Why more people are turning to decaff?
Down here at Bristol Twenty HQ we’ve noticed a huge surge in the sale of decaffeinated coffee this past year. Many people including our own technical director, Chris, are switching to decaff for health benefits. This is why we offer a growing range of Swiss Water® Processed decaff coffee blends and single origins.
This month we thought we would look further into the health benefits of decaff coffee and how the Swiss Water® process works.
The Swiss Water® Process
Swiss Water® is the innovative craft of using pure water to gently remove caffeine. Their chemical free process decaffeinates coffee in small batches. This means they can remove caffeine from very select amounts of Specialty Coffee. Coffee that is grown and harvested with the utmost care. Coffee that we’re excited to taste. Coffee that once decaffeinated, will still taste every bit as delicious as it did before we got our hands on it. That’s their promise.
Swiss Water® Process uses the elements of water, temperature and time to create some of the most intriguing decaf coffee. First, they start with small batches of amazing coffee and green coffee extract. Then they add water and a dash of loving attention by monitoring time and temperature until the coffee is 99.9% caffeine free. See how it all happens in four sort-of-simple steps.
When beans arrive at their facility they have been shipped from the finest growing regions around the world. Cleaned and hydrated with water to prepare them for caffeine removal, these beans begin their journey to become amazing decaf coffee.
Their internally developed Green Coffee Extract (GCE) is introduced to the beans and caffeine removal begins. Caffeine ventures out on its own, away from the coffee beans into the GCE until the ratio of soluble compounds in the GCE to the compounds in the coffee reach the point of equilibrium. Caffeine and GCE flow continuously through their proprietary carbon filters until all the caffeine is trapped and separated from the GCE. Then the GCE is refreshed so that it can be used again and again to remove more caffeine.
For the next 10 hours, the team continuously monitors the process and caffeine levels in each batch they are decaffeinating. They monitor time, gauge temperature controls, and check the levels on the GCE flow. The result of all this loving attention to detail is worth it — 99.9% caffeine-free coffee.
Finally, the decaffeinated green beans are shipped to our roastery, so that the beans can be turned into something special.
Why We Choose Swiss Water®
We choose Swiss Water because they are coffee people rather than decaff people. Their dedication to coffee is their dedication to the pursuit of amazing coffees. Which in turn allows us to present you with the best decaffeinated coffees around. Their coffee is chemical free, which not only means no nasty chemical tastes in your coffee, but also no nasty chemicals going back into the environment. Which we are all about.
They care, and not just about their coffee. Their portfolio has a huge array of global certifications, ensuring fair prices are paid, good farming practices are adhered to and wildlife protected. They are also a big supporter of ‘Grounds for Health’ a charity that screens and treats cervical cancer in women in producing countries.
They are thoroughly nice people who always have the time of day for you no matter how big or small you are.
The Health Benefits of Decaff Coffee
Coffee is not the devil it has been made out to be. It is actually the single biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet. Decaf usually contains similar amounts of antioxidants as regular coffee, although they may be up to 15% lower. This difference is most likely caused by a small loss of antioxidants during the decaffeination process. The main antioxidants in regular and decaf coffee are hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols. Antioxidants are very effective at neutralising reactive compounds called free radicals. This reduces oxidative damage, and may help prevent diseases like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
In addition to the antioxidants, decaf also contains minor amounts of some nutrients. One cup of brewed decaf coffee provides 2.4% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium, 4.8% of potassium and 2.5% of niacin, or vitamin B3. This may not seem like a lot of nutrients, but the amounts add up quickly if you drink 2-3 (or more) cups of coffee per day. Despite having been demonised in the past, the truth is that coffee is mostly good for you. It is linked with numerous health benefits, which are mainly attributed to its antioxidant content and other active substances.
The obvious health benefits of reduced caffeine are improved sleep and reduced anxiety. High levels of both are generally associated with a rise in adrenaline and adenosine in the body, caused but not solely down to caffeine. If you were to suffer with either of the above, decaff might help. However there are other health benefits to decaff.
Type 2 Diabetes and Liver Function
Drinking coffee, both regular and decaf, has been linked with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Each daily cup may reduce the risk by up to 7%. This suggests that elements other than caffeine may be responsible for these protective effects.
The effects of decaf coffee on liver function are not as well studied as those of regular coffee. However, one large observational study linked decaf coffee with reduced liver enzyme levels, which suggests a protective effect.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in joints. Although it occurs in both males and females, it’s predominant in men. Scientists at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Medical School examined the impact of decaffeinated coffee on gout risk in men. They reported in the May 2007 of “Arthritis & Rheumatism” that men drinking four or more cups of decaffeinated coffee per day lowered their risk of developing gout compared to non-coffee drinkers.
Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases
Both regular and decaf coffee seem to have positive effects on age-related mental decline. Human cell studies also show that decaf coffee may protect neurons in the brain. This could help prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
One study suggests that this may be due to the chlorogenic acid in coffee, rather than caffeine. However, caffeine itself has also been linked to a reduced risk of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases. Many studies show that people who drink regular coffee have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but more studies are needed on decaf specifically.
Cardiovascular Disease Mortality
Increasing your intake of decaffeinated coffee might reduce cardiovascular disease mortality, according to a study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Scientists discovered that decaffeinated coffee consumption was associated with a small reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality, according to research published in the June 2008 issue of the “Annals of Internal Medicine.”
Whether you take your coffee caffeinated or decaffeinated, either way there are some great health benefits linked to both.