You are here

Natural Decaffeination Explained

Lovers of decaffeinated coffee drink coffee because, more than anything, they love the flavor. We feel a particular responsibility to the decaf drinker and have made it our mission to roast the best decafs on the planet.

Unfortunately, decaffeinated coffees have been relegated to secondary status by most of the world's coffee roasters, who use low-quality coffees and cheap chemical processes to create their decafs. We have always resisted this impulse, buying instead highest-quality coffees and decaffeinating them to order using all-natural decaffeination processes:

Natural CO2 Process
This process is done in only one place: the Hermsen Decaffeinating plant in Bremen, Germany. The coffee is first steamed and then subjected to carbon dioxide under pressure, which effectively removes the caffeine. The resulting coffee is 99.9 percent caffeine free and maintains a great deal of the original, sought-after aromatics and acidity, making it perfectly suited to certain fine coffees.

Mountain Water Process
Performed in Veracruz, Mexico, the Mountain Water Process uses only pure water and a proprietary charcoal filtration method to decaffeinate coffee. The result is a 99.9 percent caffeine-free coffee with a tremendous amount of sweetness and balance. This makes it the perfect choice for many coffees, especially those we choose for their sweetness and balance.

Swiss Water Process
Probably the most famous brand-name in decaffeination is the Swiss Water Process, interestingly done only in British Colombia, Canada. The original water-only process, the Swiss Water process also uses pure water and charcoal filtration to remove the caffeine. 99.9 percent caffeine-free, this process tends to accentuate the body of the coffee, and so we tend to use it when a particular coffee's body is among its most important characteristics.

All of these processes are certified organic, kosher, and 100 percent chemical-free. Since fresh coffee always tastes better – and freshness is even more important in decaffeinated coffee – we always decaffeinate in small, frequent batches throughout the year to maintain the highest quality imaginable. All this effort, along with our commitment to high quality and non-chemical processes, means that our decafs are a little more expensive, but they're worth it.

Related Updates:
Theme They ain’t what they Llusta be These coffees should taste familiar, but pay attention! Take notes! Today’s tasting is the last hurrah for Toscano as portrayed by Nueva Llusta from Bolivia and Haru in the role of Apollo. Just Wednesday we began roasting and selling new versions of...
Theme Late Harvest on the Other Side of the World Today we taste coffees from the Colbran family’s estate, Baroida, and from the Tairora Project that represents smaller-scale coffee farms around the estate in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Notes on the Coffees Baroida and...
Theme Toscano Times Two Ta da! Today, two Toscanos tickle your tastebuds! Each bag represents a different incarnation of Toscano, with the bag labeled Ecuador representing the most recent recipe we have been selling and the bag labeled Costa Rica the version that becomes available today (...
Theme Lot Breakdown of La Golondrina Right now, we are usually finishing our main harvest (April–July or August) lots of La Golondrina and moving into the mitaca harvest (October–January) lots. This year, however, the producers of La Golondrina didn't have a good mitaca harvest,...
Theme Uganda: where have you been? For about a decade now the Coffee Department has been tasting Ugandan coffees in the lab. Generally speaking, they have not been very good, showcasing heavy faded qualities every single time we tasted them. This never really made sense to us because the...