Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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How Coffee Becomes Decaffeinated

Whole Latte Love (which is an amazing site for buying coffee equipment that will answer any question you have before you purchase) has an interesting blog post up about how coffee becomes decaffeinated, which just happens to be something I’ve always wondered. As they explain:

In a nutshell, most decaffeination processes consist of soaking beans in water to dissolve the caffeine and then extracting the caffeine with either a solvent or carbon. This process is often repeated up to 12 times to obtain the most complete caffeine extraction. Some methods will actually use a coffee-flavored solution while soaking the beans to avoid a complete loss of flavor composition. Once the caffeine has been removed, the beans are then re-soaked in the decaffeinated water to reabsorb the flavor compounds that were lost in the initial extraction.

They even explain what happens to the excess caffeine they take out: They sell it to soft drink companies. Good to know.

May 13, 2009