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10 questions about decaffeinated coffee

Decaffeinated coffee has been enjoying increasing popularity in recent years. However, a lot of people have questions about it, and we decided to summarize some answers into a short blog.

How is coffee decaffeinated?

Although there are quite a few decaffeination methods, two are the most common. The first is a chemical method in which caffeine is removed from the beans using methylene chloride and ethyl acetate solvents. The second is a non-chemical method using only water, which doesn’t leave an unwanted odor, taste traces, or chemical residues in the coffee.

You can read more about methods of decaffeination here.

Why should we care about the method of decaffeination?

The more information we have about a subject, the better we can make decisions. And it’s no different with coffee. At the consumer level, while knowledge is growing, people are still largely unaware of how coffee is decaffeinated. They don’t always know they have a choice—using chemicals that may leave residuals or via a chemical-free process such as the Swiss Water® Process. Of course, even among chemical-free processes, not all contain zero chemical residuals (though ours does). Across multiple studies, we consistently see that when consumers (whether they drink both regular & decaf or only decaf) know about the decaffeination process, they care and would prefer a chemical-free option.

barista holding Ebenica Siesta

How do I know which method of decaffeination has been used?

The best way to find out is through the information on the packaging or the manufacturer’s website. If a roaster uses a chemical-free method to remove caffeine, they will likely include this information on the coffee’s packaging, as this is one of their competitive advantages. If there is no information about the decaffeination method on the package, it can be assumed that the coffee was processed using a chemical process. In that case, it’s a good idea to inquire with the manufacturer about the method of caffeine removal.

What method is used to decaffeinate Ebenica coffee?

In our roastery, we only use beans that have been decaffeinated via the Swiss Water ® Process. This patented method of removing caffeine from coffee was developed as an alternative to chemical solvents methylene chloride and ethyl acetate.

The company Swiss Water, which developed this method, proudly claims that it’s almost impossible to recognize that it’s decaffeinated coffee based on taste. The company is based in Canada and delivers decaffeinated green coffee to 80 countries worldwide. We subsequently roast these beans and use them to produce Zero, Mammie, and Siesta coffees.

Can decaffeinated coffee taste as good as normal coffee?

Sure! What’s important is what beans are used for production, how they’re decaffeinated, and, of course, how they’re roasted. If the coffee is made from high-quality specialty beans, treated with a gentle method without the use of chemicals, and then sensitively roasted while considering its character, you won’t be able to tell whether you’re drinking normal or decaf coffee.

Where is the most decaffeinated coffee drunk?

The most decaffeinated coffee is drunk in Europe—up to 35% of its global consumption. According to the British Coffee Association, up to 20% of coffee drinkers regularly drink decaffeinated coffee. Of the total number of cups of coffee drunk daily in Europe, decaffeinated coffee accounts for up to 12%. When we consider these figures, it’s clear that high-quality decaffeinated coffee should be part of the offer of any good roastery, cafe, or restaurant.

Who is decaffeinated coffee intended for?

If you think that decaffeinated coffee is only drunk by pregnant women or people who have to watch their caffeine intake for health reasons, you’re wrong. Surveys show that decaffeinated coffee drinkers also include “heavy coffee drinkers,” who are twice as likely to drink three or more cups of coffee per day compared to other coffee drinkers. Therefore, decaffeinated coffee is also popular with people who treat themselves to coffee more often, for example, in the evening.

We noticed this trend a few years ago, and that’s why we launched the unique low-caffeine coffee Siesta, which has 50% less caffeine compared to regular arabica.

mother with ebenica coffee
Up to 97% of mothers drink coffee during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, most try to limit the number of coffees to one a day.

Why do we drink decaffeinated coffee?

Interest in decaffeinated coffee reached its historical peak in 2021—during the pandemic. Erin Reed, Swiss Water’s marketing director, sees several reasons for this.

“The initial phase of the pandemic saw some drop-off as the world came to a standstill. But following those initial months, decaf demand truly picked up. My personal theory was that we all took to more caffeine to help us through this life-upending time, but then realized after a few months that it wasn’t going to be a healthy choice long term and converted to decaf…because the ritual of coffee itself is comforting and decaf keeps people in the coffee category.”

This is also confirmed by studies in which coffee drinkers stated that they started drinking decaffeinated coffee to improve the quality of their sleep and reduce the symptoms of excessive caffeine intake, including, for example, nervousness. Other factors that influenced interest in decaffeinated coffee were increasing awareness of production methods, growing interest in a healthy lifestyle, and, last but not least, the fact that customers discovered new decaffeinated coffees with a taste that suited them well.

Can decaffeinated coffee also contain caffeine?

Yes, it can—decaffeination cannot remove 100% of the caffeine from the beans. Decaffeinated coffee standards in various countries allow decaffeinated to contain residual caffeine. In EU countries, coffee labeled as decaffeinated must contain less than 0.1% (1 mg/g) of caffeine. According to the results of laboratory tests, our Mammie and Zero coffees contain just over 0.5 mg of caffeine per gram of coffee.

Is decaffeinated coffee healthy?

Let’s talk about coffee that has been decaffeinated by a water-based method. Its health benefits are largely comparable to caffeinated coffee. Coffee treated with the Swiss Water® Process is an ideal choice in this regard. Coffee treated in this way doesn’t contain residues of chemical solvents and preserves the unique flavors and properties of coffee, including the content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Try our decaffeinated specialty coffee

  • Zero

    Certified decaffeinated coffee suitable for pregnant and nursing women or cardio patients.

  • Decaffeinated coffee Ebenica Mammie


    Exceptionally delicious decaffeinated coffee, created especially for pregnant and lactating women.

  • box with 3 decaffeinated coffees

    Coffee tasting box Decaffeinated coffees

    Even decaffeinated coffee can be delicious. Try if for yourself.