Coffee enjoyment without any - caffeine-free coffee

Written by: Smilla H.



Time to read 8 min

The coffee in the morning. For many people it is the essential start to the day. The main reason for this morning ritual? The invigorating effect of caffeine in coffee. But what about those who love the taste of coffee but want to avoid the stimulating caffeine kick? This is where decaffeinated coffee comes into play.

Healthy, unhealthy, doesn't taste good, or does it? The discussion about decaffeinated coffee is polarizing.

Hardly any topic divides coffee lovers into different (and decisive) camps as quickly as decaffeinated coffee. Fake coffee that doesn't taste good. Best suited for seniors, people with heart disease, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers. Caffeine-free coffee is unhealthy and full of chemicals. Have we forgotten anything else? The list of prejudices is long. In contrast, there are quite a few coffee connoisseurs who swear by caffeine-free coffee and point out its health benefits. Some people - like others avoid alcohol - avoid caffeinated coffee at least once a year in order to detoxify. So what's the deal with decaf? Are any of the prejudices true? And can decaffeinated coffee taste good?

What exactly is decaffeinated coffee?

Forget everything you've heard about decaffeinated coffee. It is by no means inferior, tasteless or a canned version of instant coffee. Much of the prejudice against decaffeinated coffee dates back to the 1970s. Today, decaffeinated coffee competes with the best coffee beans in the world.

The history of caffeine dates back to the 19th century, when German scientist Runge first discovered it. Interestingly, the coffee beans he used for his analyzes came from none other than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Yes, exactly, the famous poet and writer! However, caffeine is not only found in coffee. It also hides in other drinks and foods, especially tea and chocolate. No, we are not talking about the famous Scho-Ka-Kola.

But first, let's serve up the facts: It starts with the fact that there is no completely decaffeinated coffee. Decaffeinated coffee is made from regular coffee beans from which most of the caffeine is removed using a special process. However, no decaffeinated coffee is truly 100% caffeine-free. EU regulations state that decaffeinated coffee must contain less than 0.3% caffeine, similar to non-alcoholic beer.

It is important to note that decaffeination of coffee occurs before roasting. Because this process takes place in the raw state, most of the delicious coffee taste is retained. Innovative roasters that specialize in caffeine-free coffee make it difficult for you to tell the difference to normal coffee.

The history of decaffeinated coffee

The idea of ​​decaffeinating coffee originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. And purely by chance.

1903 in the coffee city of Bremen: The recently deceased merchant and coffee importer Dietrich Roselius was known for his excessive coffee consumption, which is why his death was attributed to caffeine.

His son Ludwig then really wanted to find a way to enjoy caffeine-free coffee. One day Roselius received coffee beans that had come into contact with salt water. He noticed that these beans contained significantly less caffeine. And the best part: the taste of the coffee was almost identical. Roselius realized that caffeine is soluble. Soaking the beans in water and other solutions effectively reduced the caffeine content of the coffee.

In 1905, Roselius brought his groundbreaking discovery to the German market under the name “Kaffee HAG”. He later expanded his business so that people all over Europe could enjoy decaffeinated coffee. This discovery revolutionized the world of coffee consumption and paved the way for the production of decaffeinated coffee as we know it today. But how is decaffeinated coffee actually made?

Decaffeinated coffee - modern production methods

Decaffeination of coffee usually occurs before the beans are roasted. There are different methods of decaffeination, some more natural, some less natural. They all have the same goal: to remove the caffeine while largely preserving the taste and aroma of the coffee.

One of the most common methods is to use solvents such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. The coffee beans are immersed in water, and then the solvent is added to extract the caffeine. This process is particularly efficient, but leaves behind small traces of the solvent.

A more natural method is the so-called Swiss Water method. Here the beans are only treated with water. Through natural osmosis, the caffeine molecules migrate from the beans into the water. This process is repeated until the coffee is almost caffeine-free. The Swiss Water method therefore leaves no chemical residue.

Another method that is gaining popularity is the carbon dioxide method. The beans are soaked in liquid carbon dioxide, which extracts the caffeine. This method is particularly gentle and does not leave any harmful chemical residues.

The CO₂ process at a glance: During carbon dioxide decaffeination, the green coffee beans are immersed in CO₂, which extracts the caffeine. The caffeine is then removed using activated carbon filters. Activated charcoal, sounds unhealthy? But it is not! You can also find activated carbon in black burger buns, for example. The procedure is therefore absolutely harmless to health.

Decaffeinated coffee straight from the coffee tree

By the way, there is active work in the world of food science to develop coffee beans that are naturally caffeine-free. One of these beans from Brazil has the protected brand name "Decaffito" and is based on a type of coffee called Coffea charrieriana, which does not naturally contain caffeine.

The scientists are setting themselves ambitious goals and are trying to transfer the caffeine-free gene of this special bean to other coffee plants. This is an innovative development that could change the future of coffee consumption.

Decaffeinated coffee - the benefits

Caffeine, that natural pick-me-up, can be a blessing for many people. It keeps us awake during long exam cramming sessions and supports those who have to pull night shifts to make a living.

Despite its benefits, caffeine also has its downsides. Many people are sensitive to this. You struggle with problems falling asleep, an increase in blood pressure or nervousness after drinking caffeinated drinks.

If you're in this sensitive group, decaffeinated coffee can be a fantastic alternative, allowing you to still experience the pleasure of a morning espresso without the unpleasant side effects of caffeine.

Another benefit of decaffeinated coffee is the prevention of possible digestive problems. For some people, caffeine can disrupt digestion and cause stomach pain. So if you often complain of stomach upset after drinking coffee, decaffeinated coffee could be the solution to this problem.

Sensitivity to caffeine : Some people are sensitive to caffeine and experience symptoms such as nervousness, trouble sleeping, and palpitations after consuming regular coffee.

Health reasons for decaf coffee : People with certain health problems, such as high blood pressure or stomach problems, may benefit from decaf coffee because it can be less stressful.

Decaffeinated coffee in pregnancy : Pregnant women should limit their caffeine consumption as excessive caffeine can affect the unborn child. Decaf offers a great alternative for coffee lovers during pregnancy.

Enjoy coffee, even without caffeine : Some people just love the taste of coffee, but don't want to feel the stimulating effects of caffeine. For them, decaf is the perfect solution.

But at the end of the day, every body is different. If you notice that your body reacts unpleasantly after drinking three double espressos, listen to it and switch to decaffeinated coffee in the afternoon.

Can't enjoy coffee with decaffeinated coffee? Not the bean!

Not decaf is out. More likely those of us who still claim decaffeinated coffee is gross. In recent years in particular, scientists have discovered many positive effects of coffee on our health. Coffee without caffeine has exactly the same properties! In addition, it is more tolerable for people who suffer from one of our biggest illnesses: stress. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease Diseases to die and is better for people with a sensitive stomach. And one reason is ultimately quite mundane: real coffee lovers like to drink a delicious cup of coffee in the evening. And you still want to sleep well!

Discover caffeine-free coffee from Europe's best roasters

You could say that buying decaffeinated coffee is a sign of a true coffee lover. Here, people drink coffee just for the taste. That's exactly why every cup of decaffeinated coffee you buy should be special. That's why we only work with the best roasters. To ensure that when you buy decaf coffee you get the cup you deserve.

That depends entirely on your taste. At 60beans, we work with the best coffee roasters to find the tastiest decaffeinated coffee for you. In addition to their classic range, most of our roasters also produce caffeine-free alternatives. Just try it out until you find exactly the right one!

We also work with the specialty roasting company Ohne, which specializes exclusively in decaffeinated coffee. Flo, a passionate foodie, has perfected the art of decaf coffee with Ohne. Of course, you can also choose between roasts for espresso and filters. So you can enjoy cup after cup. Without getting jittery. So go ahead, try a cup of decaffeinated coffee from Europe's best roasters today.

FAQ decaffeinated coffee

What is decaffeinated coffee?

Decaffeinated coffee, often referred to as "Decaf," is coffee that has had most of the caffeine removed. EU guidelines require that decaffeinated coffee must contain less than 0.3% caffeine. Nevertheless, it is not instant coffee and can compete with high-quality coffee beans in terms of taste.

What does caffeine actually do to the body?

Caffeine has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system and increases alertness and attention. It increases blood pressure and accelerates heartbeat.

How is decaffeinated coffee made?

Decaffeination usually occurs before the coffee beans are roasted. Various methods are used, including the use of solvents such as methylene chloride or more natural methods such as the Swiss water method or the carbon dioxide method.

Why is there no 100% caffeine-free coffee?

According to EU regulations, decaffeinated coffee can contain up to 0.3% caffeine, similar to non-alcoholic beer. This small amount of caffeine is usually left over after decaffeination.

What are reasons for consuming decaffeinated coffee?

There are various reasons to drink decaffeinated coffee, including caffeine sensitivity, health concerns such as high blood pressure, pregnancy, and wanting to enjoy the taste of coffee without the caffeine.

Where can I find high-quality and delicious caffeine-free coffee?

High-quality decaffeinated coffee is available from many coffee roasters. There are specialized roasters that focus exclusively on decaffeinated coffee. The choice depends on your personal taste, and you can try different roasts and varieties to find your favorite.

Should you avoid caffeine altogether during pregnancy?

It is usually not necessary to completely avoid caffeine. However, it is important to reduce consumption and not exceed the recommended upper limit of 200 to 300 milligrams per day. An occasional espresso or cup of coffee is generally safe as long as it stays within these limits. However, the decision should be made in consultation with a doctor.