Our Great Taste Winner decaffeinated blend, The Dreamer, was created by our very own Michelin-starred maverick, Ashley Palmer-Watts, who combined a unique blend of the best beans from around the world to create the ultimate harmony of flavours. The Dreamer is a characterful coffee that you can enjoy any time of day or night.
Read on to discover how decaf coffee is made and why the Swiss Water Process is the absolute best way to decaffeinate coffee.
How do you decaf coffee?
Coffee beans naturally contain caffeine. While many drink coffee to experience the effects of caffeine, the beans can be processed to remove most of this stimulant. The result is a drink you can enjoy whether you’re cutting down on caffeine or fancy a cuppa late in the day without disrupting your sleep.
When we were dreaming up our first delectable decaffeinated blend, there was no doubt in our team’s mind that we would choose to use the Swiss Water Method - the world’s best decaffeination process - to wash our beans of their caffeine content. This chemical free, certified organic process uses only water and low temperatures to gently filter out the caffeine without diluting the coffee’s original characteristics.
A sip-size history of decaffeination:
Decaffeination first originated in Germany thanks to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1819. A famous author and natural science enthusiast, Goethe tasked the chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge with finding out why coffee kept him up at night.
A few years later, Runge was the first scientist to isolate and identify caffeine. But it was another 100 years before scientists could extract caffeine from coffee without affecting the complex flavour profiles too much.
How many ways can you decaffeinate coffee?
There are a few ways to decaffeinate coffee. Four, to be precise. These are direct-solvent process, indirect-solvent process, the Swiss Water process and the Carbon Dioxide process.
Before we dive into what each process involves and the best way to decaffeinate coffee for a tastier, healthier brew, there are certain things each that all methods have in common:
- Decaffeination is always done before the coffee beans are roasted. This means coffee beans are in their green, unroasted state.
- Green coffee has a much lower caffeine content than roasted coffee.
- Water is used in all forms of decaffeination because caffeine is water-soluble. 97% of caffeine needs to be removed for the coffee to be labelled decaf.
Swiss Water Process
This is the process to decaffeinate our beans for The Dreamer, and for good reason. The Swiss Water process was - unsurprisingly - invented in Switzerland in 1933 and became a commercial method for decaffeinating coffee in 1980. This method is almost exclusively used for organic decaffeinated coffee.
In the Swiss Water method no solvents or chemicals are used. It’s a totally natural method, and results in decaf coffee that is clean, fresh and tasty.
This involves soaking the beans in hot water to dissolve the caffeine. Water is then passed through an activated charcoal filter. Larger caffeine molecules are trapped while smaller oil and flavour molecules pass through.
The result is a tank full of unflavoured and decaffeinated beans on one side and a tank full of caffeine-free coffee flavoured water on the other.
Here’s where it gets interesting. The flavourless coffee beans are discarded and the coffee flavour-charged water is then added to a fresh batch of coffee beans to remove the caffeine. Mind-blowing, right?
The water is saturated with flavour so the flavours in the fresh batch can’t dissolve. Only caffeine can move from the beans to the water. You’re then left with flavourful decaffeinated coffee!
The best way to decaffeinate coffee:
The process of decaffeinating coffee requires expert knowledge to remove the caffeine from the coffee without damaging too much of the flavours and oils.
The Swiss Water method is not only the most effective method for retaining the beans’ natural aromas, it is also the most eco-friendly method, and the only method that requires zero added ingredients.
Whether you’re cutting down on coffee for health reasons, are pregnant or breast-feeding, enjoy an after-dinner brew or just fancy something delicious without the buzz, our characterful decaffeinated blend, The Dreamer, is decaf perfection. Made using a unique blend of the best beans from around the world, and purified using fresh Swiss water for the ultimate harmony of flavours, you can relax safe in the knowledge that coffee perfection is possible at any time of the day.
In Summary, here are the 3 top reasons our decaf is better than any other!
1. We use the Swiss Water Method to create decaf coffee that is clean, fresh and tasty. Not only is this the most effective method for retaining coffee beans’ natural aromas, it is also the most eco-friendly method, and the only method that requires zero added ingredients. Learn more about the Swiss Water Method on our blog.
2. Our decaffeinated blend, The Dreamer, was created by Michelin-starred chef, Ashley Palmer-Watts, who combined a unique blend of the best beans from around the world to create the ultimate harmony of flavours.
3. By combining single serve packaging with an industry-leading aroma optimization process, Aromax50, we have totally perfected the art of delivering pure, characterful, fresh and flavourful coffee in its most delicious form, cup after cup. This ground-breaking aroma optimisation process applies to all our coffees - decaf included - and all our brew types. Aromax50 is the reason that all our coffee tastes fresh and flavourful every single time.
Shop our full Decaf collection HERE.
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