We often have customers walk into our cafes and bashfully ask if we have decaf, or if they’re even allowed to say that word in the stores. The answer is yes you may, and yes we do... and quite a nice one in fact!
The trajectory in the demand for better quality decaffeinated coffee is ever-increasing. Like their caffeinated counterparts, not all decaf coffees are created equal.
What is Swiss Water Coffee?
Sometimes referred to as ‘SWP’, ‘Water-Only’, ‘Dihydro-oxide’ or ‘Activated Charcoal’ decaffeination, the Swiss Water Decaf process is a world-renowned decaffeination method in which coffee is decaffeinated using an environmentally friendly, chemical-free water process. The caffeine is gently removed by means of temperature and time regulation, and using only fresh water from the coastal mountains of British Columbia.
The most tangible benefit of Swiss Water decaf coffees when compared to more common decaffeination methods is that they are free of the majority of residual flavours that the processing may impart - i.e. it does a better job of preserving the distinctive characteristics of the green. Swiss Water decafs are devoid of the papery, cardboard notes most have come to associate with the "decaf" aftertaste. More prevalent methods still use chemical solvents, such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate, to strip caffeine molecules from green coffee. These all impact the body, aroma, and flavour of the beans as some natural oils and flavour compounds can be relinquished in the extraction process.
Though no decaf coffee is completely exempt from caffeine, Swiss Water gets extremely close, removing 99.9% of caffeine compared to the 97% minimum requirement of other available methods.
We know to produce remarkable decaffeinated coffee, you need to begin with the highest quality green. With the additional supplementary processing, this does all add to the cost. Premium decaf coffee should always be more expensive than its caffeinated equivalent if quality, fresh-crop coffee is used.
By working to more selectively source the green decaf coffees we roast, we hope to achieve an alternative for those who want lower caffeine options without foregoing the coffee-drinking experience that specialty coffee provides. We feel that our SW decaf takes us closer to that goal - and hope you do too!