Swiss water decaf: all you need to know

If you want to limit your daily intake of caffeine due to personal preference, sensitivity to caffeine, or pregnancy, decaffeinated coffee can be an excellent choice for you. Swiss water decaf coffees are excellent at preserving nuanced flavours of high-quality coffee while helping you avoid late-night jitters.

Put it simply, the Swiss Water Decaf Process is a decaffeination process in which coffee is decaffeinated using an environmentally friendly, chemical-free, 99.9% caffeine-free water process. If you’re curious about what are the benefits of drinking swiss water coffee, we have got you covered with this guide. Let’s start by explaining why it has such an unique name.

Why is it called Swiss water process?

If you’re wondering what coffee has to do with water from the Swiss Alps, I’m sorry to disappoint you. This method for decaffeinating coffee carries this name because it was created in Switzerland in the 1930s and scaled for commercial coffee production by the 1980s.

Sometimes referred to as SWP Method, the Dihydro-oxide process, or Activated Charcoal Decaffeination, this method is spearheaded by The Swiss Water Company located in Burnaby, BC, Canada which is is the only decaffeination facility in the world that is certified organic and Kosher. Portfolio Swiss Water Decaf is grown and harvested in Colombia and sent to the Swiss Water Company facility for chemical-free decaffeination.

What makes the Swiss water process different?

Legend has it that decaffeination started in the early 1900s when a German coffee merchant named Ludwig Roselius discovered decaf by accident after a shipment of coffee beans was soaked in seawater while in transit, which naturally decreased the levels of caffeine.

A few years later, he patented the first commercially successful means of decaffeinating coffee. But instead of just salt water, his method also used a more potent chemical solvent called benzene. Until today, the most common methods for decaffeination still use chemical solvents, such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate, to strip caffeine molecules from the green coffee bean.

Geared towards the growth of health-savvy and environmentally conscious coffee drinkers who want to make healthier choices, Swiss water process uses - you guessed it right, water with zero chemicals from the coast mountains of British Columbia to gently remove the caffeine until the coffee beans are 99.9% caffeine-free.

Swiss water process decaf coffee infographic

How does swiss water process decaf work?

 

To begin the decaffeination process, green coffee beans are soaked in hot water to create GCE (Green Coffee Extract). This is done just once, made out of fresh water and all the soluble solids within coffee (minus the caffeine).

Next, the green coffee is rehydrated to prepare for the target moisture level that is ideal for caffeine removal. This step also removes dirt, dust, and silverskin. Once this is done, the coffee beans are ready for decaffeination.

This is when caffeine is drawn away and filtered out. GCE is continuously circulated around the green coffee for a period of 8-10 hours, until 99.9% of the caffeine molecules have migrated from the green coffee and into the GCE.

Caffeine is removed from the GCE through a proprietary carbon filter system, and the carbon is sent to a regeneration furnace to burn away the caffeine, so that it can be reused.

What may sound complicated results in a decaffeinated coffee that is high on flavor and free from additional chemical solvents.

What are the benefits of drinking decaf coffee?

While decaf doesn’t provide the alertness and boosted metabolism of standard coffee, it does contain roughly the same number of antioxidants, which helps the body fight off free radicals. It’s also a great transitional beverage for those working to completely quit caffeine because, despite the name, decaf typically has small amounts of caffeine, so switching to it won’t be like going cold turkey.

One of the biggest tangible benefits of drinking swiss water decaf coffee is that the nuanced flavours are not washed away in the decaffeination process. You're able to fully enjoy high-quality coffee with premium flavour profiles without caffeine.

How much caffeine is in decaf Swiss water?

Some people might think decaf coffee is completely exempt of caffeine, but that's not true. While hardly noticed by the average coffee drinker, Swiss water process decaf coffee has approximately 0,1% of caffeine left as its natural, chemical-free decaffeination process is able to extract 99,9% of the caffeine present in the coffee beans.

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