The Green Bag Story: Decaf Coffee (part 3)

Whether it’s for an evening cup that won’t keep you up, or you just prefer great coffee flavor without the jitters, decaffeinated coffee is the way to go. We have a great selection of decaf coffees available to purchase online, whether you’re looking for a single origin, blend, or flavored decaf coffee.

We’ve discussed the water process for decaffeinating coffee, as well as the indirect solvent-based method in previous articles.

Solvents, such as Ethyl Acetate, or Methylene Chloride, (also known as decaffeinating agents), are used to assist with the removal of caffeine from the green coffee bean. The biggest challenge in decaffeinating coffee is removing the caffeine without a loss in resulting flavor. It’s very easy to accidentally take out the oils, sugars, and proteins found in a coffee bean along with the caffeine, if one is only using water. The solvents target the caffeine, while leaving behind the flavor molecules which lead to a bold and distinct decaffeinated cup of coffee.

How the Direct Method Works:

In contrast to the indirect method, the direct method sees a decaffeinating agent (solvent) applied right onto the coffee beans. Often, the chemical used in this process is Ethyl Acetate. Since Ethyl Acetate can be found in ripening fruits such as blackberries or apples, it is sometimes considered a more “natural” chemical to apply to the coffee beans.

First, the green coffee beans are steamed for around half an hour in order to open their pores. This is an essential step because it allows the caffeine to escape the bean once the solvent is applied. The beans are then soaked and agitated, or rinsed repeatedly for somewhere around ten hours with the decaffeinating agent. The solvent extracts the caffeine from the beans by bonding with the caffeine molecules. The then-caffeine full solvent is drained away, leaving the coffee beans decaffeinated, but still retaining their flavors. To ensure that all traces of decaffeinating agent is removed, the beans are steamed another time, which serves to evaporate any remaining solvent and caffeine.

Some say that only true coffee lovers drink decaf. Whether that is true or not, we make sure to offer the best decaf options available. The best decaf coffee is the one that is roasted fresh, has a bold distinct flavor, and suits your taste. Take a look at our medium roast decaf coffees, or if you prefer dark roasts, browse our selection here. We also have some decaf custom blends, which combine the best aspects of the brightness of a medium roast, and the smokiness of a dark roast. Just because the caffeine has been extracted, doesn’t mean you can’t drink a great cup of decaf coffee.


Tell us what you think! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and leave a review about your favorite decaf coffee!