The internet is rife with decaf dogma, and it’s easy to find yourself deluged in its discourse. Namely, consumers are concerned with the method caffeine is removed from coffee, and the effects that imparts on flavor, the environment, and your health.
All decaffeination occurs with the use of a chemical solvent, which strips caffeine molecules from the coffee itself. The utterance of the word “chemical” will understandably raise unease, but many chemicals are naturally occurring, and proveningly benign in low dosage. This concern allowed for a so-called enlightenment period of decaffeination in the 80s, after it was discovered the commonly used methylene-chloride was used in paint thinners and aerosol. Newly developed facilities using solvents other than MC fear-mongered on this finding, promoting their process as the healthy alternative.
Now 40 years later, with ample research by both the USDA and FDA, there is still no evidence that low doses of methyl chloride are harmful.