Natural Decaf – Sparkling Water
We recently undertook a new endeavor to decaffeinate some of our blends.. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? Right? Well we did it so we can learn the process and make more coffee’s available. The biggest issue we came across while figuring out the “science” behind this, is that most coffee companies use chemicals to extract the caffeine from the beans prior to roasting. These chemicals being Methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. Both can be extremely harmful to humans when used incorrectly.
We certainly weren’t going to use chemicals that can strip paint to extract the caffeine as other companies do, so we looked deeper into how caffeine reacts to natural substances. Luckily we came across an old method that is not only natural, its kind of fun and extremely easy. Sparkling water.
Sparkling water is made using dissolved carbon dioxide in water. Caffeine as it turns out is extremely attracted to carbon dioxide and in general carbon atoms.
In order to get to the caffeine however, you have to “open” up the bean without harming it. We figured out this process when making our enzyme beans. Steaming or soaking beans in varied temperatures iterates different outcomes to the roast, so we soak the beans in a lukewarm medium. Then we simply make our own sparkling water using nothing other than our soda stream and add it to the medium.
This process is repeated until as much of the caffeine is pulled out as possible. As a standard, decaf coffee is coffee that contains less than 20mg of caffeine in an 8oz cup.
Making an all natural cup of decaf coffee to us is all a part of the journey!