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Why you should think twice about drinking decaf

New white paper highlights chemical used in some decaffeination processes 

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger

Anyone who still wants to rally their war cry around drinking decaf might want to think twice about it.  A white paper led by Clean Label Project specifically talks about the solvent-based decaffeination method after the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned a routinely used substance in the decaffeination process last year, Daily Coffee News states.

Whites tiles on a table that spell out the word "Decaf"

The process, which uses chemicals or carbon dioxide to remove caffeine from coffee beans, raised concerns by Consumer Reports in 2017.  In some methods used today, the beans are submerged and soaked in chemicals that include methylene chloride and ethyl acetate, which are both common solvents.

I prefer my coffee without the chloroform-like odor, thank you.

Methylene Chloride, also called dichloromethane, is a clear, colorless agent primarily used in paint remover, pharmaceuticals and as a degreasing agent.

Is it any wonder why decaf tastes like where it belongs — in the garbage?

It is interesting to note the ban by the EPA followed multiple deaths related to acute exposure to methylene chloride, although lower levels of exposure, including topically, have been found to result in dizziness, a lack of ability to concentrate, nausea, headaches, suffocation, loss of consciousness, and more.

With all the great benefits to coffee, we’ll stick to the real thing, just the way mother nature intended it to be enjoyed — one sip at a time.

Related: Science weighs in on the decaf debate

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