What in the world is decaf espresso? Many would consider those two words used together as an oxymoron, but they’re really not! Decaf espresso, like regular decaf coffee, is made by removing most of the caffeine from the beans before they are ground and used to make coffee.You might also like to read: What is espresso?
How much caffeine?
Many of us would think of espresso as a unique kind of coffee bean– but it’s really not! A shot of espresso can be made from many kinds of beans. And while espresso tends to have more caffeine per ounce than “regular coffee”, that really has more to do with the brewing process than with the coffee itself.
A single shot of espresso might have between 30 to 100 mg of caffeine. Surprisingly, your morning cup of coffee probably has around 96 mg of caffeine.
Normally your morning cup of coffee is made by slowly dripping water through unpacked ground coffee beans. Conversely, espresso machines use high pressure to pump hot water through a porta filter filled with a “puck” of compressed, friendly ground coffee.
Making a shot of espresso typically results in a coffee drink with concentrated caffeine. However, just like with regular coffee, there are ways to remove or drastically reduce the amount of caffeine and the resultant shot. The goal is to remove the caffeine without removing the taste or other attributes of the espresso.
Caffeine is typically removed from coffee beans with the use of a solvent of some sort–perhaps water, carbon dioxide or other organic solvents. These processes can remove about 97% of the caffeine and have minimal effect on the taste of the coffee drink. Many prefer processes using pure water to remove the caffeine rather than organic solvents.
Does Starbucks sell decaf espresso drinks?
Starbucks and many other coffeehouses sell decaf espresso drinks as well as decaffeinated coffee beans. Starbucks tends to have slightly more residual caffeine than some other beans. Research has shown a shot of decaffeinated espresso at Starbucks contains in the range of 3 to 15.8 mg per shot.You might also like to read: How to choose the best coffee beans?
You can purchase decaffeinated beans for your espresso at your favorite coffee shop and many upscale markets. Or you can try some of our favorites:
So back to the fundamental question: should you drink decaf espresso? The answer is “it depends”.
The reasons for choosing caffeinated or decaffeinated espresso are much the same as how you choose caffeinated or decaffeinated drip coffee. Are you trying to wake yourself up? Or are you trying to make sure you can go to sleep in an hour? How does your stomach react to caffeine? The choice is yours.