Decaffeinated Coffee: Not what it used to be

Decaffeinated Coffee: Not what it used to be

Decaffeinated coffee has come a long way since Ludwig Roselius, a coffee merchant from Bremen, used benzene as a solvent to remove the stimulant content from the coffee beans. (Coffee Withdrawal, n.d.)  In 1905, Roselius patented his process; the following year, he established the German company Kaffee HAG, otherwise known as Sanka, in the United States, which General Foods later acquired. However, studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute in the mid-’70s discovered decaffeinated coffee contained traces of benzene and trichloroethylene (TCEs), now known as carcinogenic, giving decaffeinated coffee a dangerous reputation, and forcing companies like Nescafé and Folgers to adopt much safer, cleaner and chemical-free solvents. (Mercer, 2022)

Keeping in mind that each decaffeination process usually leaves about three to seven percent of the caffeine in the beans, let us explore three methods of coffee decaffeination that yield the safest and better-tasting cup of decaffeinated coffee. The three safest and cleanest methods of decaffeination processes that will preserve the coffee bean flavor profile are high-pressure CO2, sugarcane ethyl acetate (EA), and Swiss water. Each is a slight modification of the original decaffeination process. Still, without worrying about cancerous-causing properties and leaving the desired coffee flavor profile intact, we all eagerly seek in our early morning brew. (Parzyszek, 2022) 

The high-pressure CO2 process is when the coffee beans and carbon dioxide are highly pressurized in a steel chamber until the liquified carbon dioxide has extracted all the caffeine, resulting in a milder palatable coffee taste. While this process is natural and more sustainable than solvent methods, it is the most expensive and used primarily for bulk commercial batches. (Parzyszek, 2022)

The Sugar Cane (EA) process, commonly called natural decaffeination, uses fermented molasses from sugar cane to create ethanol and later mixed with acetic acid to generate the compound ethyl acetate, named Sugar Cane (EA). Ethyl Acetate is also found in wine, beer, fruit, vegetables, and other food and beverages and is different from synthetically made ethyl acetate. After being steamed to increase their moisture, the coffee beans swell, becoming porous, and are soaked and washed in the Sugar Cane EA mixture, which dissolves the caffeine, rinsed in water, steamed, and finally dried to its original moisture before the bean is ready for roasting. (What Is Sugar Cane E.A. Decaf?, 2017)

The Swiss water process is a patented decaffeination method that uses water through diffusion to remove 99.9% of caffeine. The green coffee is soaked in a proprietary Green Coffee Extract (“GCE”) containing all the water-soluble compounds found in coffee except the caffeine. This solution is heated so the coffee beans swell, becoming porous to allow caffeine molecules to move out into the GCE through osmosis until 99.9% of the caffeine is released without negatively impacting the flavor notes and aroma. (Wood, 2021b)

These three natural decaffeination processes are suitable for coffee drinkers who want to enjoy multiple cups of coffee throughout the day without the adverse side effects of caffeine or also great for those who want to lower their caffeine intake while still enjoying the flavor, aroma, and experience of a good cup of coffee. Apart from the decaffeination processes, it's also essential to consider the coffee beans' variety, fermentation process, and origin. Suppose you want to delve into decaffeinated specialty coffee, where the flavor notes are king. We recommend you try Orbital’s Sugar Cane (EA) Coffee, a naturally processed red and yellow caturra coffee bean micro-lot farmed by producer Elias and Shady Bayter from the Vergel Estate farm located in Tolima, Colombia, with some unbelievably Caramel, grape, and brown sugar flavor notes that are indeed to convince you that a safe, chemical free and delicious decaffeinated cup of coffee exists and is delivered freshly roasted decaf coffee that is out of this world directly to your doorstep.


Coffee withdrawal. (n.d.).

Mercer, A. (2022, December 20). For the love of Decaf: A glimpse into the rise of decaffeinated specialty coffee - Fresh Cup Magazine. Fresh Cup Magazine.

Parzyszek, P. (2022, June 9). How does coffee decaffeination work? The 3 methods are explained. Utopia.

What is Sugar Cane E.A. Decaf? (2017, August 30). Speedwell Coffee.

Wood, D. (2021, June 11). Understanding Swiss Water Process Decaf - Sweet Maria's Coffee Library. Sweet Maria\’s Coffee Library. 

“Caturra.” World Coffee Research,

Levine, B. (2013, July 18). Forrester Report: The Social Media Habits of B2B Customers. CMSWire.Com.

Creative, B. (2017, August 17). B2B vs. B2C: Media Planning for the Right Audience. BBR.

Haileyesus, S. (2021, August 24). What is Shopify, and How Does it Work? Small Business Trends.

When Community Becomes Your Competitive Advantage. (2020, January 31). Harvard Business Review.

Miller, M. (2016, May 20). Content Marketing Tactics: Business Blogging Pros, Cons, Best Practices & Brands Doing It Right. B2B Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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How to make the perfect iced latte.

What you’ll need

  • 1 cup of ice
  • 4 oz espresso (try ours)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • Optional sweetener of choice.

    1. Start by filling a tall glass with ice, and pour in the freshly brewed espresso.
    2. Pour the milk and optinal sweetener into a mason jar until it’s 3/4 full.
    3. Seal the jar tightly, and shake, shake, shake.
    4. Pour the milk and foam into the glass with the ice and espresso.

How to make the perfect iced latte.


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