• Guillermo de la Orden

Is coffee with caffeine thousand times better than decaffeinated because they put a lot of chemic

Updated: Jan 24


Question from last month:

John: I am not a great coffee drinker, but in my family they are forced to have a coffee after every meal. Of course, always decaffeinated, since with caffeine, they say not being able to sleeps after. "I usually do the edged comment like"

"well, I have read in the Healthy Living magazine that coffee with caffeine is thousand times better than decaffeinated because they put a lot of chemicals to take away the caffeine"

And then starts the nonsense argument within the family. Of course since I don't really read the Healthy Living Magazine I want to continue exercising my role. Does it really take away the sleep?

How is caffeine extracted? Is it true that decaffeinated loses flavor and properties when decaffeinated?

Dear John, I hope my answer does not sow more discord in your family. What surprises me is that you want reliable information to continue exercising your role: everyone knows that the perfect brother-in-law is the one that feeds on untested opinions and moldy topics of the type like: “immigrants take all the help”, “the best fish is eaten anywhere but in Glasgow ”or“ the best makeup for women is her smile ”.....


Well, coming back to your question. Yes, caffeine causes our brain to release substances that slow down our sleep and block other substances that induce it. It also affects to our circadian clock, or circadian oscillator, which is a biochemical oscillator that cycles our sleep, and can delay it for more than about 40 minutes.

The effect of caffeine lasts an average of six hours in your body, so if you are sensitive to this substance and go to bed at 12 at night, you better not drink coffee after 6pm in the afternoon, because you may end up getting up every 5 minutes to check what is in your fridge. The amount of caffeine in coffee changes depending on its types. “All coffee has it, even decaf retains a little of that substance. But with the Robust variety you will drink twice as much caffeine as with the Arabica ”

Now. There are different processes to decaffeinate, but the most frequent (for economic) is to bathe green coffee with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate which are caffeine solvents.


Does this mean that decaf is bad for your health "because they put chemistry on it"? No, because these compounds are removed by natural evaporation, and then the beans are washed, dried and roasted as with any other coffee. Do coffee qualities suffer with this treatment? Unfortunately yes it does. "It's a very invasive process with the taste of coffee," as they say in https://nomadcoffee.es/en/ "Normally the coffee that is taken to this decaffeination process is low quality coffees, since it would not be logical to bring a high quality coffee to void all those good aromas and flavors."

Translated from Elpais.com https://elcomidista.elpais.com/elcomidista/2019/11/27/articulo/1574874590_816376.html


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