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The Case for Decaf Coffee | BEDA Day 14

Maybe it’s just New York, but the coffee industry seems to have something against decaf. I recently went to a trendy restaurant (which shall remain nameless) that refused to serve anything but the high-test stuff on principle. Look, I get that you love your coffee and don’t want anyone messing with it. But decaf has its merits as well!

Your daily cup of Chock full o’Nuts is actuallly chock full o’antioxidants. These antioxidants fight free radicals to prevent diseases and reduce your risk of diabetes and certain cancers. Coffee may stain your teeth, but it does contain trigonelle, an antibacterial compound which can help prevent cavities. However, a little too much caffeine can affect your sleep patterns and lead to high blood pressure. This is where decaf comes in handy.

Decaf coffee doesn’t come from any special beans that just happen to have less caffeine than normal coffee beans. To create decaf coffee, regular coffee beans are treated with a solvent that removes the caffeine without weakening the taste. As such, the beans retain about 1-2% of the original caffeine content. Decaf may not give you as much of a jolt, but it’s not as sad as drinking caffeine-free soda. Plus, you’re still getting all the health benefits of regular coffee without the jitters.

Not everyone can drink real coffee. It can increase the effects of anxiety and shouldn’t be mixed with certain medications. I had to give up the stuff about two years ago, and I was astounded by the lack of options for decaf drinkers. Most shops brew one vat of decaf for the day, so it tastes burnt or stale by mid-day. Other shops don’t brew decaf at all and only offer decaf espresso drinks. And those fancy beans you get in the store? Usually not available in decaf. What gives?

I guess it comes down to supply and demand. If one shop or roasting company could provide some decent decaf, though, I’d buy it all. I still like the taste of coffee even if I’ve had to give up the caffeine. And to all my fellow decaf-ers, I raise my Starbucks Grande Decaf Americano (with skim milk, sugar, and a dash of cinammon) to you.