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.

The Best Decaf Coffee of 2022

Why the best decaf coffee is the only one you want to drink.

We don’t need to tell you that coffee is one of the greatest and most popular drinks in the world. In fact, in the UK we drink almost 100 million cups a day. A day! And you wonder why the bathroom at work is so busy?

Decaf coffee for aficionados

For seasoned cofficianados, the positive effects of coffee are well known. Coffee, they say, helps you concentrate, provides you with a boost of energy, and may also increase your lifespan. They are talking about regular coffee, but most of it applies to decaf too. 

There’s plenty of evidence, by the way, that the energy boost and concentration that caffeine supposedly provides only really applies if you are craving caffeine in the first place.  For purposes of health, decaf coffee supplies all the antioxidants and phenols that its grown up addictive brother gives you, without needing another fix in a few hours.

Decaf coffee: no great shakes

You know that drinking too much coffee can get you jittery, give you headaches, anxiety or make you nauseous. Four cups a day of regular Joe could make you unable to walk around with a cup and saucer without sounding like a crockery cupboard in an earthquake zone.

Guess what? You can have your favourite coffee with much less caffeine – up to 99% less – and never notice the difference in taste, because decaf coffee has come a long, long way in the last few years.

Decaf coffee: the benefits of cutting caffeine

You should always head to a doctor if you want specific medical advice about caffeine, but ff you want to all but eliminate caffeine from your life, it’s time to get yourself a decaf coffee.

There are many different options, but coffee lovers are often disappointed switching from their favourite brand to the decaf version of their favourite brand. At I Love Decaf, we only sell decaf coffee and tea and have a variety of decaffeinated products to choose from. As far as decaf coffee goes, we sell it in every conceivable grind from whole beans to fine ground. 

Ground Zero: the secret of I Love Decaf coffee

Remember, we only sell decaf – our roasters start from first principles and get the very best from our beans. Our roasters believe, and we agree, that I Love Decaf coffee is among the best coffees – caf or decaf you can get. We’ve done the grind for you, so to speak, so now make some quality coffee with our best decaf coffee.

Orizaba Mountain Water or Swiss Water Decaf Coffee: Which Tastes Best?

OK: A taste retest of two similar-sounding coffees on an over-warm day at the nub end of a July heatwave? Are you kidding me?

It’s one of the privileges of being a minion of a coffee company that you get to try out the goods. But you know what happens, right? You pour cup after cup of the Everyday Italiana Decaf and it’s so good it becomes the first, last and always cup of the day. A satisfying, amenable, comfy coffee that weaves itself into the afternoon as much as it unzipped the morning.

But what’s this? Word comes down from the top, El DeCaffito himself, that customers have asked him about our Brasilia Swiss Water and Orizaba Mountain Water Decafs. What are the differences? Which tastes nicest when? 

Your stash of Everyday Italiana Decaf is confiscated, and you are ordered on an expedition of discovery. To scale and survey the rainforests of Brazil, the mountain scenery of Switzerland and Mexico and come back with an explorer’s account of your findings. For Decaf. For humanity.

Actually, the memo looked like this.

Swiss water coffee memo

It’s pointless telling you that drinking coffee for a living holds any high drama or jeopardy, so we’ll take off our hiking boots, straw Panamas, put down the machetes and get on with it. 

Brasilia Swiss Water Decaf vs Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf: The rules. 

We hand-ground both Brasilia Swiss Water Decaf beans and Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf Coffee beans in two separate grinds. A medium grind for a French press and a fine grind for an espresso-style from a moka pot. We had to be sure not to overgrind the French press in case it over brewed in the cafetière and, likewise, sufficiently grind the espresso so its brief rendezvous with super-heated steam water in the moka pot would develop the brew enough. There’s a whole art to grinding, detailed right here on the Ground Zero blog

Brasilia Swiss Water Decaf Coffee

This should be the bolder of our two beans and it scored well, particularly from the Moka pot. It has a slightly richer roast with that caramelised chocolate note running right through the liquid. It produced a nice crema, and we would challenge anyone to call this a decaf in a blind tasting. It has enough body to make it taste full and substantial, with the flavour oils front and centre of the brew.

The French press cup was more laid back, but had equally delicious notes, not so much caramelised but still dark enough to make a satisfying drink.

No mistake, this is everything promised by Swiss Water decaffeination – all the original flavour is still there, everything except over 99% of the caffeine.

Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf Coffee

On paper – as it is on the packaging – Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf Coffee is a slightly lighter roast than the Brasilia Swiss Water Decaf coffee. The water in this case comes from the glacial meltwater streams on Mexico’s highest mountain, Pico de Orizaba. Other than that, the origin of the beans and the difference in roast, the process is very similar to Swiss Water. Once again, then, we expect great things from our Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf Coffee.

It did not disappoint us. Even after the truly excellent Brasilia Swiss Water decaf, our Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf shone in the Moka pot brew review. It’s lighter and has some of that chocolate goodness, but also fruit and a honey-like nutty sweetness. This is less bold than the Brazilian Swiss Water decaf, but rounder and just as satisfying.

The French press gave us cause for thought though. Steeped for a few minutes in the cafetière, we found a subtly more developed fruit and nut note than we had from the Moka pot, as if the chocolatey-ness had moved over and let it through. We went back for more from the French press but, as Sheryl Crow and Cat Stevens might sing, the first cup was the deepest.

Brasilia Swiss Water Decaf vs Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf: The result.

Both coffees are magnificent, but as there can only be one winner…

No, scrub that. 

What surprised us was the Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf Coffee’s performance in the French press. This reviewer prefers espresso style, but the cafetière version of Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf revealed a lot of hidden nuances in the flavour, so Orizaba Mountain Water Decaf gets the vote for the French press. Brasilia was not far behind, however.

The bolder roast of the Brasilia Swiss Water Decaf did very well in the frankly terrifying environs of the Moka pot and came out in one piece, so to speak, with its trousers on. After all the gurgling and percolating, it delivered a satisfying full punch of flavour.

Shoot Yourself for Free Coffee. Spread the Love from I Love Decaf

Here’s a great way of getting your hands on a stash of I Love Decaf for nothing and a little bit of effort…

Take some pics of you drinking, making, enjoying I Love Decaf in your own home or office, plus one or two of I Love Decaf coffee in your own mugs on your own table.

We want to see I Love Decaf out in the wild. You don’t have to be one of the beautiful people sipping coffee and raising an eyebrow* at the same time looking all svelte and sophisti-micated in front of some moodily backlit venetian blinds. In fact, please don’t.

Or those men in linen jackets that look like cut-price Man from Del Monte types, face-snorting the beans and smooching hessian sacks. We want none of that, thank you.

Just you and yours making, drinking and enjoying I Love Decaf. We’ll feature the best and reward you with a month’s-worth of free coffee (1kg should do it).

Reply to this email with your pictures**:

In return, we’ll send you a coupon code for £25 worth of coffee (or tea). It can only be used if you’ve sent us some pictures of a minimum quality***:

*Nobody can raise an eyebrow while sipping hot coffee without dribbling down their chins.

**By sending your pictures, you authorise us to use them for marketing purposes. They will not be sold. You will only be granting I Love Decaf Ltd a commercial licence to use them as required to sell tea and coffee, and for no other purpose. We promise not to deface your images or use Instagram filters.

***Definition of minimum quality: You’re drinking and/or making I Love Decaf coffee. We need to see your face and one/some/all the emotion/s that come with drinking the stuff. Blurred images won’t be accepted.


David – Founder

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

What is Aspalathus Linearis and where do I buy some?

There’s a lot of buzz about the plant known as Aspalathus linearis, but you might not realise it is the scientific name of the South African plant otherwise known as Rooibos or Red Bush. Surrounding a well-understood therapeutic plant with an aura of mystery by using its Latin name feels a bit like the usual woo-woo scam to us, but wait: Aspalathus linearis – that is, Rooibos or Red Bush – is amazing and here’s why.

Apart from having an amazing light, sweet taste that is easy on the palate and which you feel you can drink all day, every day, Rooibos from the Aspalathus linearis has a few secrets too.

Aspalathus linearis is rich in flavonoids, which are believed to be responsible for its reputation for health benefits. Evidence is yet to be gathered that indicates without doubt that dietary flavonoids of the kind found in Aspalathus linearis affect cancer risk in general, but observational studies and clinical trials on hormone-dependent cancers (breast and prostate) have shown benefits. For example, analysis of 14 observational studies that examined breast cancer incidence in 369,934 women found an overall 11% reduced risk of breast cancer with the highest versus lowest intake of some flavonoids.

Meanwhile, a recent review has suggested that dietary intake of flavonoids is associated with a reduced risk of different types of cancer, including gastric, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.

The focus of investigations into the health benefits of Rooibos or Aspalathus linearis is Aspalathin, the plant compound that may help protect against free radical damage that leads to conditions like diabetes, heart disease as well as, potentially, cancer.

You can buy Aspalathus linearis here, rather than pay the inflated prices that come with its mystified Latin name at a health food store.

The benefits of Aspalathus Linearis

With its aspalathin, if you’re looking for a naturally occurring substance that can help improve your health, Aspalathus linearis could be a good option for you. Science itself has marked Rooibos and its plant compounds as warranting further investigation. Some of the purported benefits of Aspalathus linearis include:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving digestion
  • Supporting the immune system
  • Lowering blood sugar levels

There is growing scientific evidence to support these claims and more research is needed

What’s the difference between Aspalathus Linearis, Red Bush and Rooibos?

When it comes to Aspalathus linearis, Red Bush and Rooibos, they are one and the same a plant that is native to South Africa, a naturally caffeine-free, shrub-like plant grown on the Western Cape. The leaves of the Rooibos plant are cut and are either oxidized (fermented), producing what we know as Red Rooibos, or are unoxidized (not fermented), producing what we know as Green Rooibos. Green Rooibos has more aspalathin than red.

Drinking Aspalathus Linearis

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy drink, look no further than Aspalathus linearis. native to South Africa. It has a refreshingly sweet taste and is rich in antioxidants.

The Rooibos tea that is made with Aspalathus linearis is available here at I Love Decaf and it’s available in eight different flavours:

If you are looking for a flavoursome way to kick caffeine or try more interesting tea that is as refreshing (some say more refreshing) as a cup of ‘normal’ tea, why not give one of them a try and see if you enjoy the taste of health Aspalathus linearis as much as we do.

Going Decaf and Fighting the 3pm Slump

One of the over-touted benefits of caffeine is as a pick-me-up – a stimulant that sharpens the mind and gets stuff done. While caffeine consumption revolves around these ‘accepted facts’, caffeine’s superpowers in the war on snoozing turns out to be over-played at best and completely fictitious at worst

Going decaf and fighting the 3pm slump

So, now you’ve gone decaf, how do you overcome the mid-afternoon mountain of doom that is the 3pm slump? The answer is all in the mind or, rather, the brain.

The brain is a brat. Your brain, my brain, your bosses’ brains are all self-obsessed, entitled, lazy bags of porridge comfortable with the high-life and quick fixes. You wouldn’t vote for your brain in a ballot if the only alternative was a brown paper sack of self-aware mashed potatoes. 

The brain’s biggest character defect is that it knows its own mind and is very uncomfortable changing it. All those gallons of caffeine it’s been swimming in your whole life, along with the sugar, the processed carbs and all the other quick hits, are what it’s used to. And it wants more. Your craving brain demands you run it a warm bath of cosy slop to hang around in every day. 

But you can challenge it. The brat can be changed. You already did by going decaf. A day or so of brain ache and things soon got better. Now it’s halfway through the afternoon and you’re feeling a bit limp, your brain wants you to run the bath as usual. Just once, for old time’s sake.

How to Avoid the Mid-Afternoon Slump Without Caffeine

As obstinate and lazy as a brain is, it’s also easy to out-wit. The best way out of the 3pm slump is a distraction, a change of pace, a new focus. Making your brain work in a different way means it will start making its own good time chemistry without all those artificial quick fixes. 

  • Get out of the office for a breath of fresh air, a bit of exercise. Exercise improves blood flow, helps brain chemistry and is more effective than caffeine at improving your alertness and focus.
  • Take a break. Sounds straightforward enough, but we don’t mean a sandwich at your desk, take a proper break away from your work environment, take in a view
  • Fire up your music player with high energy sounds or something you can completely shift your focus onto. We know at least one CEO who goes even further and takes his cello into his office. That’s probably not suitable for a cubicle worker but if you’re remote working, something similar might be the ticket to get away from the grind.
  • Give in. Surrendering to a crafty nap might be the best thing. We are programmed for the mid-afternoon siesta,and you will definitely feel better and the longer you sleep, the longer it will last. The so-called ‘power nap’ of 10-15 minutes can recharge you for a few hours, while getting in 90 minutes of sleep will allow your brain to experience all phases of light, REM and deep sleep. Deep sleep is where our brains consolidate memory, experience and learning. No wonder that a NASA study found a 26-minute nap improved productivity by over 30%.

Prevention is Better than the Cure

Bad sleep habits like late nights, evening snacking, and staring at screens into the evening can disrupt a night’s rest and can make us tired before we even get into work. Look after the nights and the days will look after themselves.

One last way to avoid hitting the caffeine in the afternoon is to play to your body and brain’s strengths and structure your day accordingly. We are much more mentally alert in the morning and much better at taking decisions, leaving the afternoon to practical matters and dexterity.

Good Health! Naturally Caffeine Free Coffee


Naturally caffeine-free coffee might not strike you as either a worthy subject for a toast or the perfect drink to charge a glass with, but the health benefits of managing the caffeine intake of you and yours could lead to better outcomes and long life. That’s something we can all raise a glass to.

So, with new discoveries in the world of caffeine awareness afoot, I Love Decaf, presents a guide to what’s going on now and in the near future.

Table of Contents

  1. The End of Decaf?
  2. New Species
  3. Charrier Coffee
  4. The Coffee Plant Perspective
  5. Half-Caffeinated or Half Decaf?
  6. Health benefits of going caffeine free

Caffeine-free coffee beans: do they mean the end of decaffeination?

Naturally, we are all used to decaffeinated coffee. We know that, given the right beans, grind, roast and decaffeination method, there’s no need to sacrifice the great taste when we ditch the caffeine. 

But could the process of decaffeination be side-stepped altogether if a bean was cultivated that had no caffeine in it at all? Coffee cultivation, like all agricultural enterprises, draws heavily on scientific principles – geology, meteorology, horticultural science, biology and botany, but as it happens, there’s no need for all the boffin ‘ologies’. There are already a few half-caff and even some no-caff coffee beans out there in the wild. 

Nature beat science to it and that sounds great to us. So, why are supermarket shelves not filling up with naturally caffeine-free coffee right now? Are these naturally caffeine-free beans not suitable in some way for the big time? Is it because of a global conspiracy? Is it the warped manifesto of ‘big coffee’? Perhaps it’s a shadowy Government cabal determined to keep us as busy, wired and panic-stricken as possible? Maybe it just tastes awful, you know, like Nescafé. 

None of the above. If anything, its absence from the supermarket could be down to the natural properties of caffeine itself.

Just because you want to kick it out of your coffee, the plant itself doesn’t care about your twitching eyelids or what Kid Barista at Costabucks say, caffeine has a real purpose as far as the plant is concerned. 

To find out what that might be, we should look at one the most recent discoveries of naturally caffeine free coffee plants.

Un-caffeinated: the answer to decaffeination?

In the wilder corners of the world, a surprising number of new species of plants and animals are discovered all the time. An average of 10,000 a year. In 2007, however, science busted the average wide open and formally identified over 18,500 plants and animals. 

Among all those breakthrough species, described scientifically for the first time, was a previously unknown coffee plant. Between a Welsh, carnivorous, white slug, a bacterium that lives in hairspray and a species of palm that tries so hard for pollination it flowers itself to death, was a naturally caffeine-free species of coffee.

Charrier Coffee – Naturally Caffeine-Free

The naturally caffeine-free coffee plant, Coffea charrieriana or Charrier Coffee, was discovered in the Bakossi Forest Reserve in Western Cameroon and is the first of its kind in Central Africa. It joins an Ethiopian un-caffeinated variety of Arabica and a Kenyan coffee plant – both recently discovered – and 30 out of 47 Indian Ocean Island varieties that are known to contain very little or no caffeine.

Coffea charrieriana
Coffea charrieriana

Royal Botanic Gardens listing of Charrier Coffee

Scientists say that the ancestors of Charrier Coffee – like most of its ilk – diverged from caffeinated coffees around 11 million years ago. So far, so good, but at its first listing millions of years down the line, wild Charrier Coffee was given a ‘red’ critically threatened conservation status. A conservation effort is underway, but seeds have also been collected and exported for commercial cultivation in Costa Rica and Brazil.

Those who have tasted Charrier Coffee report it has a much less thick texture than Arabica and has an almost tea-like quality.

What has caffeine ever done for the coffee plant?

Its endangered status might not be purely down to the usual suspects of forest clearance and habitat loss – there could be other factors at play and caffeine content might be just as important to Charrier Coffee as it is to you and me.

Some experts believe that caffeine-containing plants are safer from certain insects, vertebrates, bacteria and fungi, the caffeine acting as a kind of pesticide to protect the seeds. If caffeine has potential to safeguard the plant, caffeine-free varieties grown at scale might offer much lower yields unless they are cultivated higher up mountains beyond the range of insect pests. 

Lower yields would mean much higher prices and, indeed, initial batches of cultivated naturally caffeine-free coffee sold at significant premiums.

Caffeine kills coffee plants

The jury is still out on whether caffeine’s pesticidal qualities are really all that, though other species – principally tea and cocoa – have both evolved caffeine content independently of coffee, even though that is apparently a high-stakes adaptation. Experts point to the fact that caffeine is not only a pesticide but also has the potential to kill the very plant that produces it. Caffeine produced in plants is a by-product of other processes and is physically isolated in special cell compartments called vacuoles. Ironically, concentrated caffeine is poisonous to plant cells. Even the coffee tree, it seems, doesn’t want the caffeine and operates a network of its own toxic waste dumps.

One last – and bizarre – theory for the presence of caffeine is that it is there for us and, like many other plants with psychoactive ingredients, part of their success comes from human cultivation. Like honeybees collecting nectar and pollinating flowers, we are in a symbiotic relationship with tea and coffee plants, only it’s us that gets the buzz, while they enjoy the comfort and care of the extraordinary lengths we go to in cultivation.

Half Caff Coffee 

Long before Western science started going on species collection to exotic locations all over the globe (and South Wales; remember the slug?) the world knew of naturally low caffeine species of coffee plant. Liberian Coffee is one such species.

Coffea liberica or Liberian Coffee, as the name suggests, is a native of west and central Africa from Angola and Uganda in the south to Liberia at its northern range. It has also become naturalised in the Indian Ocean Islands and southeast Asia and can be found in the Philippines, Indonesia, the Seychelles, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Malaysia.

Liberian is the third most popular bean in the world, but the dominance of Robusta and Arabica beans means it amounts only to around 1.5% of all cultivated coffee. Despite this, its caffeine content – around half of Robusta’s – means that it fetches premium prices on the coffee market. Unlike Charrier Coffee, it still does contain an appreciable dose of caffeine.

If you fancy a half-caff, I Love Decaf has a Halfway House half-caff offering if you’re not sure you want to go the whole hog right away or you just want a little bit of extra go in your juice. Its 50% decaf portion is even produced using the chemical solvent-free Swiss Water Process – another tick towards a healthy lifestyle.

Health benefits of lower caffeine

People who are sensitive to caffeine already have a reason to cut it out; it simply makes them feel unwell. They lose sleep, they have hand tremors, they might even have heart palpitations.

Almost all of us will experience some heart pounding after a coffee binge, so it’s no surprise that – almost to the exclusion of all other caffeine side effects – the heart and circulation are major concerns.

There is a lot of contradictory evidence on the effects of coffee generally on your health. Everyone seems to agree, however, that as a specific stimulant, caffeine does have real effects on your metabolism and by cutting it out, you still get to enjoy some of the positive effects of coffee without caffeine.

Nothing seems cut and dried on caffeine however – as this workshop clearly shows. Before reading that link, you might want to either complete a degree in biomedicine or be prepared to consume a few cups of strong joe to get to the end.

There are some easy takeaways though. It seems that caffeine use is safer sitting down than an hour before you go out for a run or hit the gym. Caffeine and exercise do not mix well with regards to circulation, blood pressure and heart health. 

If you are looking after your health, especially if you are incorporating exercise and activity into a healthy lifestyle, the message is clear; it is probably best to keep off the caffeine. Also it’s clear that caffeine won’t help with high blood pressure or hypertension.

Decaf Deconstructed – Different Methods of Decaffeination

There are five ways to decaffeinate, which one works for you?

There is a problem with tea and coffee packaging. It is stricken with an unsightly rash of trademarks and logos erupting from every available surface like zits on a pizza-faced teenager. The blemishes speak of a virtuous product; Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, sustainable, green. Separate info boxes impart details such as strength, bean, roast, blend, grind, carbon footprint and, possibly, USB compatibility. It has made shopping for hot drinks as complex and nuanced as a conference on geopolitical ethics.

We call these little reassuring information panels LoV – Logos of Virtue. They make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

This is one detail you should pay attention to, because how your tea or coffee is decaffeinated is arguably more important

There’s still room on the label – just – so why not add one more detail, the method of decaffeination? This is one detail you should pay attention to, because how your tea or coffee is decaffeinated is arguably more important than many of the other LoVs. For example, with the amount of decaf the world is consuming, how that caffeine is removed has measurable consequences for the environment. Differences in decaffeination can also affect taste and aroma. And the big one; effectiveness of decaffeination varies with each process and if you are buying decaf, it makes sense that you will want it to be as caffeine-free as possible.

The truth is that decaffeinated tea and coffee comes in a bewildering variety of forms but not all are created equal. With a decaf tea or coffee, a lot hinges on the method of its decaffeination. Which one should you choose and why does it matter?

Here comes the science bit

There are five known methods of decaffeination. The original method, which used salt water and benzene is no longer legal because of, well, benzene. In 1906, a chance discovery by German coffee merchant Ludwig Roselius resulted in the world’s first mass produced decaffeinated coffee. Although his coffee later turned out to be carcinogenic, Roselius made up for it all by his involvement in a 1943 plot to blow up Hitler. You win some, you lose some.

Which leaves us four ways of taking caffeine out of tea and coffee. 

1. Methylene Chloride Decaffeination 

Methylene chloride is bonded to caffeine molecule by molecule by soaking the tea leaves or green coffee beans. There are two methods of achieving this, directly on the beans or leaves in hot water and indirectly, where the beans or leaves are soaked in hot water to remove the caffeine and the solvent is added to the water after the beans are removed. Although ‘solvent’ and the names of most solvents sound quite scary, only the tiniest trace residue will remain on the decaf product and even that will evaporate completely over 38°C/100°F.

2. Ethyl Acetate Decaffeination 

Although ethyl acetate hardly sounds much better than the previous method, decaf produced using ethyl acetate as a solvent is sometimes touted as ‘naturally decaffeinated’ because ethyl acetate is a chemical found naturally not only in tea, but also in many fruits. The process is otherwise identical to the direct and indirect methods that use methylene chloride as a solvent. Sometimes, according to learned decafficionados, ethyl acetate decaf leaves a slight chemical taste

3. Swiss Water Decaffeination 

This non-solvent alternative decaf process extracts caffeine by a long soak in hot water, followed by filtering though activated carbon to remove the caffeine. The now-decaf water is added back to the drained beans or leaves so that they can reabsorb the oils and flavours. There are a few teas that use the Swiss Water decaf method, but it is most often used for coffee.

4. Carbon Dioxide (co2) Decaffeination 

This is the space age version of decaf. This was probably invented when boffins meant to be working on something very clever were momentarily appalled by the state of their decaf and filled whiteboards with obscure formulae and Greek symbols to come up with a solution to the second most important problem before them. We probably won’t have interstellar space travel because of this, but who cares when the decaf tastes this good?

Having said all that, it’s not that complicated. Beans or leaves are pressure cooked with carbon dioxide. In such pressure and temperature environments, carbon dioxide (co2) goes supercritical and becomes a solvent that attracts the small caffeine molecules, leaving the larger flavour molecules intact.

5. Mountain Water Method

Similar in many respects to the Swiss Water decaffeination method and widely regarded as a cut above all other decafs, the Mountain Water Process (MWP) is also sometimes called the Mexican Water Process as it uses water from that country’s highest mountain – Pico de Orizaba.

The process starts with steaming the green coffee beans which are then soaked in a water solution, which removes the caffeine along with the flavour compounds. The water is removed from the seeds and run through a carbon filter that captures caffeine molecules to strain them from the solution. The green coffee is then soaked in all the flavour compounds and reabsorb them without the caffeine.

Can’t Find Decaf Coffee Beans in Tesco? Here Are Some Alternatives

You’ve come to right place:

If you’re looking for decaf coffee beans in Tesco, you’re out of luck. Supermarkets don’t tend to stock good decaf coffee. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your caffeine-free dreams! I Love Decaf have a range of delicious decaf coffees that will make your taste buds happy.

1. Why you can’t find decaf coffee beans in Tesco

Supermarkets like Tesco don’t typically stock good decaf coffee beans. This is because there is a lower demand for decaf coffee, so it’s not as profitable for supermarkets to carry them. That’s not to say that you can’t find decaf coffee beans anywhere – you just might have to look a little harder. Specialty coffee shops and online retailers are more likely to carry a wider variety of decaf coffee beans. If you’re looking for a good cup of decaf coffee, your best bet is to search for a small, independent cafe or store that specializes in selling high-quality coffee beans.

2. What are your options when it comes to decaf in Tesco

Supermarket chains like Tesco do not stock good decaf coffee. If you are looking for a good cup of decaf, your best option is to go to a specialty coffee shop. These shops usually have a wider selection of decaf coffees, and they are roasted in-house, which means they will taste fresher. You can also order decaf coffee beans online. There are a number of online retailers that sell high-quality decaf beans, and many of them offer free shipping.

3. Where you can find decaf coffee online

If you’re looking for a good decaf coffee, your best bet is to go online. There are a lot of great websites that sell decaf coffee beans, and you’re sure to find a flavor that you love. Some of our favourites include I Love Decaf and… I Love Decaf. We have a lovely selection of decaf beans, and we offer great prices and quick shipping within the UK. So if you’re looking for a great cup of decaf coffee, be sure to check us out.

4. Flavoursome decaf and non-caff drinks

At I Love Decaf, we understand that not everyone wants to drink caffeinated drinks. That’s why we’ve created a range of superior decaffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks that are full of flavour. Whether you’re looking for a decaf coffee that tastes just like the real thing, or a non-caff tea that still has all the flavour of your favourite blend, we’ve got you covered. Our Mexican Holy Water Decaf Coffee is one of our most popular drinks, and it’s sure to become your new favourite too!

5. Why choosing decaf doesn’t mean sacrificing taste

Decaf coffee lovers, rejoice! You don’t have to sacrifice taste when choosing to cut down on caffeine. In fact, I Love Decaf offers a wide range of delicious decaf drinks that taste just as good as their caffeinated counterparts. From smooth Mexican Holy Water Decaf Coffee to our flagship Luxe Organic Honduran Decaf Coffee, there’s something for everyone. So don’t despair if you can’t find decaf beans in your local Tesco, here are some great alternatives that will make you feel right at home.