In this post you’ll find out what decaffeinated coffee is, which pros and cons it has and whether it’s true that a cup of decaf still contains caffeine.
Although coffee is a healthy drink which has a complex of positive effects on the human body, many people cannot allow themselves to drink it due to the negative effects of caffeine contained in coffee in significant amounts. Thus, a standard cup of coffee contains about 100mg of caffeine. This amount is enough to cause insomnia, hyperactivity, headaches and other negative health effects.
Is it possible to enjoy a cup of coffee without a negative impact of caffeine on the body? Yes, such a compromise is possible! As you may have guessed, it is all about decaffeinated coffee – accessible and popular drink which is considered quite safe for health.
Technology of caffeine removal (decaffeination)
During decaffeination caffeine is removed from its source (coffee, cocoa beans or tea leaves, etc.). Decaffeination methods are numerous, but all of them have similarities:
- Firstly, unroasted coffee beans are soaked in water to extract caffeine.
- On the next stage caffeine should be extracted, using a chemical solvent or activated carbon.
- Finally, coffee beans are left in the water for flavor absorption.
How much caffeine is there really in coffee
At the end of decaffeination coffee beans are ready for roasting. It should be noted that complete separation of caffeine doesn’t occur, and in fact the beans still contain the substance in small quantities (complete removal is practically impossible).
Caffeine amount in both coffee and decaf varies and depends on a variety of criteria. If we talk about averages, then:
- A standard cup of black coffee (volume 8 oz.) contains about 90-100 mg of caffeine.
- A cup of decaf coffee contains from 2 to 15 mg of caffeine, depending on the decaffeination technology, species (Robusta / Arabica) or brewing method.
It should be noted that various popular brands such as Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and McDonald's use different concentrations of caffeine in their decaf products. According to recent studies by the Consumer Reports, a cup of Dunkin Donuts’ contains as much as 32 mg of caffeine in decaf, while McDonald's one - just about 8 mg.
More on how much caffeine is in decaf coffee – later, so don’t hesitate to subscribe to RSS feed and stay tuned!
Is it a healthy choice? Health benefits of decaf coffee
- No adverse effects due to the caffeine. All the advantages and benefits of decaf coffee, as they say, lie on the surface, and are explained clearly by absence of caffeine. As a result, all the side effects of caffeine (both short- and long-term) come to naught. Among them are increased blood pressure and fast heartbeat, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, hyperactivity, etc.
- Fully retained original coffee flavor and taste. As we’ve noted, aroma of coffee is absorbed after decaffeination, and taste qualities of one species or another remain after roasting.
- Reasonable price. Despite the fact that decaf is difficult enough to manufacture, it doesn’t affect the price of decaffeinated beans comparing with caffeinated ones. For example, a popular craft coffee roaster La Colombe offers 12 oz. Bleu - Decaf Organic and Monte Carlo at the same price as conventional species - $15 in average.
The other side of the scale: decaf coffee side effects
However, even “coffee without caffeine” has certain disadvantages, or side effects. Don’t worry though: they have less weight than the advantages. In fact, the only major negative health impact is...
- Increased alertness. The studies in the University of Barcelona have revealed that, in spite of the low concentration of caffeine in decaf, decaffeinated coffee may cause mild side effects, including alertness and anxiety.
- Absence of tangible amounts of caffeine. Lots of people drink decaf purely because of the lack of caffeine, which is associated with psychophysical intolerance. However, all the positive effects that we have already mentioned, are absent in decaf. Unless a cup of aromatic decaf also elevates mood and increases the tonus, the effect of unhatched caffeine (about 3%) is not as noticeable for a coffee drinker.
- Phytochemicals contained in coffee. Coffee beans still remain so-called phytochemicals after decaffeination. They can cause additional side effects such as heartburn, rheumatoid arthritis, decreased digestibility of minerals.
- Developing of heart disease. Decaf coffee may increase LDL cholesterol and, as a consequence, the fat concentration in blood. This conclusion was made by the researchers from the US National Institutes of Health. However, at the moment there is no clear verdict how it can affect the health of decaf coffee drinkers.
- Small amount of caffeine in decaf can cause negative health effects as well. Unfortunately, Decaf isn’t suitable for hypersensitive people for whom caffeine is contraindicated by doctors. Scientists from the University of Florida have warned against decaf in combination with the types of diseases like hypertension anxiety disorder.
Summary. Decaffeinated coffee or...
We believe that our article has made you look objectively at the attractive sides and "pitfalls" of decaf.
This may push stir you into refusing decaf in favor of regular coffee with a high concentration of caffeine. On the other hand, you may be frightened and stop coffee consumption at all. The third option is smoother, like the shift from caffeinated to decaf, which is safer for people with poor health.
Even if you are healthy guy and accustomed to caffeine, why don’t you try decaf? You may like it!