Coffee is the third most popular drink globally, coming right after water and tea. In this way, coffee is basically the second most enjoyed beverage worldwide, with coffee beans being produced in more than 70 countries. But, can you imagine coffee without caffeine? Does decaf coffee taste different? Read on to find out.
Yes, decaf coffee is exactly what we are talking about! Decaf stands for “decaffeinated.” It is a process in which caffeine is separated from the beans, significantly reducing the content. Hence, although decaf coffee is not really without caffeine, it has significantly less caffeine (a typical cup of decaf coffee would have only 2 mg of caffeine).
But, how does it affect the taste? Does decaf coffee taste different? Come on, let’s find out together! Shall we?
What is Decaf Coffee?
Decaffeination is a process in which caffeine is removed from the beans. Hence, decaf coffee is coffee with less caffeine in it.
But, how much less?
According to the National Coffee Association, USA,
“Decaffeination removes about 97% or more of the caffeine in coffee beans.”
According to them, while a cup of regular coffee has about 95 mg of caffeine, a cup of decaf coffee has only 2 mg of caffeine. Hence, if you are looking for less caffeine, decaf coffee would be the better alternative.
The History of Decaf Coffee – Is It So New?
Decaf coffee is no new invention. You might have seen Google’s tribute through Google Doodle to a German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge on 8th February 2019 on his 225th birthday. He was the first scientist who successfully isolated caffeine from coffee beans in 1820- more than 200 years back.
However, Runge was more focused on the chemical aspect (chemistry) at that time. Hence, it didn’t come until 1905 when Ludwig Roselius– a coffee merchant – commercialized the decaf coffee concept. Hence, Ludwig Roselius became the founder of Decaf coffee.
Ever since then, decaf has always been around the corner. Whether popular or not depends on personal preference. Do you like caffeine in your drink? Or, is it the sole element you want to be left out?
Why Do People Drink Decaf coffee?
Coffee without caffeine is a big turnoff for many. After all, why would we drink coffee if it does not have caffeine- which is the sole purpose of the drink for many. For many, coffee is the morning kick that brings a human back to real life.
Then, where is the issue?
Well, caffeine is a psychoactive chemical that helps our heart beat faster, providing us with more energy. It also increases the dopamine level in our body, giving us an energy boost. While this is something most people enjoy, some people might not tolerate caffeine.
People drink coffee for its antioxidant molecules (in caffeine) that prevent diseases like type-2 diabetes, CVD or cardiovascular diseases, etc.
However, caffeinated coffee is also known to increase blood pressure, heart rate, which might not be suitable for many patients. So, they may want to avoid complications and turn to decaf coffee as a replacement.
How Does Decaf Coffee Taste? Does Decaf Coffee Taste Different?
If you have never tasted decaf coffee and wondering if decaf coffee tastes any different than regular coffee, the answer is NO. Isolating decaf coffee from their regular espresso won’t be easy for any average person. We have tested various decaf coffee, most of which with little to no difference.
However, the slight difference in flavor is that decaf coffee has a sour flavor profile, mostly from how it is processed. The processing of decaf coffee beans differs widely from that of your regular coffee. Hence, there is a slight difference in the flavor profile.
Does Decaf Coffee Provide You with Energy?
Are you expecting to have the same kick with decaf coffee as you had with your regular one? If so, you will be vastly disappointed. The rush that we are talking about mostly comes from the caffeine in coffee. Since decaf coffee removes the 97% caffeine from the beans, it has almost none left.
So, you can’t expect decaf to provide you with enough energy unless you are ready to consume almost an unhealthy amount of it. Decaf coffee is for those who prefer the taste more than the caffeine. It is basically a coffee beverage without caffeine and without compromising its flavor.
Should You Try Decaf Coffee?
Which of the reasons below justifies your wish to “try decaf”?
- You never tried it before and want to give it a shot, or,
- You want to avoid caffeine
Both of these have different answers. Well, trying decaf for ‘only trying’ is another thing. Of course, you can try whatever you want as long as it is healthy.
There is nothing wrong with trying decaf. But, if you value the caffeine in your coffee more, decaf won’t quench your thirst. But, yes, you can try it for sure.
But, if you have a medical condition that requires you to avoid caffeine or simply want to avoid it, there is no better choice than decaf. You can, of course, turn to tea. But that is not why you are here, right?
You love coffee and how it tastes. If that is the case, and you are okay to give up caffeine from the table, decaf seems a fair game. It has the most negligible caffeine content and tastes almost similar to your regular coffee.
Decaf is not a new game. It is not a drink widely enjoyed either. People drink decaf mostly because they either are intolerant to caffeine or want to avoid it for various reasons.
But, in doing so, you can still enjoy the taste of your beloved beverage with the same pleasure as before. If you are okay with it, decaf tastes almost the same as your regular cup of espresso.
Does it make you want to try decaf? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts. Personally, I look at decaffeinated coffee the same way I do non-alcoholic beer: useless. That said, everyone’s situation is different.
Till then, stay safe and hydrated!