How Much Caffeine Is in Decaf Coffee?

by Anne Franklin 4 min read

Decaf Coffee

When you order or make a cup of delicious decaffeinated coffee, you expect your drink to be completely caffeine-free. That’s a fair assumption to make; after all, it’s in the very name ‘decaf coffee.’

However, the reality is not all that black and white. As it turns out, rarely will you encounter a decaf coffee that is entirely devoid of caffeine.

Feeling deceived? Don’t panic just yet! All things considered, decaf coffee is still as close as we can get to caffeine-free coffee beverages.

If you’re curious about how much caffeine is in decaf coffee and how is caffeine removed from coffee, stick around. We’re answering all of that in this guide!  

Covering the Basics: What Is Decaf Coffee?

From the very get-go the topic of decaffeinated coffee presents some complications. We now know that there is no real, 100% decaf coffee. Which brings us to an interesting question - what really is decaf coffee then?

Decaf coffee is coffee from which most of the caffeine has been removed.This process can take place through various methods, some of which we will describe later. However, the most important thing to take away for now is that decaf coffee is coffee that contains some traces of caffeine, usually in very low volumes.

decaf coffee in a coffee cup

How Much Caffeine Is in Decaf Coffee

Okay, so how much caffeine is in a cup of decaf coffee? This is not an easy question to get the answer to. According to USDA regulations, decaf coffee should not contain more than 0.10 percent caffeine in a dry package of coffee.

In most instances, decaf coffee has at least 97% of caffeine removed in comparison to regular coffee. Which leaves us with decaf coffee containing anywhere from 1% to 3% of caffeine.

However, all of this doesn’t provide us with very precise information as to how much caffeine is in one cup of joe. It’s because different methods of decaffeinating coffee, brewing methods, and even coffee bean varieties produce slightly different results.

How many mg of caffeine is in a cup of coffee? Some studies suggest that in a single cup of decaffeinated coffee, we can find between 3-15mg of caffeine (16oz cup or shot of espresso). A cup of regular coffee of the same size contains up to 200mg of caffeine.

But going briefly to the very beginning of this paragraph, it’s easy to remember that a single cup of coffee contains about 10% or less of the normal content of caffeine in regular coffee. Which is less than what we will find in milk chocolate(at least one that contains more than 30% cocoa). 

How Is Decaffeinated Coffee Made?

So you probably wonder, how is decaf coffee made? Good question! There are three main ways in which we can decaffeinate coffee.

Solvent

The solvent-based method utilizes substances, such as ethyl acetate and methylene chloride, to create a solvent that simply dissolves the caffeine. Coffee beans that are treated with solvent are later cleaned and roasted. While it is a safe practice, there is an ongoing preference for methods that avoid chemical solvents entirely. 

Swiss Water 

This one is for all of you who prefer to keep your coffee purely organic. A swiss water method is a chemical-free, water-based process. Coffee beans are soaked in hot water to dissolve the caffeine; then, the water is passed through a charcoal filter to remove the caffeine.

Carbon Dioxide 

Finally, we have carbon dioxide. In this method, coffee beans are exposed to compressed CO2 under high pressure to dissolve the caffeine. This method is efficient at removing caffeine while preserving the coffee beans' flavor and aroma.

preserving coffee beans' flavor and aroma

Is Decaf Coffee Good for You?

While there aren't that many research papers focusing on decaf coffee, most evidence we have suggests that decaffeinated coffee, alongside regular one, can offer us some health benefits.

Coffee can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Drinking decaf coffee can also help reduce the risk of premature death, stroke, and heart attacks. 

Additionally, individuals who suffer from insomnia, anxiety, irritability, or increased blood pressure will find decaf coffee much easier to stomach, as it doesn't come with the same known buzz coffee with caffeine has.

How Much Caffeine Is in Decaf Coffee - Conclusion

Wrapping it all up, decaf coffee has up to 10% of the caffeine we will normally find in a regular cup of joe. Around 97% of caffeine gets removed from the coffee beans in order to make decaf coffee, which means that there is no pure, 100% caffeine-free coffee, but what we do get is pretty much the same.

Hopefully, this guide answered some of your questions regarding decaffeinated coffee. If now you feel ready to explore the world of coffee without caffeine in it, be sure to check out Angelino’s Decaf Coffee Capsules and Pods. Packing lots of flavors and aromas, these coffees bring quality, sophisticated notes to each of your cups!

In the meantime, we wish you tasty explorations that won’t interfere with your sleep schedule! 

FAQs

Is decaf coffee 100% caffeine-free?

No, decaf coffee is not 100% caffeine-free. While the decaffeination process removes the majority of caffeine from the coffee beans, a small amount typically remains. The exact amount can vary, but decaf coffee generally contains 1-2% of the original caffeine content found in regular coffee. 

How much caffeine is in 1 cup of coffee?

On average, an 8 oz (237 ml) cup of decaf coffee might contain about 2-5 mg of caffeine, compared to 80-100 mg in a similar size cup of regular coffee.

Does decaf coffee affect sleep?

Decaf coffee has a much lower caffeine content than regular coffee, making it less likely to affect sleep for most people. However, because decaf coffee is not completely caffeine-free, it may still affect sleep for those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine.

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