Decaf & Caffeinated Coffee: 10 Differences We Found


Coffee is the new energy drink of town. The debate surrounding decaf and caffeinated coffee has been going on from decades and nobody has been able to reach to a conclusion.


Is Decaf Coffee Harmful?

In early days, coffee was decaffeinated through a process which involved the use of a chemical solvent called Benzene. It was found that Benzene had harmful effects on the human body which led the manufacturers to switch to a safer method.

In 1999, a study was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and they concluded that the amount of solvents used to decaffeinate coffee is too minute to have any adverse effect on humans.

Even though experts have announced it to be safe, the question is whether it is as beneficial as caffeinated coffee? Following are some of the differences that will help you in making a decision.

Kicking Horse Decaf Coffee

Difference Between Caffeinated and Decaf Coffee

1. Amount of Coffee

The first difference is the quantity of caffeine. In decaf coffee, 95% of the caffeine is removed. A decaf consumer consumes 10 mg of caffeine after having 10 cups of coffee; whereas, a single caffeinated cup consists of 85 mg. The difference is mind boggling.

2. Antioxidants' Quantum

Antioxidants are good for the human body and during the process of roasting coffee both- regular and decaf- lose a minor amount of antioxidant compounds. The loss of these compounds is higher on the decaf side. It is because of the process of decaffeination.

People who want to consume antioxidants in their coffee should go for a caffeinated cup.

3. PH Levels

Another lesser known fact about decaf coffee is that it's acidic content is higher than regular coffee. The ph levels and taste of decaf coffee go through changes during the process of soaking. People who want to avoid acidic beverages should try and stay away from decaf.

Any substance which has ph levels of less than 7 is viewed to be acidic. The ph level of decaf coffee is 5, whereas a caffeinated coffee has it around 4 and 4.5. Even though there isn't a lot of difference yet the ph of a decaf is higher than the other one.

It is recommended that people who are prone to acid reflux or acidity should avoid decaf.

4. Taste

To produce decaf coffee, coffee beans are soaked in a chemical extract which reduces the level of caffeine. Even though this process has proved to be safe for humans yet it alters the taste of coffee. Properties of coffee like taste and aroma reduce during this process.

Those who are habitual of a caffeinated cup will find it difficult to drink decaf. However, its taste could be acquired gradually.

5. Stimulation

It is a commonly held notion that coffee is like an energy shot. People are well aware of the fact that if they have a regular cup of coffee before bed, they will stay wide-awake. On the other hand if we talk about decaf, it does not have any such property.

Since the level of caffeine is less in decaf it won't feel like an energy shot and will let you have a sound sleep. People who want coffee as a beverage should opt for a decaf cup rather than a regular one.

6. Metabolic Activity

Caffeine regulates metabolic activity in humans. As a result, the nutrients from their meals are extracted and absorbed in a better way. This also helps in flushing out the toxins. This process facilitates in controlling fat deposition as well.

Since decaf has less amount of caffeine, it does not have any effect on the metabolic system. Those who wish to have an impact on their metabolism should go for caffeinated coffee.

7.  Moderation

Maintaining balance in life is essential as everything in this world has it's pros and cons. Similarly, caffeine has certain benefits only when consumed in a moderate amount. People who consume less than 3 cups of coffee per day can opt for caffeinated coffee. In this case, the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages.

However, those who prefer more than 3 cups should go for decaf. This will save them from beverage addiction and any other side effect that one may experience.

8. Extraction Process

Some coffee connoisseurs are of the opinion that decaf coffee is not natural. Since the caffeine levels in decaf are reduced artificially using various chemical processes, these connoisseurs prefer to not drink it. Even though it is true to some extent yet it cannot be termed unnatural as there are no artificial ingredients used.

Similarly, caffeinated coffee goes through a long process before it is converted into coffee powder. So, none of them can be termed unnatural.

9. Affecting Fertility

Even though caffeine has its own taste but its over consumption can reduce fertility. It is recommended that women who are expecting should control their consumption of caffeine. They can consume it but in a limited and careful way.

On the other hand, decaf coffee is comparatively safer to use as it has less quantity of caffeine. With the advent of advanced decaffeination, caffeine content could be further reduced by 99.9% which makes it safer for the consumption of pregnant women.

10. Hydration Levels

Consuming less than 300 mg of caffeine won't affect the hydration levels of a human body. However, multiple cups can have adverse impacts.

On the other hand, decaf has no impact on the hydration levels and that is why it is recommended to switch over to decaf during summers.

These are some of the differences that'll help you have a clear mind and choose your pick.