Since launching Mommee Coffee, Emilie and I have learned a lot about coffee roasting! From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to offer a variety of caffeination levels so that moms and moms-to-be can control and cater their caffeine intake along their mommee journey.
There are three main ways to remove caffeine from coffee. We stay away from the first commonly used method. It utilizes chemicals like methylene chloride and ethyl acetate to leach the caffeine out of the coffee. Definitely not for us!
Instead, Mommee Coffee is decaffeinated by a combination of Water Processing and the Supercritical Carbon Dioxide method.
To understand a bit more what these terms mean, let's geek out together...
Water Processed decaffeination occurs in two steps. First, the coffee beans are placed in hot water where an activated charcoal filter separates the caffeine molecules from the coffee's essential oils and flavor molecules. The beans from this batch are discarded and a new batch of beans are submerged in the solution of water and oils from the previous batch. The caffeine is filtered out from this second batch of beans but this time the essential oils and flavors remain in the bean. This organic method is more expensive but worth every penny. It removes about 99.9% of the caffeine while leaving the flavor intact. (And if you want to know about the difference between "Water Processed" and "Swiss Water Processed"...click here).
The Supercritical Carbon Dioxide method is fairly new. Non-toxic liquid carbon dioxide is pumped, at extremely high pressures, into a container where water soaked coffee beans await. The carbon dioxide draws the caffeine molecules out of the coffee beans while leaving desirable flavor molecules behind. This results in 98% of the caffeine being removed from the coffee beans.
To meet the FDA standard of "decaffeinated," 97% of the original caffeine must be removed. A typical fully caffeinated cup of coffee might contain 60-120 milligrams of caffeine... so a fully caffeinated cup with 90 milligrams of caffeine would contain less than 3 milligrams of caffeine after a decaffeination process.
Yes, it is good to be aware that even decaf has a smidgen of caffeine.