(BPT) - Let's talk about decaf coffee. It's been getting some well-deserved attention lately. For the longest time, decaf has been unfairly judged as inferior to its caffeinated counterpart. But guess what? Things have changed in the past couple of years, and more and more people are turning to decaf, either as a complement to their regular coffee or even as a complete replacement.
A recent Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Inc. survey of 18- to 40-year-olds who drink decaf revealed that among those who drink both decaf and regular coffee (dual drinkers), 75% said their decaf consumption has actually gone up since the start of the pandemic. Even among those who exclusively drink decaf, two-thirds of them have also been sipping more decaf ever since.
It's pretty clear - decaf is having a moment, and it's not just a passing trend. If you're decaf curious but still on the fence, here are some reasons why it's worth giving decaf a chance.
1. Same coffee taste
A common myth about decaf is that it tastes bland or inferior compared to caffeinated coffee. However, according to Swiss Water's survey, 66% of dual drinkers and 75% of decaf-only drinkers choose decaf because they enjoy the taste. You can enjoy the nuanced and complex characteristics and flavors of specialty coffee without caffeine effects, which means you can enjoy the taste and aroma all day long. The quality of the coffee beans and the method of decaffeination also have a big impact on the taste.
Even to experts, quality decaf coffee is largely indistinguishable from its caffeinated counterpart. Swiss Water's proprietary chemical-free decaffeination method takes it a step further. Last year, a Swiss Water decaffeinated coffee from the Panama Chiriquí province was entered into the Golden Bean World Series competition without the judges knowing it was decaf. Out of 50 specialty coffees, the international judges placed it in the top 10.
2. Less anxiety and improved sleep
While a perfectly pulled shot of espresso or your favorite single-origin pour-over can help you wake up and start your day, drinking caffeinated coffee throughout the day can worsen your anxiety and prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Research shows that people afflicted with panic disorder are more susceptible to experiencing panic attacks and heightened anxiety levels due to caffeine intake. That's why many individuals are cutting back on their caffeine intake and opting to drink decaf instead.
According to the survey, all respondents reported increasing decaf coffee consumption since COVID-19 for health reasons. Dual and decaf-only drinkers drank more decaf to reduce their anxiety (59% and 46%, respectively) and improve sleep quality (55% and 49%, respectively). The science backs this up too. Several studies show that decaf coffee offers most of the same health benefits as regular coffee. It's all because decaf retains most of the beneficial compounds and polyphenols, like chlorogenic acids, which help reduce the risk of various diseases and promote overall well-being.
By minimizing caffeine consumption, decaf allows individuals to enjoy the ritual of drinking coffee without as much of a spike in anxiety or poor sleep quality.
3. Quality makes a difference
Quality matters when choosing decaf, and not all decaf coffee is created equal. The survey found that almost all decaf-only (97%) and dual drinkers (92%) consider overall quality highly important when purchasing decaf. Quality can vary depending on the decaf process.
Traditional decaffeination methods use chemicals such as methylene chloride and ethyl acetate, which have a greater impact on altering the taste of the coffee and can leave residuals in the cup. The Swiss Water Process proprietary decaffeination method is a chemical-free process that renders what many believe to be the purest decaf coffee on the market.
The Swiss Water Process involves combining green coffee beans with green coffee extract. The extract is made up of water and the natural soluble solids found in coffee, minus the caffeine.
Through osmosis, the caffeine molecules are naturally extracted from the beans into the solution, until all that's left is 99.9% caffeine-free coffee that retains its natural flavor and aroma.
You can have it all
If you want to cut out the caffeine but don't want to compromise on the integrity, variety, flavor or health benefits of drinking coffee, decaf just might be your beverage answer. To ensure you get quality decaf coffee that is chemical free, look for the words Swiss Water Process on the coffee brand's label or website description.
Ready to feed your decaf curiosity? The next time you're at the store or café, make it a habit to look for and ask whether the coffee has been decaffeinated by the Swiss Water Process. You can also visit SwissWater.com to find roasters who offer this high-quality decaf coffee you can enjoy at home, in the office or on the go.