Rabbit Hole Decaf Mexico

Rabbit Hole Roasters



Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room - why is there a decaffeinated coffee listed on Alexis’ website? Well, it’s no secret that decaffeinated coffee gets a bad rep. However, to explain why it has earned that rep and why this decaf is different I will need to share first a bit of science and then a bit of history - so bear with me.

So, let’s talk about what you are doing, scientifically, when you brew a cup of coffee. I’m oversimplifying here of course, but you're using hot water as a solvent to dissolve the tasty bits of a coffee bean. Acids, oils, melanoidins, a little bit of fiber and carbohydrates, and of course - the caffeine. Once it’s all dissolved into your cup of coffee, there's of course no reasonable way to get the caffeine back out. So, you need to remove the caffeine from the bean before you even think about brewing. How do you do that? Well, that’s where we get to the history.

The first methods of extracting the caffeine from the coffee bean was to use chemicals which dissolved the caffeine and not much else. In the early 20th century, chemicals like benzene and chloroform were used, but we pretty quickly realized that we should try to keep those ones as far away from our food as possible. More recently, the go to chemical for the job has been methylene chloride. (side note; this chemical does also have some associated health risks, however the amount used combined with the fact that the majority gets evaporated in the roasting process and later in the brewing process means that US FDA considers the risk “essentially non-existent”). This chemical gets its job done - it removes the vast majority of the caffeine. However it also takes away some of the aforementioned ‘tasty bits’, which leaves you with an underwhelming (if not downright gross) cup of coffee. This is why decaffeinated coffee gets a bad rep.
But how is this coffee different? Well, it uses a process called Mountain Water Process (very similar to Swiss Water Process aka SWP). It’s actually pretty simple. You take a batch of un-roasted (“green”) coffee beans and simmer them in water. Yes, plain water.This Process saturates the Water with our "tasty bits" we've mentioned a few times - including the caffeine. These green beans are then discarded (but don't worry, this part is only done once!). Then, you take this saturated extract and run it through a special carbon filter to remove *only the caffeine*. This means the extract is now saturated with all the 'tasty bits' and none of the caffeine. Lastly you take a new batch of green beans and simmer them again in this filtered extract. This time however, the extract can only dissolve the caffeine since it is already saturated with all the other substances. So, all (well, 99.99%) of the caffeine has been removed and all the tasty bits are still there in the beans. So you can enjoy the tasty notes of Meringue, dates, and spices of this washed Mexican coffee without having to worry about being up all night.

250g bag.