What Is the Point of Decaf Coffee? Beginners Guide

Do you want to know what’s in your favorite decaf coffee? Then perhaps this comprehensive guide to what decaf coffee is, how it’s made, and how it differs from regular coffee will be of assistance.

Decaf coffee is found in many households, but do we know what’s in it? Let’s take a closer look.

What exactly is decaf coffee?

Caffeine-free coffee is made by roasting and grinding ordinary coffee beans after they have been decaffeinated, which means that the caffeine has been removed before the beans are roasted or ground.

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It looks and smells like regular coffee, except that it may taste slightly different and will not have the same effect on your body as your typical cup of coffee.

You’ll notice its decaf by tasting it (it may taste slightly different) or by noticing the lack of caffeine effects on your body several hours later.

Is there any caffeine in decaf coffee?

Yes, caffeine is present in decaf. However, the amount is extremely small and will not interfere with your sleep or daily performance.

With only approximately 0.03 percent of the caffeine in decaf, it is inconsequential for the vast majority of people, and hence decaf can be considered caffeine-free.

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However, even a small amount may be harmful to those with a caffeine intolerance allergy or are otherwise advised to avoid caffeine.

In such cases, you should consult your doctor to see if you can drink decaf or if you should avoid coffee entirely.

Consider starting your morning with one of these teas if you want to minimize your caffeine intake but don’t want to give up coffee entirely. Despite the fact that they all contain caffeine, the amounts are far less than in a cup of coffee.

Is it true that decaf keeps you awake?

No, because the caffeine in decaf coffee is so small, it will not keep you awake. Unless you are extremely sensitive to caffeine, it will not affect your body.

There have been reports of people believing they had been drinking regular coffee for years only to discover it was decaf. They felt awake and alert even with decaf, proving that what you think you’re drinking matters.

At the beginning of 2019, I went through a phase where I kept switching coffees, searching for a great cup of Arabica coffee. But, unfortunately, I never did find it.

But I did come across a decaf version of a brand I liked and drank it happily. I didn’t realize it was decaf until I looked it up for a friend half a year later.

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So, once again, when making that cup of coffee, double-check what you’re drinking.

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How is decaf coffee produced?

There are several methods for producing decaf coffee, some of which are more efficient than others. However, Decaffing regular coffee requires time, a lot of resources, and in some cases, expensive systems.

The most common method of decaffeinating coffee is to soak the green coffee beans in a solvent bath before they have even had a chance to dry out. This means that the solvent bath will extract some of the essential oils, flavoring, and caffeine.

Because none of the solvents have a negative impact on the coffee consumed by humans, the process is risk-free.

This removes much of the coffee’s initial flavor, resulting in poor/weak cups of coffee priced the same as regular coffee.

Another common method for decaffeinating coffee is to soak it in water, which removes the caffeine and essential oils and flavors, producing a result very similar to the solvent method.

It is easier to use, but it consumes a lot of water.

The Swiss water bath is the most effective method of decaffeinating coffee. It is efficient because it will remove only the caffeine while leaving the majority of the flavor intact.

However, it comes at a cost because the first batch of coffee beans must be discarded. The first batch is completely stripped, and the resulting ‘brew’ will have all of the flavor and caffeine extracted.

Because the water can only hold caffeine, the coffee beans are discarded, and the second batch will only have the caffeine removed.

Likewise, flavor and essential oils are not extracted because there is no ‘room’ left in the water in terms of saturation.

This method yields the best flavor, but it is also the most expensive.

Robusta beans are typically used in the production of decaf coffee. Interestingly, Robusta contains 2.7 percent caffeine while Arabica contains only 1.5 percent.

However, using Robusta beans for decaf is easier because they are much cheaper, which helps offset the production cost. However, it also produces somewhat sour coffee.

What percentage of caffeine is removed from decaf?

The amount of caffeine removed from coffee beans varies depending on the bean type, method, and exact bean harvest.

Using the solvent method, you could, for example, generate a batch of inferior Robusta that contains less caffeine than usual, cure it, and end up with a very minimal quantity of caffeine remaining, perhaps 0.04 percent.

The maximum percentage that can still be legally referred to as ‘decaf coffee’ is 0.10 percent.

Most decaf coffee appears to have had most of its caffeine removed, approximately 97 percent or more. It should be clearly stated on the coffee package, either on the back or on the side.

Why is decaffeinated coffee more expensive?

Even if cheap coffee beans are used, the higher price for decaf is usually due to production costs.

It would be more expensive to utilize the Swiss water bath than it would be to produce an average batch of Arabica coffee, even if the coffee beans used were Robusta, which is dirt cheap.

If the coffee company used Arabica beans, the coffee would taste better, but it would also lose all flavor because Arabica is weaker than Robusta.

Because Arabica is in high demand and one of the crops that yield a small number of beans compared to Robust, the production cost would be much higher.

Due to the low cost of creating decaf, a combination of this technology plus Robusta beans will typically result in a cup of decaf coffee that falls in the middle of the market pricing range.

Keep in mind that decaf isn’t much more expensive than regular coffee. For example, store-brand decaf coffee costs about 35 cents per ounce on average, while regular coffee costs about 25-30 cents per ounce.

Is decaf coffee the same as regular coffee in taste?

Some say yes, while others say no. But, for the most part, that is up to you, the person drinking the coffee.

It all depends on your preferences, what you usually drink, and how flavor-sensitive you are (i.e., you might notice something or not).

You should be aware that most decaf is derived from Robusta beans, and if you’re used to drinking Arabica, you’ll notice a distinct change in flavor.

As you can see, I tried decaf and couldn’t tell the difference. However, others who have tried decaf have noticed a difference in flavor, strength, and texture.

I believe that you will see a difference in the majority of cases. After all, if the decaffeination procedure eliminates practically all of the caffeine as well as a major percentage of the flavor, it is inevitable that something will be changed.

Keep in mind that there will be differences between each brand’s regular coffee, as well as significant differences between each brand’s decaf.

You may not notice much of a difference, but someone else may.

To compensate for the flavor difference, most people use about twice as much decaf as regular coffee when making a cup of coffee.

Is it preferable to drink decaf coffee?

In the long run, it appears that decaf coffee is the superior coffee to consume. This is because it is very easy to overdo it with regular coffee.

This results in a high caffeine intake, which eventually leads to caffeine resistance, making you want to drink more coffee.

Aside from the common side effects of too much caffeine (jitters, cold sweats, anxiety), drinking too much caffeine regularly means you won’t be able to respond to it properly when you need it.

For example, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, decaf is the coffee for you because it won’t harm the baby.

Decaf is also recommended for the elderly, especially if they have heart problems or high blood pressure.

While decaf coffee isn’t as remarkable or delicious as regular coffee, I think it’s incredible that those who urgently need something like decaf can get their hands on it.

In some ways, decaf has an additional benefit. The majority of the time, it is made with Robusta coffee beans. These are the coffee beans with the fewest fats and sugars, resulting in a slightly healthier cup of coffee.

Is it true that decaf coffee causes weight gain?

Decaf does not cause weight gain on its own because there is no definite reason for it to do so. Decaf coffee contains the same amount of sugar as regular coffee.

This refers to black coffee.

A problem could arise if we’re talking about coffee with added sugar and milk/cream.

You see because decaf doesn’t tax your liver and stomach as much (it’s mostly the caffeine), you can drink several cups of coffee every day.

If you develop such a habit and drink your coffee with a lot of milk, creamer, sugar, and toppings regularly, you may gain weight.

Aside from that, there’s no reason for decaf to cause weight gain.


Decaf coffee is most likely one of the greatest inventions of the last few decades. It tastes like coffee, but it’s not. You can drink it if you are caffeine sensitive, as well as if you enjoy coffee.

In short, decaf has the ability to suit everyone, and half-caf is now accessible!

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