Coffee Topics of Interest
Brewing & Storage Tips
The enemies of coffee are moisture, air, heat, light, and time.
Buy only enough coffee that you would normally consume in a 2 to 3 week period. The fresher the coffee, the better the taste.
Store in a dry, cool, and dark place. Never refrigerate coffee because it can absorb other food aromas and flavors.
Whole Bean vs. Ground:
Whole bean coffee stays fresher! Grind only as much as you need.
* Espresso Machine - very fine
* Drip – medium fine
* Coffee Press – course
Every coffee drinker has their own preferences. Start with 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water. Vary to your own personal taste.
For the best results, always use fresh, filtered water.
Flavoring & Nutritional Information
For the nutritional information on the flavoring of our coffees,
please call us toll-free at (866) GO2-VRED or (866) 462-8733.
Caffeine is a chemical compound naturally occurring coffee beans, as well as many other plant varieties (cocoa, tea, etc.). For that reason, any method of decaffeination, regardless of process, is by most accounts an “unnatural and imperfect” process.
Decaffeination is not 100% caffeine-free! The USDA requires coffee that is sold as “Decaf” to be at least 97% caffeine-free (most decaf coffees are closer to 98-99% caffeine-free).
Caffeine is a water-soluble substance, thus water is used in basically all forms of decaffeination either by soaking or streaming the beans. This makes the beans more porous and allows the caffeine molecules to be released.
Water alone is not enough, since it would take too long and washes out all flavors and aromas in the process. All decaffeination processes use a decaffeinating agent (Methylene Chloride, Activated Charcoal, CO2, or Ethyl Acetate). These agents help speed up the process, thereby minimizing the “washed out” effects that water alone would have.
The oldest and most common (and possibly the most misunderstood) is the Methylene Chloride Method (also known as the Traditional Method, the European Method, and the Water Process). This process accounts for close to 90% of decaffeinated coffees sold nationwide. Methylene Chloride is a commercially used solvent that has a molecular structure that selectively bonds to caffeine molecules, thereby assisting in the removal of the caffeine and limiting the time that the beans remain in contact with the hot water and steam.
The second most common method is Swiss Water Process, which accounts for close to 10% of decaffeinated coffees sold nationwide. Primarily, this process utilizes an activated charcoal filter to extract the caffeine. This process tends to taste slightly more washed-out as a result of being in contact with the hot water longer. This method is almost exclusively used for decaffeination of organic coffee.
There are two other forms of decaffeination called Ethyl Acetate and Supercritical CO2. Ethyl Acetate is a naturally occurring substance (often found in fruits) used as a solvent CO2 is naturally occurring in our environment. These two methods are currently not widely available, but are looking like promising alternatives in the future. These processes are often referred to as “naturally decaffeinated”, even though there are no standards for the use of the word “naturally” (remember, as we originally stated, all decaffeination is an “unnatural” process, since caffeine is naturally present in coffee).
We happen to use the best available decaffeinated coffees from all 4 processes mentioned above. The majority of our decafs we sell are the Methylene Chloride process, since they produce the best tasting decaffeinated coffee (with zero residual solvent particles).
Methylene Chloride Decaffeination
| ”Traditional Method”
“European (Euro Prep) Method”
|Myths:|| -Residual Particles (False, no residual particles in finished product)
-Environmentally Unfriendly (False, solvents are recycled/reused)
-Unhealthy (False, no residual particles remain after washing, roasting and
|What is it?|| Methylene Chloride is a commercially used solvent that selectively bonds to
caffeine molecules, thereby assisting in the removal of the caffeine and limiting
the time that the beans remain in contact with the hot water and steam.
|Advantages:|| -Best Cup Quality (Taste!)
-Most widely available (quantity and selection)
-Oldest and most perfected method
-Economies of scale (sheer volume = affordability)
|Disadvantage:||Perception as a “chemical” process or “unnatural” process|
Activated Charcoal Decaffeination
|“Swiss Water Process” (developed by the Swiss)|
|Myths:||-Healthier (False, no studies show any health benefits)
-Safer (False, no better & no worse than other methods)
|What is it?||The Swiss Water Process was developed as an alternative to the Traditional Method (Methylene Chloride). The beans are soaked in hot water to open the pores of the beans. Then the caffeine rich water is run through the activated charcoal filters to extract the caffeine molecules. Finally the decaffeinated water is reunited with the beans to try and reabsorb some of the flavor compounds.|
|Advantages:||-Perception of a healthier decaffeinating alternative
-USDA approved for Organic Decaffeination
|Disadvantages:||-More “washed-out” (less flavor)
-Much costlier decaffeination method (limited economies of scale)
-Limited availability (few choices and less selections)