Supermarkets these days can be a scary place. They are filled with endless rows of processed foods, sugars and high fat dairy products that can lead to health problems and an early grave. Those of us watching what we eat have sometimes fallen for diet fads when we don’t really know what they are or if they really improve your health.
The vegetarian trend kicked off successfully and transformed into vegan diets and has now morphed into Pegan – Paleo Vegan, whatever that means. Coffee enthusiasts have not been immune to these food cults.
Coffee is the second largest traded commodity in the world and a popular drink that is enjoyed by many. This means coffee farms are doing their best to match the demand for coffee by increasing production and using innovative science and technology methods to surpass their competitors. This, however, introduces some questionable farming methods and makes people worry about what they are putting into their bodies.
The biggest concern about coffee has been the amount of caffeine ingested in every cup consumed, and how this can either be good or bad for your body. This made coffee producers come up with ways to remove the caffeine from coffee beans, thus making it ‘healthier’. On the other hand, the process of decaffeination does involve some rather dubious chemicals that can leave you wondering what’s really in your cup of Joe. If you are looking to go the healthy route, then you might want to try the best organic decaf coffee!
What is Organic Decaf Coffee?
Let’s take this slow and break it down for you, starting with what decaf coffee is. Decaf coffee is a short way of saying decaffeinated coffee. This is coffee made from beans that have had the caffeine naturally extracted from them before roasting. For a more in-depth talk about what exactly decaf coffee is, check out this article! In regards to the process of removing caffeine, there are a variety of ways to do this, shall we begin?
1. Roselius Process
Treating the coffee beans with salt water and benzene. This method was frowned upon and eventually discarded when it was discovered that benzene had detrimental effects to the body.
2. Industrial Process
Treating the coffee beans with Methylene Chloride, or Ethyl Acetate. There are a number of companies that use this method as it is less time consuming and more affordable.
3. Carbon Dioxide Process
The coffee beans are soaked in liquid carbon dioxide at high pressure then passed through charcoal filters.
4. Swiss Water Method
This process repeatedly soaks green coffee beans in hot water and the beans are later passed through carbon filters. It is done a number of times and has proven to remove 99% of caffeine from the beans.
Definition of Organic Decaf Coffee
Organic decaf coffee can be described as coffee that has no caffeine, fertilizers or pesticides. Governing agencies like the United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) defines a product as organic if it has no artificial or synthetic substances, no petroleum based fertilizers, sewage sludge or chemical fertilizers, or pesticides used while growing.
For coffee, the crop should not be obtained from or contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). There should be no chemicals added while processing and the beans cannot be subjected to radiation. The packaging should also not contain any metallic salts or colors that can dissolve and contaminate the coffee. It sounds pretty strict, doesn’t it?
From the processes of decaffeination mentioned above, the Swiss Water Process is the best process that can claim to be truly organic. The carbon filters used are obtained from charcoal which is organic. This method pulls out the caffeine but does not interfere with the flavor.
The Carbon Dioxide Process is also considered organic because even though carbon dioxide is produced synthetically, it is still regarded as an organic gas while the carbon filters used are organic as they are made from charcoal.
The only way that the Industrial Process can be considered organic is if the beans are decaffeinated using Ethyl Acetate obtained from natural resources. Methylene Chloride can only be prepared artificially, so that makes it inorganic. It can get super confusing, huh?
Where do you Find Organic Decaf Coffee?
If you have a trusted barista, you could confirm with them exactly how organically decaf your coffee really is. At the supermarket, take the time to read the packaging before purchasing your packet of brew to see if the method used to decaffeinate has been mentioned. Some manufacturers do not include this information because they might use one or more methods of decaffeination. Others choose not to specify because not all processes are perfectly safe.
Keep in mind though that decaf does not mean caffeine free. The coffee will have 1-2 percent of caffeine left in it, but it is significantly less than regular coffee.
Best Organic Decaf Coffee
We have put together a short list of trusted organic decaf coffee brands to kick you off in the right direction, let’s dive into this selection of organic decafe coffee shall we?
- Organic Decaf ‘Swiss Water’ Peru Coffee by CoffeeAM
- No Fun Jo Decaf by Jo Coffee
- Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf
- Organic Sumatra Decaf by Fresh Roasted Coffee
- Cafe Don Pablo Decaf Colombian Gourmet Coffee
Organic Decaf ‘Swiss Water’ Peru Coffee by CoffeeAM
This medium roasted coffee is imported from the Northern highlands of Peru where it is cultivated at 3000 feet above sea level. As the name suggests, CoffeeAM uses the Swiss Water process to decaffeinate their coffee. It is mildly acidic, contains a well balanced tone and a full bodied flavor. There is no bitter aftertaste and it retails for $13.95 on their website.
No Fun Jo Decaf by Jo Coffee
When looking for decaf coffee that is fully certified, No Fun Jo passes all tests and qualifications! It is USDA certified as purely organic, Fair Trade certified so the farmers get their fair dues, Swiss Water process certified so no added chemicals at any point and even Kosher certified! The medium ground roast boasts a complex flavor with hints of blueberry and milk chocolate, and its 12 ounce bag retails for $11.99 on Amazon.
Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf
The company Kicking Horse only uses Arabica beans for all their coffees and are Fair Trade, organic and Kosher certified. They believe in sustainability and are involved in supporting initiatives such as land and wildlife conservation efforts in the Canadian Rockies. Their Decaf coffee is a dark roast, with tones of roasted hazelnuts with a chocolaty balanced body. It is good for a French Press, drip machine, cold brew and espresso and is available on Amazon.
Organic Sumatra Decaf by Fresh Roasted Coffee
The Organic Sumatra Decaf is a medium roast decaf coffee that is made using 100% Arabica beans. The decaffeination process uses a chemical free, Water Process. This coffee has a bold body, mild acidity and earthy, creamy, chocolaty tones. You can get Mexican, Colombian or Peruvian flavors and it is available in 4 sizes on Amazon.
Cafe Don Pablo Decaf Colombian Gourmet Coffee
Cafe Don Pablo is a family owned business that has a Sharing Certified Program with Colombian farmers. They get all their beans from a single origin and use whole beans grown on volcanic soil from Colombia that are GMO free. They use the Swiss Water Process of decaffeination. The coffee is medium roasted, has low acidity and a smooth finish. It has a full bodied flavor with notes of cocoa, caramel and a slight hint of citrus. It retails for $17.99 on Amazon. They also created a light roast option that’s jam-packed with natural caramel and cocoa flavors and a hint of citrus!
Now that we know what available options there are for healthy and the best organic decaf coffee, we sure will be adding these to our shopping list! Are you ready to make the switch?
Let us know what your reviews are for the above decaf brands in the comment section below!
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