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How do they put the caffeine in the coffee bean? How is...

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Question by crystal
Submitted on 4/5/2004
Related FAQ: Coffee and Caffeine's Frequently Asked Questions
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How do they put the caffeine in the coffee bean?  How is there decaf coffee?

Answer by Pat Kemke
Submitted on 8/30/2004
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Hello Crystal,

Coffee beans naturally contain caffeine.  Different varieties of coffee contain different levels of caffeine.  Arabica beans are the preferred variety in the specialty coffee industry.  Arabica beans are cultivated at higher altitudes and have less caffeine and better flavor than Robusta beans.  Robustas are grown at lower elevations, contain excessive caffeine, are generally more bitter and are considered to be inferior to the Arabicas.  There is a major difference in the coffee you get at the grocery store and the coffee you get from a specialty shop.  Caffeine is not added to coffee like it is added to soft drinks.

Decaf coffee is processed in a number of different ways to extract the caffeine from the coffee beans.  Sometimes a chemical solvent is used to remove most of the caffeine from the beans.  Other decaffeination methods include a chemical free process know as The Swiss Water Process.  

You can find more detailed information about these processes on my website.  Look for the Organic SWP Decaf coffee page and follow the Swiss Water Process link.

Pat Kemke


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