Our ecology-friendly water decaffeination process uses simple science to remove caffeine from green coffee beans. Still, it’s a bit more complicated than your average high school science class, so in short let’s just say you’re getting all the things you love about coffee without the caffeine.
People drink decaffeinated coffee for a variety of reasons. However, it’s important to know that decaffeination methods vary. Most use chemical solvents such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to strip caffeine molecules from the green coffee bean. And some leave behind more caffeine than you would think.
Alternatively, the proprietary Swiss Water® Process uses water from the pristine environment of the coast mountains of British Columbia, Canada to gently remove the caffeine until the coffee beans are 99.9% caffeine-free, while maintaining the bean’s distinctive origin and flavor characteristics. It’s decaffeinated coffee without compromise.
How do you know how your coffee is decaffeinated? This is difficult unless the coffee package labeling identifies the method or process. Coffee brands using Swiss Water® Process communicate their decaffeination choice by use of the Swiss Water® Process seal or wordmark. It’s a way to help you know.
Caffeine is a natural occurring substance that is present in the leaves, seeds and fruits of more than sixty different plant species worldwide. Many food and beverage products made from these plants inherently contain varying amounts of caffeine.
A typical 12oz cup of caffeinated coffee contains between 120 mg to 180 mg of caffeine while a decaffeinated cup of coffee the same size has caffeine levels anywhere between 2 mg and 6 mg. The blend composition, extraction rates, water temperature, grind and roast can all minutely affect the final caffeine levels found in decaf coffee and accounts for the difference.
Espresso has similar caffeine content on a volume basis to brewed coffee. Therefore, decaf espresso will have only trace amounts of caffeine, similar to the caffeine content of brewed decaf.
In the US, decaffeinated coffee has a guideline that requires 97% of the caffeine to be removed from a green coffee bean. Being a guideline, as opposed to a standard, provides roasters more flexibility in terms of the percent of caffeine removed. However, in Canada and the international community, 99.9% caffeine-free is the recognized standard for decaffeinated coffee based on the maximum allowable caffeine level remaining in a decaffeinated green coffee bean.
Coffee decaffeinated using the environment-friendly Swiss Water® Process undergoes regular caffeine level audits to ensure compliance to 99.9% caffeine-free. We take pride in setting high quality standards and have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for every batch of beans we decaffeinate with our water decaffeination process.
History of the SWISS WATER® Process
In the early 1930's, a chemical free decaffeination method was discovered in Switzerland. The breakthrough - using water! The decaffeination process was introduced to the marketplace almost 50 years later when technology was able to effectively and efficiently replicate the concepts and ideas first developed in the 30's.
In 1988, the SWISS WATER® Process was introduced to the market. This came about as a new facility located near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - a region prized for its pure water - was completed.
SWISS WATER® Process remains the world's only consumer branded decaffeinator - 100% chemical free, never using methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to decaffeinate coffee. We are certified organic by the OCIA in accordance with standards developed by the US National Organic Program.
We decaffeinate green coffee to 99.9% caffeine free. In effect there are only trace amounts of caffeine left in the green bean. It takes about 18 cups of decaf to equal one cup of regular caffeinated coffee.
We are widely recognized in the specialty coffee industry by discerning roasters and retailers as the leading taste-driven, chemical free decaffeination process committed to strengthening brand value with the decaf drinker.