Reader’s Questions: Which do you prefer – natural or chemical decaffeinated coffee? Is there really a difference anyway?

By | February 6, 2015

At PurelyCoffeeBeans, I’ve answered lots of questions over the years. You’ll find the questions and their answers scattered throughout the site!

I’m always open to more questions, if you’re frustrated or curious, why don’t you drop me a line! This week we welcome … It does seem we’re getting a lot of questions about decaf coffee!

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“What process is used to decaffeinate the House Blend Kirkland Decaf beans”

by (name not published).

Kirkland House Decaffeinated Coffee

I would like to know what process is used to
decaffeinate the House Blend Kirkland Decaf beans. Water or chemical?

Thank you

My Answer:

In short, I would imagine that is a chemical decaffeination process. Though information on the process used to create Kirkland House Blend Decaf seems relatively scarce, I would venture to guess that, in the absence of the words ‘natural’ and any reference to HOW the coffee is decaffeinated, it isn’t water processed or any other ‘natural’ method.

Finding a naturally decaffeinated coffee

If that bothers you, perhaps you might want to look at coffees that specifically tell you how they are decaffeinated. For example, the Starbucks Sumatra Decaffeinated claims …

[Source: http://www.starbucksstore.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=267293 Retrieved on 6/6/2011.]

“With a coffee as flavorful as Sumatra, you don’t want to make compromises when it comes to decaffeination. So when we looked for a natural process that would preserve what’s best about this coffee, the “sparkling water” method of decaffeination won us over. This process is natural and free of chemical solvents. With just CO2 and pure water, it removes caffeine while leaving the coffee’s aroma and flavor beautifully intact.”

On my last trip to Costco, I only saw one kind of decaffeinated coffee available. But their US website indicates that there is another brand of naturally decaffeinated coffee (I’ve never seen it in my store) called:

Ruta Maya Organic Decaffeinated Coffee (click for more info) that uses the Swiss Water Process Treatment.

Ruta Maya® Organic Decaffeinated Coffee

Of course, why not give Costco themselves a buzz at http://shop.costco.com/customer-service/contact-us. You should be able to find a store near you that sells an alternate brand.

I hope that ‘answers’ your question. Do share with me your research! I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Best Wishes
Kenneth

Replies added so far. Please add yours in the comments.


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decaf coffee
by: dickstollenwerk@hotmail.com

Kirkland seems to be evasive about its decaf coffee.What is the caffeine content in a 6 oz, cup of your 3 lb. can of decaf coffee.


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Yuck!
by: Anonymous

Yuck, I’m not buying Kirkland decaf again. I’m surprised that Kirkland does not offer a Swiss Water Process decaf coffee alternative even if they have to charge more.


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how Kirkland Decaf coffee is decaffeinated 2010
by: Anonymous

The process used for the K.S. decaf is the most common in the industry ? INDIRECT chemical process. The beans are heated in near boiling water releasing the caffeine.

The caffeinated water is removed from the beans and treated with methylene chloride which absorbs the caffeine. The water temperature is then increased causing the chemical along with the caffeine to evaporate.

The flavor-rich water is then reintroduced back to the beans. The methylene chloride never comes into contact with the beans.


Lots of interest in decaf processing especially the naturally decaffeinated coffee process. I’m going to have to write a fuller article on this for you.

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