If you were blindfolded do you think you could tell the difference between decaf and regular coffee?
Most people cannot distinguish the difference between decaf and a regular cup of coffee if both the varieties are well brewed and processed properly. If you were blindfolded, here's how you could tell the difference.
One of the methods of getting rid of caffeine from the coffee is to treat coffee with hot water, subsequently followed by methylene chloride rinse. This is how roasters make decaf coffee.
Coffee berries after picking are rinsed properly for removal of their outer fruit covering. This softens the outer fruit, which is constantly washed, to purge the residual pulp.
Warming these green unroasted beans in hot water or steam, opens the pores of the bean, and is the initialization of chemical removal of caffeine. Subsequently, the beans are washed with methylene chloride that binds to caffeine to flush it away.
Most people like caffeine in their coffee. As part of the roasting process, the beans are soaked for several hours in hot water. The addition of methylene chloride is followed by the removal of the beans from the hot water. It only bonds with caffeine without flushing the flavored components of the beans and then they are re-soaked, where re-absorption of the flavored components is accomplished.
There is another method known as Swiss Method, in which the beans are soaked in hot water without the use of methylene chloride. On the other hand, caffeine is removed through activated charcoal by filtering the water. Relatively pure carbon, which is the altered molecular structure of activated charcoal, provides large surface area for other molecules to stick to it.
Most coffee manufacturers prefer the first method as it is less expensive but there are constant debates on the issue that the same method degrades the taste of the coffee beans. The major difference amongst the beans is its quality control. Even other techniques are present for caffeine reduction.
As a result of the roasting process, the dark, less acidic roasts contains less caffeine. For those who must reduce blends of decaf and regular have yet other options.
For the issue concerning taste, chemical differences are by and large overwhelmed by individual preferences. Many people can detect the absence or presence of caffeine owing to its intrinsically bitter taste.
In the end, it's just a matter of taste whether caffeine makes coffee bad or good.