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Decaf vs Cafeine

Ah, decaf coffee, the beverage that tries to be coffee but without the buzz. Why don't we serve it, you ask? Well, let me take you on a journey back to the early 1900s and introduce you to Ludwig Roselius, the accidental hero of decaf.

Ludwig Roselius
Ludwig Roselius

Legend has it that Ludwig was just your average German coffee merchant when fate decided to play a little trick on him. During a shipment of coffee beans, something went awry - they got soaked in seawater. Now, most people would panic at this point and start frantically drying out their precious cargo. But not Ludwig. Instead of despairing over his caffeinated catastrophe, Ludwig saw an opportunity. It turns out that soaking those beans in seawater naturally extracted some of the caffeine. Voila! Decaf was born!

Fast forward a few years, and our caffeine-free hero, Roselius, patented the first commercially successful method of decaffeinating coffee. But oh no, he didn't stop at mere salt water! He brought in the big guns - a chemical solvent named benzene - to really show that caffeine who's boss!

Inhaling benzene, even in whiffs tinier than a mouse's sneeze, can turn you into a dizzy, drowsy headachy mess. It's like an unwanted party guest who also irritates your eyes, skin and respiratory tract. And if benzene decides to overstay it's welcome? Well, it could start throwing around long-term health problems like confetti - cancer, blood disorders and even issues with baby-baking for the expecting ladies!

It's no wonder the new type of brew—which later relied on other similarly toxic solvents—got a bad rap.

In the modern world, coffee makers have traded in their mad scientist lab coats for safer decaffeination methods. But let's be real, some are still playing chemical roulette to banish caffeine from your beloved brew. Meanwhile, curious researchers are scratching their heads and wondering if any of coffee's magical health-boosting potions disappear with the caffeine. It's like a caffeinated game of hide and seek!

The Magic Behind Decaffeination

There are three mystical ways to banish caffeine from those innocent coffee beans: The most popular method involves a chemical wizardry, another one calls upon the power of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2), and the last one just uses good ol' H2O.

All these methods start with green, unroasted coffee beans. They either give them a nice hot bath or steam them until they sweat out all their caffeine or their pores open up wide enough to say "Hey, I'm ready for my deep cleanse!" Then comes the extraction of that sneaky caffeine.

While the CO2 and water methods are as natural as a hippie at Woodstock, the solvent method relies on synthetic chemicals like ethyl acetate (which you can also find hanging out in some fruits) and methylene chloride (a regular guest at industrial applications parties).

So, you're telling me there's no perfect escape from caffeine in coffee? Even though the Food and Drug Administration plays the strict parent insisting on a 97% caffeine removal, those sneaky little decaf coffees still manage to hold onto 3 to 12 mg of caffeine per cup. It's like playing hide and seek with caffeine!

Is Decaf Coffee a Secret Supervillain?

While coffee connoisseurs and lab coat-clad experts agree that the Swiss Water Process and liquid carbon dioxide are as harmless as a kitten playing with yarn, methylene chloride is the bad boy of the coffee world.

Inhale this rebel in small doses, and you'll be coughing, wheezing, and gasping for breath like you've just run a marathon... in stilettos. Crank up the dosage, and it's party time with headaches, confusion, nausea - basically all the fun of a hangover without any of the previous night's shenanigans. Oh! And it's been known to cause liver and lung cancer in animals.

Decaf Dilemma: Which One to Pick?

Don't sweat it, the lab-coat folks say the chemicals in decaf won't turn you into a mutant. But if you're the type who likes to play it safe (or just nosy), you might want to snoop around for how your bag of beans got its caffeine yanked out.

Sounds easy, right? Wrong! Our buddy Ristenpart says it's trickier than finding a needle in a haystack because there are no rules saying "Hey! This is how we sucked the caffeine out of this coffee!"

So, if you're losing sleep over whether synthetic solvents were used in your decaf (oh, the irony!), look for an organic seal on your bag. That's advice straight from Charlotte Vallaeys, our trusty Consumer Repo...I mean Sherlock Holmes of coffee mysteries!

But why don't we serve it?

Well, let's spill the beans here - coffee is like a magical elixir that transforms us from groggy zombies into productivity powerhouses in the morning. It's like Gatorade for our exhausted souls, giving us that superhero-like energy to conquer the day. And while decaf has its place for those who appreciate the taste without the turbocharge, we're here to deliver that extra oomph when you need it most. So next time you're yearning for a cup of joe with a side of pep in your step, rest assured knowing that we've got your back with our fully caffeinated options. Because life is too short for lukewarm enthusiasm and lackluster sips. We believe in embracing that caffeine-induced rush and conquering tasks with gusto!

Remember, when you choose our coffee, you're not just getting a beverage - you're getting an ally on your quest for greatness. So go ahead and grab that glorious cup of liquid motivation because together, we'll tackle challenges one sip at a time!

Enjoy the weekend!

-Ely Your Barista

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