After water and oil, coffee is the next most frequently bought liquid globally. Each year, more than 400 billion cups are sold and consumed worldwide. Around 19 million Australians are regular coffee drinkers, 75% of the population, and they drink 37 million kg of coffee each year. Many coffees ordered in Australia are takeaways, but around 45% of Aussies prefer to make their coffee at home and own an espresso machine.
The coffee industry in Australia is worth around 8 billion dollars, and it’s on the rise constantly. It’s a sector that employs more than 96,000 Australians and has 600,000 coffee trees. We consume this drink every day, with most coffees sold in the morning and around 1 pm. Regular, decaf, latte, espressos, cappuccinos, you name it, there isn’t a coffee in the world that Australians don’t like. Even though decaf was not so popular a few years ago, the past few years more and more coffee shops are bringing in new flavours and blends of decaf coffee into their business.
What Is Decaf Coffee?
Decaf, or decaffeinated coffee, is produced from coffee beans that had 97% of their caffeine removed with various methods while still green. Its nutritional value is the same as regular coffee, except for the caffeine content. It might get milder in flavour and undergo a small colour change, but this doesn’t make any difference.
People sensitive to the strong smell and bitter taste may like decaf coffee more because of its lighter properties. It’s also great for people who want to cut down their caffeine intake but still want to enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning.
Methods of Decaffeination
Decaf coffee doesn’t exist on its own. For the coffee to be decaffeinated, it goes through a series of different phases:
- Inflation – the beans are inflated by water or water vapour to distance the structure of the molecules;
- Caffeine Extraction – removing the caffeine with a solvent;
- Solvent Recovery – removing the solvent from the beans;
- Drying – humidity shouldn’t be over 11%;
- Analysis – verifying the nutrients and caffeine levels.
With this process, the coffee beans get steamed. This will allow their pores to open and absorb any chemical solvents better. Methylene and water are added when this is over, and a machine stirs them together at high speed. This way, the caffeine is out of the beans. Lastly, manufacturers add activated charcoal to absorb any leftover solvent.
This process is very similar to the previous one. The beans are steamed to open their pores, but this time they’re combined with ethyl acetate. The process is over in around 20 minutes of high-speed mixing and extraction. Again, activated charcoal is in charge of any extra chemical compounds.
Super Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
The manufacturer soaks the beans in water to make the absorption of chemicals easy, and their pores are open, and CO2 gas is added at high pressure. This way, the gas will pressure out any caffeine in the beans. This is a simple process that a lot of manufacturers use. And before packaging, activated charcoal works to remove extra chemical residue.
Decaf coffee may have a bad reputation without earning enough credit for its health benefits. You can always order delicious decaffeinated coffee online and see for yourself. It’s rich in antioxidants, just like regular coffee, mainly hydrocinnamic and polyphenols. These antioxidants help neutralise the free radicals, which leads to the prevention of diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Other than antioxidants, it’s rich in magnesium, potassium, sodium, niacin and vitamin B.
Decaf coffee is linked to reducing type 2 diabetes up to 7% and the reduction of liver enzyme levels. Together with regular coffee, decaf can have a positive effect on the age-related decline. It protects the neurons in the brain and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and Perkinson’s disease. A lot of people experience heartburn or acid reflux when drinking regular coffee. These symptoms and reactions will reduce significantly when drinking decaf. Too much caffeine can have serious side effects such as anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure; it’s better to go for the decaf option.
Who Can Drink Decaf Coffee?
Several groups of people should avoid regular coffee because of its caffeine levels. Some of them are women during their pregnancy or breastfeeding period because their baby can be affected in many ways through the milk. People with anxiety issues and cardiovascular diseases should also avoid caffeine and switch to the decaf option because it can worsen their condition.
It can also help people that are trying to lose weight. This is due to the high levels of chlorogenic acid. This substance helps your body burn fat and suppresses the release of glucose in our blood system. With a healthy diet and exercise, decaf can be of great help. If this is your goal, get some decaffeinated coffee online from the comfort of your own home, and see how it works.
People who have struggled with addiction in the past should stay away from caffeinated beverages. Also, teens should avoid coffee because their bodies are still going through the developing phase and caffeine can affect their growth. All of these groups of people should go for decaf coffee because it doesn’t negatively affect their health and condition.
To Sum Up
All things considered, decaf coffee is a much better alternative than regular coffee. It contains just 2-6mg of caffeine, compared to 80-180mg of caffeine in regular coffee. But you should still consume it moderately because it’s not 100% caffeine-free. Before buying, always be careful. Ask about the decaffeination process and avoid buying the pre-ground type to make sure it’s as fresh as possible.