Those of you who think giving up caffeine means giving up quality coffee can think again! Decaf coffee gets a bad reputation, with many people believing that no caffeine means no taste.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant found in tea, coffee, and cacao. It gives us a temporary burst of energy which can be a welcome boost early in the morning but can keep us awake at night if we consume too much before bedtime. And while some people mainline caffeine, others try to avoid it altogether.
One of our goals for The Treehouse was to find a decaffeinated coffee that tastes as good as its caffeinated counterparts. Thanks to our supplier, Dublin roastery Farmhand Coffee, we think we have found the perfect brew.
How on earth do you get the caffeine out of coffee?
The decaf coffee served in The Treehouse has the caffeine taken out while the beans are still green, using what is called the Sugar Cane Process which originates in Colombia. The beans are steamed to open up their pores and then rinsed repeatedly in a mix of acetic acid vinegar, a natural extract distilled from sugar cane, blackberries, beets or sometimes grapes. This rinsing removes the caffeine. Next the green beans are dried to a 10-12% humidity level before being sealed with natural wax to preserve maximum flavour potential. The beans are then packed in natural sacks and shipped to the Farmhand Coffee roastery where they are roasted, packed, and delivered to The Treehouse at Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa, Adare.
The Sugar Cane Process is favoured by Farmhand Coffee over other heat and pressure-based methods as it preserves the green bean’s cellular structure which, in turn, preserves its flavour.
So, what happens to the caffeine?
Absolutely nothing goes to waste. Farmhand Coffee’s growers (you can read more about them here) are able to sell the extracted caffeine to soft drinks manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, amongst others, generating an additional income stream.
Why not give our decaf a try? We bet you cannot taste the difference. Ah Cúpan will ya!