How is Coffee Decaffeinated?

coffee beans, decaffeination, decaffeinated, caffeine
Coffee can be decaffeinated in several different ways. (Image credit: Coffee image via Shutterstock)

For those who like the taste of java but can't stand the jitters, scientists have devised a variety of ways to extract caffeine from coffee beans. In the most common method, called "solvent extraction," the beans are steamed to raise their moisture content. Dissolved caffeine rises to the surface of the beans and is washed off using an organic solvent such as methylene chloride. The neutered beans are then dried off and ready to go. Makes you wonder who's drinking the runoff.

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Live Science Staff
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