I have always wondered how coffee is decaffeinated, that is, deprived of its caffeine, while retaining its fragrance and aroma.
Decaffeination removes 96-99% of the caffeine from the green coffee bean. There are several methods for this: the first is chemical and the second, the most natural, is a pure water process where no chemicals are used. This is the process that we use at Café Napoléon for all our decaffeinated products, both in the gourmet range and in organic and fair trade. There are several methods, and I have chosen to tell you about the main 2 here.
THE CHEMICAL METHOD
The chemical method, also the cheapest, consists of steaming the green grains to make them porous. Methylene chloride or ethyl acetate is then added to it to dissolve the caffeine. The grains are steamed again and then passed through water to extract the chemicals used. It is clear that with this process the designation organic does not apply.
THE NATURAL SWISS WATER METHOD
The natural Swiss water method is the one we use at Café Napoléon and which corresponds 100% to our values and that's basically how it works.
The green beans are soaked in hot water to make them soluble. This then becomes impregnated with caffeine, but also with coffee oil. This water is passed through an activated carbon filter which collects the caffeine without blocking the oils. The soaking water is now saturated with oils, but does not contain caffeine. It can then be reinjected with the beans, then evaporated, leaving a coffee without caffeine, but just as tasty.
This caffeinated water is sold to the food and pharmaceutical industries for use in sodas or caffeine tablets sold without a prescription.There you go, I am unbeatable on decaffeinated !!!