Coffee Culture

Is There Really Any Decaf Coffee? A Story of My Friend Dan

Is There Really Any Decaf Coffee? A Story of My Friend Dan 1

There are quite a few weird guys among my friends. Recently, one of them, Dan, had a rather strange story. Dan is a terrible punctilious person, fan of healthy lifestyle, straight-edge and so on. You know, the kind of person who, God forbid, has socks on the windowsill or keys in the wrong place. His kitchen refrigerator door is hung with straight rows of reminder squares, and his sprouted grains are next to his half-fat yogurt in the fridge.

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Of course, Dan doesn’t drink coffee. And all my friends who are professional or at least home baristas are coffee fans, and half of our conversations that happen when one of us is making coffee are about coffee in some way. And to support our team, Dan decides to start drinking coffee. But since he is still committed to a healthy lifestyle, he starts drinking decaf, saying it won’t harm his health.

It is known that caffeine, which is naturally found in coffee, is a strong stimulant of the central nervous system. And this gives the human body the magic of increased energy. Since decaf coffee is supposed to have no caffeine, you can drink it, the one can drink it without harm to his or her nervous system. But suddenly we notice that after two weeks, our Dan has somehow changed strangely, now he argues and waves his arms on a par with everyone else, and before that he was a calm person and never stood out for his nervous habits.

Are There Some Caffeine in Decaf Coffee? How much?

After we’ve consulted some medical literature and it occures that decaf coffee is not always completely caffeine-free — there are often trace amounts of caffeine in every cup. That’s due to the decaffeination process which is long, complicated and imperfect. The most common methods of decaffeination are called solvent extraction techniques. During this process, green coffee beans are soaked in a solution containing a solvent such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate which binds to the caffeine molecules and removes them. Although the presence of these chemicals might seem concerning, only trace amounts remain in the final product and are considered safe by the FDA. There are also other methods of decaffeination such as the Swiss water technique, which draws out the caffeine using only water, or the supercritical carbon dioxide technique, which uses highly pressurized carbon dioxide.

It is important to note that it is impossible to remove every last molecule of caffeine from a coffee bean. The number of extraction rounds and other steps and chemical processes involved in each method of decaffeination vary, but 100% extraction of caffeine is not feasible. The FDA regulates the presence of methylene chloride in decaf coffee, with a limit of 10 parts per million, which is considered not a risk to human health.

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How much caffeine is in a regular coffee cup? The answer is, a typical 8-ounce cup of regular coffee contains 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, while decaf coffee has only 2 to 15 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup, according to the FDA. The FDA generally considers coffee labeled as decaf to have had at least 97% of its original caffeine removed, but there are no regulations specifying the maximum amount of caffeine that can be present in decaf coffee. While a 12-ounce cup can contain 120 to 180 mg of caffeine, depending on the type of coffee, brewing method, etc.

Why Does Decaf Coffee Give You the Jitters?

Caffeine Sensitivity and Tolerance

The small amount of caffeine in decaf coffee is unlikely to affect most people. Factors such as caffeine sensitivity and tolerance, which can vary widely and are influenced by genetics and regular caffeine intake, determine the impact of decaf. Most people are mildly or moderately sensitive to caffeine and consume it regularly, so the minimal amount of caffeine in decaf is unlikely to have a noticeable effect.

Other Medical Problems

The small amount of caffeine present in decaf coffee can be a problem for individuals who are trying to limit or avoid caffeine due to a medical condition. This group may include those with sleep disorders such as insomnia, liver diseases that affect liver function, and migraines triggered by caffeine. Although caffeine has been known to interfere with various medications, these interactions typically occur with higher doses, not the smaller amounts found in decaf. If you are concerned about the impact of caffeine on your health or the caffeine content in decaf, it is recommended to consult with your doctor.

Sleep Affecting

Decaf coffee can still affect sleep, particularly when consumed later in the day. The rate at which caffeine is metabolized and its effects can vary, but caffeine typically peaks within an hour and can remain in the body for 4-6 hours, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Drinking decaf after dinner could cause sleep problems at bedtime, but it may also provide just enough caffeine for individuals looking to cut down or wean off their caffeine consumption or avoid a caffeine headache.

Doctor’s Advice for Dan

If you are experiencing negative side effects from consuming coffee or decaf coffee, it is possible that you are highly sensitive to caffeine. According to the research, some people are naturally highly sensitive to caffeine and this sensitivity can result in side effects like a quickening heart rate or feeling jittery, anxious, nauseous, or restless.

The doctor that Dan consulted told him to take tests and stuff. After the examination, the doctor determined that Dan was one of the minority with a hypersensitivity to caffeine. Therefore, it is important to listen to your body, and if you have a strong negative reaction to caffeine, then, according to the FDA’s recommendations, you should completely give up decaf drinks. Since caffeine sensitivity can vary from person to person, it’s essential to pay attention to your own reactions and make decisions based on what is best for you. In general, it may be a good idea to limit your caffeine intake or avoid it completely if you are highly sensitive to it.

Our Advice for Dan

But our team has another piece of advice for our friend, you know, we are a funny bunch and love to joke. We told him,  instead of drinking ten cups of decaf coffee — because you will, you know you will — drink one piping hot cup of caffeinated coffee. Drink fully and enjoy. Then be certain to drink water, eat frequently and healthfully, and exercise. Don’t be like those people who have diet drinks all day. Diet drinks are bad for you, especially if that is all you drink. Have one regular soda and enjoy it, really taste it. Then move on with your life.

We have prepared you a list of some of the best Arabica Coffee beans in our TOP-7 Best Arabica Coffee Beans.

The only thing we should be drinking all day long is water. Let all the other drinks be a small but wonderful gift we give to ourselves once or twice a day. It is far better to drink one or two cups of caffeinated coffee (far, far, far better), than to drink one cup of decaf after the next. You will enjoy it all the more!

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We have also prepared some reviews of the best home appliances for coffee

  1. TOP 5 Best Coffee Makers – Buyer’s Guide
  2. Top 5 Best Coffee Machines – Buyer’s Guide
  3. Top 5 Best Coffee Grinder – Buyer’s Guide
  4. TOP 5 Best Turkish Coffee Makers – Buyer’s Guide


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