Is decaf coffee really good for you?

We might be a little bias here, but we are pretty confident that if we covered your eyes and served you two cups of coffee - one of which was our Sugarcane Daydream Decaf (who doesn't love a challenge), most of you would struggle to tell us which was decaffeinated.

We get asked a lot of questions about decaf coffee beans, so we figured we would try to give our view of the decaf coffee world in a short blog post and hopefully provide some useful information to address your questions.

In short, decaffeinated coffee does not contain the same caffeine levels as regular coffee, it does still contain a little bit of caffeine, just a whole lot less than regular coffee – typically about 3% as a rough guide. A regular cup of coffee holds about 95 milligrams of caffeine and a decaf equivalent cup, about 2 milligrams according to NCAUSA.

Decaf does however, retain all of the antioxidants found in regular coffee, which is usually why the question “is decaf good for you?” arises. So if you are looking for a drink that retains the antioxidants found in coffee but with a much lower caffeine level, then yes, decaf is better suited to you than regular coffee, but that is of course just personal preference.

How is decaf coffee made?

Decaf coffee starts as green beans, just the same as regular coffee. The key difference is that the green beans are warmed and soaked in liquid in order to remove the up to 97% of the caffeine. This can be done using water, or a mix of water and solvents. The beans are washed, steamed and roasted which evaporates the liquid used in the process. Many of the methods and solutions however can involve excessive heat or pressure, which is why we prefer to use a natural sugar can decaffeination method.

Our Sugarcane decaffeination utilizes a naturally occurring by-product from local sugar production to decaffeinate the coffee. This process starts by fermenting molasses derived from sugar cane to create ethanol. This alcohol is then mixed with acetic acid, to create the compound ethyl acetate. You can read about this process in more detail here.

We might be a little bit bias here, but we are pretty confident that if we covered your eyes and served you two cups of coffee (who doesn’t love a challenge), most of you would struggle to tell us which was decaffeinated.

How much caffeine is ok to drink?

Well, we are coffee roasters and not medical experts, so we’ll defer on this one to the Mayo Clinic, but most of the credible sources that you can find online quite quickly suggest that up to 400mg is a safe daily intake. Like anything, having a reasonable balance probably makes a lot of sense, but everyone is different and so its always best to listen to your body and to seek real medical advice for any questions or concerns.

Why drink decaf coffee?

There are a lot of reasons you might want to start drinking decaf coffee – maybe you are trying to cut out as much caffeine as possible, or maybe you just love coffee as much as we do and are trying to find the balance between more coffee and too much caffeine!

Whatever the reason, we have tried really hard to roast an incredible decaf coffee bean in our craft Sugarcane Daydream Decaf so that it isn’t just a substitute or second best to the real deal, but that its a really tasty and enjoyable, quality coffee that has been roasted freshly, by our experts in our Aberdeen roastery and café – just like every other origin of bean we create and sell at Figment.

We hope this has been a helpful post and if you try out our Sugarcane Decaf – let us know what you think!

So where can i get some great tasting, specialty decaf coffee?

We think this one is a trick question…

Figment…. always Figment.

Ok, we do think we have hit that magic cup moment with our Daydream Decaf but yes, there are lots of other great specialty decafs out there – it is however certainly harder to find than the growing (caffeinated) speciality market in general. Here are a couple of examples though:


Five Elephant


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