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Does Decaff Taste as Good as Real Coffee?

Nothing is as gratifying than a really good cup of coffee, but when it is decaff does it really taste as good? Decaff is supposed to deliver the same Java experience without the caffeine, but we can actually use scientific methods to prove it does not hold a candle to regular coffee when it comes to titillating the taste buds. Coffee is actually made up of many chemicals, most of them are in caffeine to produce that coffee kick we all love and adore. Others are connected with aroma and taste, and it is these different chemicals that make the complex flavors. Decaff takes out many of these chemicals and therefore cannot possibly taste the same or as good as regular coffee.

How Decaff is Made?

How Decaff is Made?
How Decaff is Made?

It is relatively an easy process to produce decaff coffee:

  • Soak regular coffee beans in water
  • Then separate the beans from the water and mix the water with a solvent. This will extract any caffeine from the water
  • Take out the solvent which does not mix with the water, and return the water back to the beans to soak

The problem with this process is that the solvents do not only take caffeine away, they also take other chemicals that are really important to the taste and the aroma of the coffee. And these missing elements really affect the character of the end cup of coffee.

Problem With the Process

The process described above has one particular major flaw in that it does not extract all the caffeine. If you did not use the water to extract the caffeine and just put the solvent straight onto the beans, then this would probably take out all the caffeine. However, you cannot do this as the solvent would degrade the beans to such an extent that the resulting caffeine free beans would have little taste of actual coffee. So coffee makers have no choice but to use the water based method to extract the caffeine, so decaff actually does contain some caffeine.

Problem With the Process
Problem With the Process

Other Major Taste Influences

The flavor of coffee can be altered in many ways, and decaffeination is only one process that changes the flavor. Other aspects of making the coffee such as roasting and grinding the beans have a major effect on the taste also. There is also another aspect to the final taste test of coffee. No two people have the same taste profiles, and therefore will get a different taste experience. So, if you asked them to taste the same decaff coffee, or a freshly made cup of real Java, then they would not taste exactly the same elements. In conclusion all the above signifies that decaff coffee can never taste as good as regular coffee, how can it if half the elements are missing? This is not to say decaff tastes bad, it is just a different experience than drinking regular coffee. So, if you really want a true coffee experience then the advice is to keep on drinking regular coffee, perhaps if you want to lower your caffeine intake just cut back on the amount of cups you drink a day.