Decaf Offers A Great Alternative
Although coffee in and of itself doesn’t have the caffeine that most soft drinks can provide, unless you’re talking about espresso or Cuban coffee, there are still those who prefer to steer clear of the drug. Whether it’s not wanting to stay up all night or a request from a doctor that keeps you away, there are alternatives to coffee with caffeine that are still rich, full-bodied and just loaded with flavor and aroma.
Decaffeinated doesn’t mean the taste’s been stripped away – at least not any more. Depending on the brand, the freshness of the bean and even the roasting process, decaf can create a seriously good cup of coffee.
Beans that have been decaffeinated have been, for the most part, washed of the caffeine that’s in them. This is done before the roasting process and in several different ways. There is even a type of coffee that comes from Madagascar that’s naturally decaffeinated.
For regular beans, however, the process to remove the caffeine involves a chemical that’s used to pull out the caffeine before roasting. This chemical is completely washed from the bean before it’s even dried. The second way to get the octane out of coffee beans is to wash the beans with steam prior to roasting. This removes the outer layers of the beans that are rich in caffeine. Once washed, the beans are dried and roasted.
Since the main ways to remove caffeine take place long before the beans are roasted to pull their flavors out, decaffeinated coffee still, for the most part, retains its rich flavor. The end result is a bean that’s still perfect for home grinding, but won’t help keep its drinker awake for hours on end.
Caffeine in low doses is not a big deal, but for those who drink pots and pots of coffee a day, the drug can start to add up. The decaffeinated blends are a great way to go for that last cup of the night or even as a full-time substitute to regular, fully loaded coffee.
The decaf craze has taken off, too, giving coffee lovers lots of choices in flavors that come without caffeine. From dark and light roasts to gourmet blends infused with other taste sensations, there’s no longer two choices when it comes to coffee: decaf or regular. Think vanilla, hazelnut, dark roast, chocolate and on and on.
If quality is a big concern, consider buying freshly roasted beans that are decaf and grinding them yourself. The fresh grind should help ensure flavor remains rich and high.