Decaffeinated coffee – when and where was it actually invented and how is decaffeinated coffee created?
What is caffeine?
To be able to answer the questions, let’s first clarify what caffeine is in the first place and why it can be useful to drink decaffeinated coffee. Caffeine is a naturally occurring compound that is also found in coffee plants. This is where the name caffeine comes from, as the chemical properties and mode of action of caffeine were initially studied in detail using the coffee plant as an example. Caffeine works by stimulating the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This increases blood pressure and heart rate. It takes 15 to 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream and take effect. Therefore, decaffeinated coffee can be especially useful for people who have elevated blood pressure.
When and where were the first coffee beans decaffeinated?
Decaffeinated coffee was first produced in 1903. Ludwig Roselius, a coffee merchant from Bremen and founder of the Kaffee Hag company, developed the process named after him. The reason is very personal: his father died unexpectedly at the age of 59. Ludwig Roselius began researching the health effects of caffeine because doctors suspected his excessive coffee consumption was the cause of death. Roselius first soaked the whole bean in a brine to allow it to expand. To draw out the caffeine, he added benzene to the beans. The Roselius process is no longer used today because the process involved the use of carcinogens.
Process that decaffeinate coffee beans
Decaffeinated coffee is an alternative for people who cannot tolerate coffee ingredients. So no one has to give up the pleasure of coffee. But which methods can be used for this and how do they work?
Swiss water process
After the water has extracted the ingredients from the beans, the caffeine is filtered out of the water with the help of activated carbon. The caffeine is then removed from the new beans with added water. The unroasted coffee beans are soaked in hot water until all the water-soluble components of the beans, such as caffeine, are in the water. After the water has extracted the ingredients from the beans, the caffeine is filtered out of the water with the help of activated carbon. The caffeine is then removed from the new beans with added water. After many repetitions, almost decaffeinated coffee is produced.
Carbon dioxide process
Carbon dioxide is a natural component of the air. The beans are first softened with hot water, then put under high pressure and rinsed with liquid or gaseous carbon dioxide. This is how caffeine is isolated from the bean. No chemicals are used in this process.
The indirect process of decaffeinating coffee beans is similar to the Roselius process. Here, too, the coffee beans are first soaked in water to extract all the soluble components of the coffee beans. The caffeine is now removed from the resulting water-coffee mixture. However, this is no longer done using benzene as in Ludwig Roselius process, but with dichloromethane or ethyl acetate.
Finally, the decaffeinated water mixture is boiled with newly added beans. Only the caffeine is removed from the new beans, but not the components that are important for the coffee aroma.
In direct decaffeination, coffee beans are first exposed to steam and then soaked in a solvent for several hours. In a further step, the beans are separated from the solvent and dried for several hours to remove any residue.
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How harmful is decaffeinated coffee?
According to a study, decaffeinated coffee should not have a negative effect on health. Caffeine-free coffee is even more tolerable. With too much caffeine or a caffeine intolerance, the effect can develop into the negative. The consequences can be trembling, heart palpitations, sweating and also stomach problems.
The method is also very crucial. If a decaffeinated coffee bears the organic seal, you can be sure that no chemical solvents were used in the method. Also our Decaf coffee you can enjoy without hesitation.
A lot of the benefits of coffee remain with the decaffeinated coffee. The coffee beans contain around 1000 antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage and thus contribute to a lower risk of disease.
Can decaffeinated coffee be drunk during pregnancy?
Decaffeinated coffee may definitely be drunk without hesitation and without danger during pregnancy. Within the EU, according to the regulation, decaffeinated coffee may only contain 0.1% caffeine. During pregnancy, 200 mg of caffeine can be consumed without concern. A cup of decaffeinated coffee contains about 2-5 mg of caffeine. To be exact, you could drink about 40 cup of decaffeinated coffee during pregnancy.
Is there a naturally decaffeinated coffee bean?
The processes described require a lot of effort and money to remove the caffeine. In addition, the caffeine is necessary for the plant to deter pests by its bitter taste. But is there a coffee plant that already contains decaffeinated beans?
In fact, scientists in Ethiopia discovered a caffeine-free coffee plant. Since the discovery, various investigations have been conducted. However, the results are not yet promising, because the plant does not flower simultaneously, which leads to irregular pollination.