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How is caffeine removed from decaf coffee? - BBC Science Focus Magazine

https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/how-is-caffeine-removed-from-decaf-coffee/

sciencefocus.com

How is caffeine removed from decaf coffee? - BBC Science Focus Magazine

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Removing caffeine from coffee

Removing caffeine from coffee

Coffee beans are first softened in hot water or steam. Then caffeine is dissolved from the beans by using a solvent such as methylene chloride, ethyl acetate, or a gentler solvent such as water itself.

Liquid carbon dioxide is a much more expensive alternative, but has the added advantage that it does not remove the flavour molecules.

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Adding flavour molecules

The solvents used to obtain decaf coffee also remove some of the flavour molecules. These are then added back.

One way is to perform a first extraction with water, then shake up the water with a small volume of methylene chloride, or pass it through a charcoal filter. Both processes selectively remove the caffeine from the water but leave most of the flavour molecules.

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