Dear Coffee, I Love You but……


Coffee…..what’s not to love about coffee? Oh yes……the crash, the jitters, insomnia. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hooked on the taste of coffee, I love it! However, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to decrease my caffeine intake for a few reasons, without giving up the taste, as well as some of the other benefits….and I’ve finally found a great alternative/combination. Now, the most important factor here is… keep your decaf coffee and coffee alternative, organic! This is a must, and I will tell you why.

With regular decaffeinated coffee, the beans are steamed for about 30 minutes in order to open their pores. Following this step, the coffee beans are receptive to a solvent and repeatedly rinsed with either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate for approximately 10 hours to remove the caffeine. You’re thinking…..rinsed with what and what?! Exactly.

Methylene chloride, also called dichloromethane, is a volatile colorless liquid with a chloroform-like color, used in paint stripping, pharmaceutical manufacturing, paint remover manufacturing, and metal cleaning/degreasing. Mmmmmm…..sounds tasty. Ethyl acetate is a colorless liquid with a smell similar to glue or nail polish, and is used as an industrial solvent. Oh…..and I must mention….it’s flammable! Its vapors are a respiratory tract irritant which is so powerful, that it can kill an insect quickly without destroying it. I bet you’ll never look at regular decaf coffee the same again!

This is where the organic option comes in. With organic decaf coffee, the coffee beans go through a water process commonly known as the Swiss water process. This process uses a lot of water, and is basically the same as what is used for decaffeinated tea. The green coffee beans are repeatedly soaked in hot water and made to pass through a carbon filter (made of charcoal, which is organic). This pulls the caffeine out of the raw beans, but does not harm the flavor, except in the first run due to the carbon filter. This process is organic and can remove above ninety-nine percent of the caffeine from the beans if it is repeated several times.

A couple of my favorite organic decaf coffee brands are Jeremiah’s Pick Coffee and Ethical Bean Coffee (pictured above). These have great flavor and mixes well with coffee alternatives. A wonderful organic coffee alternative I’ve discovered is a brand called Crio Bru. My discovery took some time, as I was searching for an alternative that didn’t taste like hot chocolate. Crio Bru consists of one hundred percent ground cocoa beans and contains 358 mg of theobromine (a naturally occurring substance found in cacao), that provides a gentle, long-lasting boost of energy so you won’t feel jittery during the day or sleepless at night. It also has less caffeine than decaf, and two times more antioxidants than blueberries.

So, if you’re looking to cut down on the caffeine like me……but itching to grab that second or third cup of the day, try mixing some organic decaf coffee with Crio Bru for your afternoon coffee fix. The best part is…’s better for the environment and…..wait for it……you know you’ll be able to sleep at night! Woooo hooooo!

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