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Does Decaf Make a Difference?

What is your preference when it comes to coffee—decaf or regular? It’s a question that you’re probably asked whenever you stop by your coffee shop for your daily brew. Many drink decaf coffee for the peace of mind that they’re having the same coffee experience without the uneasy side effects of regular coffee. But, how much difference does it really make, if any? Let’s take a look at the facts and findings on decaffeinated coffee, and we’ll let you make your own conclusion.   First, what really is decaf coffee?  It indicates that NEARLY all of the caffeine from the coffee beans has been removed. The process of decaffeination takes place while the beans are still green, and prior to roasting. As not all of the caffeine is actually eliminated, there is truly no 100% decaffeinated coffee on the market.   Then, how is decaffeinated coffee produced? The green coffee beans are swelled with water or steam. Next, water or a pressurized carbon dioxide is circulated around the soaked coffee beans, causing the caffeine to be released. Then, those decaffeinated coffee beans are steamed and dried to their normal moisture level. This process is repeated several times, until there is very little caffeine remaining in the beans. Believe it or not, the caffeine that is removed from the coffee beans is what is used in the majority of sodas! According to United States law, for a coffee to be termed ‘decaf,’ it must retain less than 2.5% of its caffeine.   Does decaf coffee have the same risks and benefits as regular coffee? Because there are other components to coffee aside from caffeine that provide health benefits, decaffeinated coffee has roughly the same benefits as regular coffee. Research has shown that both contain lots of anti-oxidants, thus preventing the risk of cancer and assisting in regulating blood glucose level, which reduces the risk of diabetes, and both decaf and regular even help boost cognitive abilities, improving memory. In terms of risks, both have shown to cause an increased risk of liver cancer, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Decaffeinated coffee tends to cause a little more acidity in the stomach, both regular and decaf have shown to reduce bone health, similar to regular coffee both can increase the risk of heart attack, both can potentially raise cholesterol levels, and both could possibly have harmful effects on vision. However, drinking more than 4 cups of decaffeinated coffee per day has been linked to developing a greater risk of rheumatoid arthritis, more so than regular coffee. So, while decaffeinated coffee may not give you as much of a buzz as regular coffee, for those with caffeine sensitivity or other restrictions may find decaf to be a reasonable replacement. Both regular and decaf coffee have roughly the same benefits and risks, and in terms of taste, it depends on whom you ask! At CoffeeAM, you can expect to have some really memorable coffee, whether you are a fan of decaf OR regular. Tell us which one you prefer and why, and please visit CoffeeAM for a flavorful selection of coffee and tea.
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