Decaf Coffee: A Surprising Boost for Post-Exercise Recovery


Within the circles of endurance sports, athletes and coaches are perpetually in search of dietary interventions that can not only enhance performance but also expedite recovery. The study titled “Coffee Increases Post-Exercise Muscle Glycogen Recovery in Endurance Athletes: A Randomised Clinical Trial” provides a groundbreaking insight into how decaffeinated coffee may play an influential role in post-exercise muscle glycogen resynthesis, a crucial aspect of recovery for endurance athletes.

The Role of Muscle Glycogen in Endurance Sports

Understanding Glycogen’s Function

Glycogen serves as the primary storage form of carbohydrates in the body and is a key fuel source during prolonged, intense exercise. The ability to rapidly replenish glycogen stores post-exercise is a cornerstone of effective recovery and subsequent performance.

The Study’s Findings on Glycogen Resynthesis

The study presents compelling evidence suggesting that the intake of decaf coffee, when paired with milk, significantly enhances the resynthesis of muscle glycogen after exhaustive exercise compared to the ingestion of milk alone. This is visually represented in the study’s Figure 1, which illustrates the glucose and insulin responses to the two different beverages.

Methodology and Participant Selection

The researchers designed a meticulous and robust methodology to investigate the effects of decaf coffee on muscle glycogen recovery. Through a double-blind crossover randomized clinical trial, they provided substantial data that could alter the nutritional practices of endurance athletes worldwide. The detailed selection and exclusion criteria, depicted in Figure 3 of the study, underscore the validity and reliability of the findings.

The Biochemical Impact of Decaf Coffee

Decaf Coffee and Insulin Sensitivity

It was found that decaf coffee significantly affected metabolic responses post-exercise. Notably, it increased the total area under the curve (AUC) for insulin, as illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 of the study (see above). This enhanced insulin response is conducive to more efficient glycogen storage, facilitating a faster recovery process.

Potential Mechanisms at Play

While the study does not definitively pinpoint the mechanisms through which decaf coffee augments glycogen resynthesis, it hypothesizes that coffee’s bioactive compounds, such as caffeine, cafestol, and caffeic acid, may improve glucose metabolism and promote muscle glycogen recovery when consumed post-exercise. This is an area ripe for further research, as understanding the underlying mechanisms can lead to more targeted nutritional strategies for athletes.

Practical Applications for Endurance Training

Integrating Decaf Coffee into Recovery Protocols

Given the study’s findings, athletes and coaches might consider incorporating decaf coffee into post-exercise nutrition. The evidence suggests that doing so could significantly impact recovery times and preparedness for subsequent training sessions or competitive events.

Considerations for Daily Training

The implications of this study are particularly relevant for athletes undergoing daily training sessions or back-to-back competitive events where the window for recovery is limited. The potential for decaf coffee to expedite glycogen resynthesis could be a game-changer in such scenarios.

Future Directions: Impact of Decaf Coffee

The study concludes that the addition of decaf coffee to a carbohydrate-rich post-exercise beverage is an effective strategy to enhance muscle glycogen recovery, especially for athletes with short recovery times or during competitions with multiple bouts of exercise. However, the exact components of coffee that drive this effect remain unidentified, warranting further investigation.

Unveiling the Secrets of How to Make the Best Cup of Decaf Coffee

(With a Dash of I LOVE DECAF Eccentricity)

Ah, decaf coffee – the enigmatic elixir that dances on our taste buds like a caffeinated waltz, only to leave us caffeine-free and carefree. But behold, for we are about to embark on a whimsical journey through the world of decaf, where each sip is a surprising twist in the coffee tale.

  1. The Art of Decaf Diversity

Picture this: Decaf coffee, much like wine, is a thrilling exploration of ‘terroir.’ It’s the coffee’s way of saying, “I’m unique, deal with it!” Taste, flavour, texture, sweetness, body, acidity, and smoothness – they’re all part of the decaf symphony. So, dare to dive into this caffeinated carnival and embrace the unpredictability!

  1. Decaf Chronicles: The Quest for Perfection

To truly bask in the glory of decaf, we must adhere to the coffee commandments:

Coffee Storage: The age-old debate rages on, with numerous theories floating around like caffeinated myths. But here’s our sage advice: Keep your precious I LOVE DECAF coffee sealed in an airtight container, nestled away in a cool, dark, and dry sanctuary. It’s like creating a secret hideout for your decaf treasures. Simple, isn’t it?

Freezing Coffee: Ah, the eternal mystery of freezing coffee beans! Some say it’s the elixir of freshness, while others remain skeptics. Let’s face it; we need more coffee scientists on the case! You can freeze unopened coffee beans, but don’t you dare grind them while they’re still frozen. It’s like attempting a culinary magic trick with coffee, and we’re not pulling any beans out of hats here!

Coffee Conjuring: When it comes to coffee preparation, keep it uncomplicated:

Fresh water is your potion for boiling. Let the kettle cool for a spell, as boiling water can cast a bitter spell on your coffee (optimal temperature: 90°C to 96°C).
When measuring coffee, don’t be shy. It’s better to be bold than bland! A rough guideline is 10 grams of coffee for every 180ml of water. You can always dilute if it’s a bit too intense.
If you’re ready to up your coffee game, consider a grinder (burr grinders like Krups or Delonghi are our enchanting picks). Grinding weekly works wonders, but if you can swing daily, you’re basically a coffee wizard.
Bonus Potion: Seeking the ultimate decaf enchantment? Grind your beans every day if time permits. But let’s be real, not all of us have a spare wand to wave, do we?

  1. The Voices of Decaf Delight

Now, if you’re yearning for some truly unadulterated reviews of I LOVE DECAF, venture forth to the hallowed halls of Google. There, the coffee connoisseurs of the internet have poured their hearts (and coffee cups) into independent reviews. Behold the wisdom of the masses, and let it guide you on your decaf odyssey:

Trust Pilot Reviews of I LOVE DECAF

  1. The Decaf Curtain Call

And there you have it, dear adventurers of the decaf realm! Your quest for the perfect cup of decaffeinated coffee may not be a tale of dragons and knights, but it’s a journey of taste and whimsy. Embrace the quirks, savour the peculiarities, and let each cup of I LOVE DECAF be a delightful sip of life’s caffeinated paradox.

Now, raise your mugs high and toast to the world of decaf, where each brew is a fantastical voyage into the unknown. Enjoy your caffeine-free adventures, coffee mages! 🧙‍♂️☕

Decaf Coffee Before Bed: Separating Fact from Fiction

Introduction: The age-old question of whether it’s okay to drink decaf coffee before bed has left many coffee lovers puzzled. In this article, we delve into the insights provided by PVHC (Pomona Valley Health Centers) to shed light on the subject. By examining the facts and dispelling myths, we aim to help you make an informed decision about enjoying a cup of decaf coffee in the evening.

Understanding the Effects of Decaf Coffee: In general, it takes your body approximately six hours to eliminate half of the caffeine consumed. However, decaf coffee contains significantly less caffeine than its regular counterpart, typically ranging from 2 to 15 milligrams per cup. This low caffeine content makes it unlikely for decaf coffee to have a substantial impact on sleep quality when consumed in moderation.

Individual Sensitivity to Caffeine: While decaf coffee is considered low in caffeine, individual sensitivity plays a crucial role. Some individuals are more sensitive to even trace amounts of caffeine, which can disrupt their sleep patterns. If you find that even minimal caffeine affects your sleep, it may be wise to avoid consuming decaf coffee before bed.

Factors Affecting Sleep Quality: It’s important to note that factors other than decaf coffee consumption can significantly influence sleep quality. Lifestyle choices, stress levels, evening habits, and overall sleep hygiene are vital contributors to a good night’s rest. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, establishing a calming bedtime routine, and minimizing stimulating activities before bed are essential for optimal sleep regardless of coffee consumption.

Potential Benefits of Decaf Coffee Before Bed: Interestingly, decaf coffee offers potential health benefits beyond its impact on sleep. The presence of bioactive compounds and antioxidants in decaf coffee has been associated with reducing the risk of certain diseases, including type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Enjoying a cup of decaf coffee before bed can provide a comforting and pleasurable ritual, helping individuals unwind and relax.

Personal Preference and Tolerance: Ultimately, the decision to drink decaf coffee before bed depends on personal preference and tolerance. Some individuals may find that decaf coffee has no adverse effects on their sleep, while others may prefer to avoid it altogether. It’s crucial to listen to your body, evaluate how decaf coffee affects your sleep patterns, and make choices accordingly.

Conclusion: In conclusion, moderate consumption of decaf coffee before bed is generally considered safe for most individuals. The minimal caffeine content in decaf coffee makes it unlikely to disrupt sleep quality. However, individual sensitivity to caffeine should be taken into account. Additionally, maintaining good sleep hygiene practices and considering other lifestyle factors contribute more significantly to overall sleep quality.

Decaf coffee can be a delightful part of your evening routine, providing a sense of comfort and potentially offering health benefits. By being aware of your personal preferences, listening to your body, and practicing good sleep habits, you can make an informed decision about enjoying a cup of decaf coffee before bed. Remember, everyone’s sleep needs and responses are unique, so find what works best for you and savor your decaf coffee with peace of mind.

7 of the Top Best Decaf Coffees Out There in the UK

For a long time, decaf coffee had a bad reputation, leaving caffeine-free individuals with subpar options. But those days are gone. The new wave of decaf coffees offers the same delightful flavors as their caffeinated counterparts, minus the heart palpitations.

There are many reasons why people opt for decaf. Some may need to limit their caffeine intake due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, or medical reasons. Others may experience caffeine sensitivity, leading to symptoms such as headaches, jitters, a racing heartbeat, and anxiety. If you relate to these symptoms, especially after consuming regular coffee, it might be time to consider making the switch to decaf.

Decaf coffee is created using the same beans as regular coffee, but it undergoes an additional process to remove the caffeine. There are five main methods for caffeine removal: direct solvent, indirect solvent, Swiss water, sugarcane, and carbon dioxide processes. The first two involve the use of chemicals to extract caffeine. The Swiss water process involves steaming and soaking the beans, filtering them through charcoal, and drying them. The sugarcane process utilizes a natural chemical derived from sugarcane to treat the beans, resulting in both caffeine removal and a sweeter taste. The final method, carbon dioxide, entails soaking the beans and then subjecting them to CO2 blasts.

Most coffee brands employ one of the latter three methods, and nearly every brand now offers decaf alternatives. Regardless of your favorite coffee, you are likely to find a decaf version. Choosing the right one for you ultimately comes down to personal taste. Although most of the caffeine is removed, it’s worth noting that a small amount may still remain, and the caffeine levels may vary between different decaf coffees.

Now, let’s explore seven exceptional decaf coffees that have garnered praise from discerning coffee lovers:

  1. Inca Gold Organic Decaf Coffee Pods (Swiss Water, Sustainable & Fairtrade) Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings (5 customer reviews) Say goodbye to mass-manufactured pods despair and hello to handmade and packed Swiss Water Inca Gold Organic Decaf Coffee Pods that are also Fairtrade. This isn’t your average chemical-free full-bodied decaf coffee; it’s like finding treasure in every mug. Made from the finest sustainable Peruvian single-origin beans, each sip is like striking gold. Warning: Do not store under any rainbow. Pack of 28.
  2. Everyday Italiana Decaf Coffee: This reliable, tasty, everyday decaf is a cut above your typical coffee shop Italian decaf. With a well-balanced smooth medium roast of expertly blended Arabica beans, it retains the romance and flavor profile of traditional Italian decaf while reducing caffeine content. Everyday Italiana Decaf Coffee is ideal for a filtered Americano and plays nicely in a cafetière. Enjoy a proper cup of coffee day by day.
  3. Luxe Organic Swiss Water Honduran Decaf Coffee: Indulge in the luxury of Luxe Organic Swiss Water Honduran Decaf Coffee, a brew from the Central American home of beautiful coffee. Grown at high altitudes in the rainforests of Honduras, this organic, Fairtrade, and chemical-free Swiss Water decaf coffee offers a taste that is more than just rich; it’s an experience filled with praline chocolate notes. No wonder Hondurans keep 90% of it for themselves.
  4. Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf Coffee (Swiss Water Style): Discover a rare gem in the world of decaf coffees: Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf Coffee. This Mexican velvet-bodied coffee stands out from the crowd. Using crystal-clear spring water from Mexico’s highest peak, Pico de Orizaba, this coffee undergoes a high-quality organic decaffeination process. What remains is an authentic-tasting decaf with a complex flavor profile. Immerse yourself in the notes of fruits, chocolate, nuts, and honey.
  5. Natural Brasilia Swiss Water Decaf Coffee: Apart from clocks, mountains, yodelling, and bank accounts, the Swiss are perhaps best known for the Swiss Water Method – the chemical-free decaffeination process discovered in the 1930s. Our Swiss Water Brasilia is made from specialty Arabica beans grown in the perfect climate, producing bold and satisfyingly smooth coffee with consistent notes of rich dark chocolate throughout the year.
  6. No Nasties Half Decaf Organic Coffee: Inspiration without the comedown is what you’ll find in No Nasties Half Decaf Organic Coffee. Blending Honduran Organic and Fairtrade-certified Swiss Water decaf beans with handpicked single-origin Nicaraguan caffeinated luxury, this unique combination offers half the caffeine but all the taste. With cocoa praline and orange notes, it’s a delectable choice for those seeking a balanced option.
  7. Happy Medium Roasted Decaf Coffee: Indulge in the sumptuous and tasty cup of Happy Medium Roasted Decaf Coffee. Premium Brazilian Santos Arabica beans are medium roasted to perfection, resulting in a well-balanced blend with notes of cocoa and praline. As smooth as a waxed barrister, this expertly blended Arabica mix loses none of the conviction, offering a satisfying coffee experience. Ideal for filtered Americanos and a pleasant companion in a cafetière.

Gone are the days of lackluster decaf coffee options. With the wide range of decaf coffees available today, caffeine-free individuals can enjoy exceptional flavors without compromising taste. Whether you prefer organic, Swiss Water-treated, or unique blends, there is a decaf coffee that suits your palate. Embrace the world of decaf and savor each sip, knowing that great taste can be caffeine-free.

4 Different Kinds of Decaffeination

Plus 1 more that was banned.

Not all decaffeination is the same. Of the five different processes, which is the best for you?

It’s not always clear on a packet of decaf coffee or tea how the caffeine was removed. In fact, a lot of well-known brands will not tell you anywhere – not the packet, their website or FAQs – exactly how decaffeination was achieved at all.

At I Love Decaf, we’re a big fan of transparency and often detail the decaf process in the name of the product, just so there are absolutely no doubts.

While we don’t hide the details, there’s still not enough space on the label that tells you why we chose one method of decaffeination over another. So, we wanted to fill you in on everything you need to know about the methods of decaffeination available, which ones we use and why. 

The method of decaffeination has a direct effect on the taste and aroma of decaf tea and coffee.

Not all methods of decaffeination were created equally. Let’s dive into the details.

There are five known methods of decaffeination. Of these, the original method is now illegal because it used benzene, which is highly toxic. The 1906 discovery of Ludwig Roselius, a man whose second claim to fame involved a plot to kill Hitler, led to a decaffeinated coffee drink that became popular in almost every country.

Neither of Roselius’ grand plans ultimately bore fruit, so that leaves four different ways to decaffeinate your coffee.

The Methylene chloride decaffeination (MC) process.

Methylene chloride (MC) is combined with caffeine molecules to make decaffeinated coffee or tea. This process can be done on either the coffee beans or tea leaves in hot water. and it is important to note that because it is only a tiny trace amount remaining, even that evaporates.

The Ethyl Acetate decaffeination methods

Ethyl acetate decaf is sometimes referred to as the “natural” method because it involves naturally occurring chemicals from fruits. This process is otherwise identical to the direct and indirect methods which use methylene chloride as a solvent.

What method do the Swiss use to decaffeinate coffee beans?

The Swiss Water Process for decaffeinated coffee – and a few teas – removes caffeine by soaking beans (or tea leaves) in hot water and passing them through activated carbon filters. The decaffeinated beans are then re-soaked in water to reintroduce the flavors.

What is carbon dioxide decaffeination

This is very much the science laboratory way of doing decaffeination and doing it well. Part of its boffinological appeal is that it involves turning carbon dioxide ‘supercritical’, which is essentially making CO2 do things well above its pay grade.

No one said making a quality cup of coffee was easy, but it’s worth it. Beans or leaves are pressure cooked with carbon dioxide which becomes temporarily capable of extracting the caffeine from the beans while still leaving the flavour molecules in place.

Learn about the Mountain Water Method of decaffeination

The Mountain Water Process (MWP) is seen as a cut above all other decaffeinated beverages. This process uses water from Pico de Orizaba, the highest mountain in Mexico.

To remove the caffeine, the process starts by steaming green coffee beans which then get soaked in a water solution, removing caffeine and the compounds that make the flavour. Water is drained from the soaked seeds and passed through activated carbon filters which separate the caffeine from the water. The beans are then introduced back to the decaf water and the flavours soak back in without the caffeine.

Decaf Coffee: Stop! It’s Espresso Crema Time

I Love Decaf’s amazing frothy espresso coffee

If you believe all the moodily lit ads – the hessian sacks, mountain scenery and middle-aged men in white suits sieving beans through their hands – coffee is about so much more than roasted and ground beans soaked in hot water and served in a cup. You would be right, but not in the way those ads would have you believe.

So how does proper coffee differ from the insipid gack peddled by multinationals with big ad budgets? The taste? Yes. The aroma? Of course. The absence of pretention? Naturellement.

And with espresso, there’s the crema.

Orizaba mountain water decaf espresso ground coffee

With espresso – the doyen of coffee – a lot rides on the crema. Italian for ‘cream’, the crema is a layer of dense foam that forms on top of espresso coffee. This velvety layer – actually a suspension of microscopic particles of coffee oils – tells you that the coffee has real body and texture for the flavour to emerge from. It’s a sign of espresso quality.

A joke. How can you tell when a plane full of coffee snobs lands at an airport? It’s when you can still hear the whining when they turn off the engines.

There is a lot of whining from caffeine snobs about decaf, so we thought we’d put it to the test. Can we get a full-bodied, tasty espresso from our Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf? Will it have the full aroma and a healthy crema?

Who could we ask? 

To say our photographer, Yu-Kuang Chou, is serious about his coffee is a bit under-brewed, he is more of a coffee nut who doesn’t mess around, but we knew he had an open mind. So, we lured him to the studio to take some shots of our, errrr, shots and before we knew it, the aroma overcame him, and he was carrying a bag back to his coffee lab. 

His verdict?

“The beans gave a lot of crema during the extraction in my Oracle espresso machine. 

The flavour palate is quite full bodied and dark. It had an unexpected deep richness to it, which I didn’t expect from a decaf coffee.

I could tell it didn’t have caffeine but I didn’t mind as the flavour was right.”

Yu-Kuang Chou – I Love Decaf Photographer

Like Yu-Kuang Chou, challenge the idea that you can’t get flavour, aroma and crema from a decaf espresso like you challenge the idea that all the world’s coffee is traded by middle-aged men in white suits and Panama hats on remote mountain tops. All of that is a fairy tale; you’ll find your fantasy favourite at I Love Decaf.

Top 10 ways to recycle decaf coffee grounds

If you’re like most people, you probably throw away coffee grounds after each cup or every pot. It is smarter, after all, than your natural inclination, which is to throw it down the sink.

But did you know that you can use those grounds to improve your life in a number of ways? Here is our top ten of the best: 

1. Use them as an organic fertiliser. 

Coffee is a good plant food because it’s high in nitrogen and provides a boost to the growth of plants. Add some ground coffee to your soil before planting your plants and watch them grow more vigorously than usual.

2. Clean your windows with coffee grounds. 

Not only does this get rid of dirt and dust, but the grounds also have a cleaning effect on glass. Simply sprinkle some of those grounds on a cloth and wipe the glass clean.

3. Make natural ant-infestation killers with coffee grounds. 

Coffee is a natural flea killer, and its acidic properties help deter ants from establishing colonies. Just place some ground coffee inside small bowls or cups and place them near areas where ants are active.

4. Add grounds to your compost. 

Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen and electrolytes, which help promote microbial growth in compostable materials. 

5. Use your coffee grounds as mulch. 

Back out in the garden with summers getting hotter and drier, a layer of mulch in your flower or vegetable beds saves what water you can use in the garden from evaporating away. Coffee grounds are an excellent mulch and full of nutrients as well.

6. Use the decaf grounds to scrub pots and pans. 

Coffee Grounds work well as a scrubber because they are abrasive and have a ridged texture. 

7. Keep your path clear of snow.

Coffee grounds can be spread on icy paths and pavements, melting the ice and snow. The gritty texture of the grounds will also guard against slipping up by providing some traction. Coffee’s chemical make-up will prevent it from freezing in a similar way to road grit.

8. Getting rid of nasty smells.

Coffee grounds work as well as baking soda to get rid of pongs in your fridge. The same nitrogen that is good for your garden soil has an ability to absorb the foul smell of sulphur, among other dodgy scents. 

9. As an exfoliant you will never see in a TV advert for £150 face-cream.

Coffee grounds are similar to sand in texture and can be used as a natural skin scrubber. You can use them directly on your skin as an exfoliant and to clean clogged pores or make them into a loose exfoliating bar with water. Because you’re worth it.

10. As a kitchen condiment.

Coffee could be considered as a staple for most kitchens, but it also has a number of culinary applications, including in cooking. For instance, coffee grounds are often used as a smoky topping for meats like brisket or steak. Coffee grounds are also required ingredients for barbecue sauces and for rubbing meat. What is more, coffee is acidic, which tenderizes meat and breaks down nutrients.

Can I Make My Own Iced Decaf Coffee?

Every now and then in summer, the sun shines bright, everything warms up nicely then, bit by bit, not nicely at all. Pretty soon, it gets so warm that any enclosed space feels like a fan oven. A hot, steaming cup of decaf coffee is about the last thing on your mind. You need a cold drink. You need an iced coffee. 

In times like these, it’s tempting to get a tin of cold joe from the shop – most of the High Street coffee chains have their own, dreadful takes on iced decaf – but it’s not fresh and who knows what, exactly, is lurking in those cans? Chemical slop and more E numbers than the Exeter telephone exchange. It’s time to make your own.

The best advice for home made Iced Decaf Coffee? Start Yesterday.

The biggest disadvantage to making your own cold brew iced decaf coffee is that the initial brew takes quite a bit of patience. Typically, the concentrate you are making is the base for tomorrow’s cup of iced coffee.

But it’s well worth the wait. The perfect iced coffee has a smooth, round texture and taste and far less of the bitter notes. You will be steeping your ground decaf for up to a day in the fridgeand that gives plenty of time to develop the complex concentrate that gives iced coffee itsamazing full body. Slow and steady wins the race.

Steep Time: Managing the Iced Decaf Brew

Decaf that has been standing for a whole day in a cafetiere will be stewed and over extracted and about as pleasant to drink as diluted vinegar. We’ve all steeped fine ground in a French press and regretted it 3 minutes later, imagine how grim that would be in 24 hours. The trick – as with a regular cup of hot decaf – is in the grind. 

For iced coffee, you should use a medium-coarse ground to prevent your brew ending up full of oily acid. If you only have fine ground, you should reduce the brew time up to 50%. You’ll get your coffee quicker, but you’ll lose some of iced decaf coffee’s best features – the smoothtexture and full body. There’s a recipe for iced decaf coffee from coarse ground and separate instructions for making do with fine ground.

You should try whatever your favourite beans are and coarse grind them for iced decaf. A typical medium roast will make an excellent decaf iced coffee and you’ll get to discover more of the mellow end of your usual decaf cuppa. Darker roasts work well too – they tend to have more of the chocolate and nut notes that develop very well for iced decaf. An espresso-style roast will work well if you plan to add milk, cream or non-dairy alternatives in the final cup.

Recipe for Cold Brew Decaf Coffee

1. Put 800ml cold water into a large jug and add 100g of coarse-ground decaf coffee. Do not stir! Cover and leave for a day.

2. Stir the mixture slowly, then decant it through a sieve or funnel lined with coffee filter paper into another jug. This concentrate – enough for about 7 or 8 cups – keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.

3. Serve 1-part cold brew concentrate to 2-parts water poured over ice.

4. Dilute with water to taste

5. Milk and sweeten to taste

Recipe for Cold Brew with Fine Decaf Ground Coffee

1. Put 50 grams of fine ground coffee into a large jug.

2. Add 450 ml of water.

3. Stir slowly for up to 60 seconds.

4. Leave in the fridge for between 8 and 16 hours
You might have to experiment with this over time. If the coffee isn’t super-fresh, you should brew for the longer period.

5. Filter the coffee through a fine grind filter.

6. Pour and serve over ice

7. Dilute with water to taste

8. Milk and sweeten to taste

Does Decaffeinating Your Life Make It Better?

Decaffeinating your life is one of many approaches and strategies you can try on a journey to better health. Broadly, it’s an element of ‘detox’ – while caffeine is a mild stimulant in moderation, your body and brain still get used to it being in your blood stream. Your brain, in particular, does not tolerate chemical change well and this is where withdrawal comes in. Fortunately, the most common symptom of caffeine withdrawal is a minor tension headache, and the cravings are quick to subside.

With decaffeinated tea and coffee you can even mask some of the cravings and continue to enjoy the same tastes and aromas you have become accustomed to.

So: so far, a small amount of sacrifice to decaf your body, but can it make your life better in a meaningful way? 

The narrative of detox is intertwined with lifestyle woo-woo. That’s a term we just made up to describe a big wicker basket of good-intention ideas like veganism, holistic spirituality and Eastern systems of thought. Nothing wrong with any of it, but decaffeinating your life is about restoring a chemical, not spiritual, balance in your body.

You know us – we are hardly the type of people to go all yoga-crystal-dreamcatcher-mindful-woo-woo on you. As far as we are aware, we have no chakras and feng-shui is not so much a way of life but more of a storage solution. Neither do we store our socks to the west of a lucky rabbit’s foot. Think about that for a moment: It wasn’t so lucky for the rabbit, was it?

Trust us when we say, we have no woo-woo.

Your body doesn’t need caffeine

The best reason for drinking less or no caffeine is that your body doesn’t need it. Like nicotine, heroin and strong painkillers, your body has just got used to it being around. Caffeinistas claim that it helps attention and focus, and they are both right and wrong at the same time. Scientific trials have concluded that, at best, caffeine helps attention and focus get back to where it was before you became withdrawn. And that’s what caffeine withdrawal looks like – a craving for a big mug of coffee in the morning to escape the tug of withdrawal and restore the world to where it should have been. It’s not restoring the world; it’s restoring your brain chemistry. Your brain in this instance is acting like a wilful, truculent teenager. It’s refusing to get its act together until you do something nice for them. Your teen asks you for money, chocolate or the latest tech before they clean their room. Your brain won’t move until it gets a chemical leg-up. Like your teen, your brain is lazy and used to the good life of drip-fed feel-good. The good news is that the brain has its own feel-good chemistry, caffeine is a cheat code that robs it of achieving its own balance.

Your brain is the most complicated thing you own. Indeed, it is among the most complex things in the known universe. It is capable of extraordinary calculation and every minute of your waking day, it perceives, renders and constructs your entire world. Throwing additional stimulants into the sentient bucket of porridge that exists between your ears is like lighting a campfire in an art gallery.

Decaffeinating your life is one part of restoring the natural balance of this most sensitive instrument. Once the minor withdrawals are over it will make your life better simply by re-establishing its unaided potential.

How to Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker

You woke up this morning and your coffee maker has croaked. Despite what it sounds like, this isn’t the start of a modern blues song penned by Blind Grapefruit Jefferson, but it is potentially the start of an awful, dismal day.

Expect the car not to start, a piano to fall out of the sky or to for work to end up as an eight-hour PowerPoint presentation. Before all of that, you must achieve normality and that means you must have the cup of decaf that starts the day. Nothing else will help.

Making decaf coffee without a coffee maker is not an art

Fortunately, whatever Bob the barista at Cost-A-Few-Bucks says, making coffee is nowhere near an artform. It’s hot water over ground coffee, a little brew time and Bob has stopped being your barista and is now your uncle.

Honestly, I can’t believe I have to spoon-feed this to you. When we were out all day on the ranch, we could make coffee using only a primus stove, a length of rubber hose and a homemade moka pot fashioned from a Land Rover carburettor and a ship’s compass. It wasn’t too difficult, but it also wasn’t too nice either, so here’s how to make decent coffee without a coffee maker. You will need a kitchen or a designated area you prepare grub at least.

Sock coffee maker
“In Costa Rica, this type of coffee is colloquially known as “agua de medias” (sock water)”

Using ground decaf coffee

  1. Add ground coffee into a heat-proof measuring jug. 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 250ml cup.
  2. Boil the kettle.
  3. Pour the hot water over the ground decaf coffee as slowly as possible until you reach the amount of coffee you want.
  4. Let it brew for around 3 minutes, then stir and leave for another three minutes. Adjust these timings to your own tastes or how long it is until your train to work leaves.
  5. Pour into a mug through a tea strainer.

Using home-made coffee bags

This sounds a bit Blue Peter, but if it’s a filter coffee make that is broken, you are likely top have some spare coffee filters, an old sock, a used stocking or thick kitchen towel to hand. These can be made quickly into coffee bags with just a single piece of string.

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of ground coffee in the centre of the coffee filter, old sock, used stocking or kitchen towel.
  2. Draw the edges of the filter paper or whatever it is (see above) together to make a bag shape.
  3. Tie a length of string or twine tight around the neck of the bag, leaving one length of the string long enough to hang over the side of the cup.
  4. Boil a kettle.
  5. Place the bag in the cup and pour over the hot water.
  6. Remember to remove anything floating from the mug of coffee if it’s for a guest.