Let’s begin by stating the obvious. Caffeine occurs in coffee beans naturally, so any method of decaffeination will involve an extra step in the manufacturing process. There are four main methods to decaffeinate coffee beans, two chemical, and two more natural. Part of the reason that it took us so long to develop Cusa’s Decaf Coffee is because we wanted to find a delicious decaffeinated bean, that was made using a natural method.
In order to decaffeinate coffee, the soluble caffeine needs to be taken out of the bean, while leaving as much of the delicious flavor intact. This can be done in several ways, but the best and most natural option (in my humble opinion) is a water-based process, as opposed to those that use chemicals methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. While these are cheaper processes in general, we don’t want to drink chemicals personally, so we would never sell you a product that had them!
So what is this water-based process?
1. GREEN COFFEE BEANS
Start with organic unroasted green beans.
2. SOAK THESE BEANS IN HOT WATER
This hot water draws out the flavor essences of the beans just the way hot water does with ground coffee in a coffee press. The water becomes flavor-saturated in coffee essences. These green beans are then discarded.
3. REMOVE THE CAFFEINE
The flavor-saturated water is then run through a carbon filter which traps and removes the caffeine molecules, but not the coffee essences.
4. IMMERSE NEW BEANS
Fresh green coffee beans are then added to the flavor-saturated water. Since this water is already saturated in coffee essences, the caffeine is drawn out while the flavor essences are preserved, resulting in a full flavored, decaffeinated bean. Water processing removes 97% of the caffeine, which is the industry standard.
5. GREAT DECAF
Free of caffeine and chemicals, but full of flavor, these beans are then dried and re-bagged for roasting.