routine. I am so excited that there is now scientific evidence to what I always knew in my heart. Don’t undo the positive effects of coffee by drinking non-organic or chemically altered coffee beans.