Swiss Water Process relies on caffeine being dissolved and osmosis to remove caffeine from green coffee beans. To start the removal of caffeine process, green coffee beans are soaked in hot water to dissolve the caffeine. But caffeine isn’t the only water-soluble substance present in coffee. Sugars and other components that create the aroma and flavor
of coffee we love can also dissolve in water during the process if not done correctly.
So, how do you decaffeinate coffee without chemicals and still keep the flavor of your favorite beans? After the first soaking, the water from that first round of green beans is passed through a charcoal filter. Caffeine is a large molecule and gets caught in the filter but still keeps the sugars, oils and other components in coffee. This ensures that the flavor and aroma pass through the filter and stay in the water to create what is called Green Coffee Extract. This green coffee extract-infused water is then used to soak the next batch of green beans. Since the Green Coffee Extract already contains the other elements of flavor, those substances that we love in coffee won’t dissolve from the beans and just the caffeine is removed. It may sound complicated, but the result is decaffeinated coffee that is high on flavor and just as delicious as the caffeinated beans.
We at Stone City Coffee Roasters have this style of Decaf coffee. We have had so many people tell us they have not been able to find a delicious decaf coffee and that our decaf has finally given them a gourmet decaf cup of coffee to be enjoyed at home.