News 24 Jun 2021

Decaf: Magic or science

24 Jun 2021
#Coffee Beans #Everything

Decaf: Magic or science

Want to hear a joke? Decaf.

The joke that became viral in the internet coffee community is something that you might relate to. Traditionally, decaffeinated coffees have been … well … crap. But things have changed and we found a decaf that you will actually enjoy very much!


There are many reasons for that, first is the choice of coffee that was intended for decaffeinating that was usually low quality coffee that isn’t very enjoyable to consume even with caffeine. Add to that sketchy chemical process to remove caffeine and you’re left with a cup that doesn’t exactly bring joy to the serious coffee lover. BUT things have changed. Specialty coffee producers have recognized that there is a market for decaf and now offer very good quality coffee … without caffeine. The reason for choosing better coffees is also the natural method of decaffeinating. We’re going to explain a bit, how caffeine is actually removed from coffee in the decaf that we offer, the Brazil Fazenda Sao Jose.


CR3 Natural Liquid Carbon Dioxide Coffee Decaffeination Process

One of the vital elements and most important compounds of our natural environment is carbon dioxide. It is in the air we breathe, it is the gas that makes mineral water effervescent and by assimilation enables plants to grow. It is also a highly selective solvent for caffeine.

Based on this phenomenon, the German company CR3 developed its Natural Liquid Carbon Dioxide Coffee Decaffeination Process. In this patented process, the natural carbon dioxide is used under subcritical conditions i.e. in a liquid state at (relative to the supercritical process) low temperature and pressure. These particularly gentle process parameters, together with the good caffeine selectivity of CO2, guarantee a high retention rate of coffee components responsible for aroma and taste.


How does it work?

The raw, unroasted coffee is moistened with water and put into a vessel where it is contacted with pressurized, liquid carbon dioxide. By circulation through the coffee, the carbon dioxide draws the caffeine out of the bean. In an evaporator the caffeine precipitates from the CO2 which after evaporation and re-condensation is pumped again into the coffee containing vessel for a new cycle. When the required residual caffeine level is reached, the CO2 circulation is cut short and the coffee is discharged into a drier where it is gently dried to about the original moisture content. After that the coffee is ready for roasting.

The specific characteristics of the CR3 Natural Liquid Carbon Dioxide Coffee Decaffeination Process are:

  • The compounds responsible for the flavor and the taste in the roasted coffee/coffee brew as well as the cell structure of the green and roasted bean are practically left intact (especially fine, high grade coffees benefit by this fact)
  • Absolutely no health risk involved since the coffee is contacted only with 100 % safe substances: the chemically inert (and completely evaporating) carbon dioxide and pure water the extraction solvent is all natural - an important aspect that represents a strong selling point (“Naturally Decaffeinated“).
  • Certification as “organic“ and “kosher“ by the appropriate organizations/authorities
  • A broad appeal that allows the roaster to offer a high quality, 99.9 % caffeine free “Decaf“ that may satisfy even the most discriminating taste.


Enjoy our decaf!

While we were hesitant to offer a decaf in our offer, the demand from our customers made us rethink our choices. We tried a few samples and decided on a Brazilian coffee that will suit most decaf coffee lovers with its smooth flavor. It’s a coffee that has a classical feel to it but with some subtle fruity notes to make it a great choice for every brewing method.