“But I think there are some very good decafs, and in order to make a great one you need to start with great green coffee.”
When coffee beans are decaffeinated, the simplified version of the process is that green coffee beans soak in a large vat of water; it’s not a chemical process. The water leeches out the caffeine and traps it in charcoal filters, and then the coffee dries out. In turn, the coffee is dramatically changed once it is roasted. It looks darker, even though it’s not a dark roast. And more importantly, it tends to lose a lot of acidity and sweetness. That’s why most decafs taste like cardboard.
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