Lina is a great customer who regularly enjoys drinking Scotties. She’s also Danish so is used to good coffee. However, during lockdown she noticed that she’d been feeling edgy. Coffee wasn’t helping. She wanted the delicious flavour of Scotties, but without the side effects.
It got me thinking about how I could help her out. It also made me wonder about offering something for people who wanted a decaffeinated alternative to Scotties.
You know the situation when you have a friend coming round and they ask for decaffeinated. You have to give them something that, let’s face it, doesn’t taste great. Or you don’t have any decaf in the cupboard – which maybe is actually better!
But it’s why I started experimenting. First, I had to pick a decaffeinated method. I opted for one called the ‘Swiss Water process’. This was invented in the 1930s in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and is totally chemical-free. The Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company now manage the technology.
Extracting caffeine, not flavour
A green coffee solution called Green Coffee Extract (GCE) is created with all the water-soluble compounds found in green coffee, but without caffeine. The Swiss people introduce this to a batch of green coffee. When that happens, the matching molecules don’t diffuse out of the coffee beans but the caffeine does. The flavour is retained in the beans while the caffeine is removed.
Next I tested out ratios. First off, 20% caffeine to 80 decaffeinated. Then 40% caffeine to 60% decaffeinated. Finally, it was 50% decaffeinated to 50% regular coffee that won out.
Then I tried the beans. Peruvian worked best as decaffeinated. I also had to work out the best non-decaffeinated beans to mix with. The verdict was Brazilian.
So I was ready. I brewed up a cup for Lina and waited for her to tell me what she thought. She came back with: “I love it!” My tasting had it spot on. I had found a way to create decaffeinated coffee that kept the flavour of the Arabica beans. So far I’ve noticed notes of almond, chocolate and raisin, with subtle aromas of sweet cherry. Mmm!
I’ve called the coffee Lina 50/50 in honour of her. It’s on special offer for a short period so do go ahead and try it! And please do let me know what you think.