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gib65

is decaf really decaf?

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I've quit consuming caffeine. I no longer drink coffee. But on occasion, I will order a decaf. Now, it may just be the placebo effect, but I swear on some occasions, the decaf gives me a slight buzz. Is decaf coffee really 100% caffeine free? Or is it more like 99%? 95%? Maybe only 90%?

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10 minutes ago, gib65 said:

I've quit consuming caffeine. I no longer drink coffee. But on occasion, I will order a decaf. Now, it may just be the placebo effect, but I swear on some occasions, the decaf gives me a slight buzz. Is decaf coffee really 100% caffeine free? Or is it more like 99%? 95%? Maybe only 90%?

Iirc, caffeine makes up 3% of your coffee, and decaffeination removes 2/3 of that, and that's why they usually claim 99% caffeine free. Decaf is usually a third of the jolt you're used to.

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4 minutes ago, gib65 said:

I've quit consuming caffeine. I no longer drink coffee. But on occasion, I will order a decaf. Now, it may just be the placebo effect, but I swear on some occasions, the decaf gives me a slight buzz. Is decaf coffee really 100% caffeine free? Or is it more like 99%? 95%? Maybe only 90%?

It'll be placebo. It generally has 94+% removed. I quit normal caffeine levels, swapping to decaf tea and coffee and the headaches were really rather painful. I had to stick a caffeinated tea in here and there over a week or two to soften the withdrawal.

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https://academic.oup.com/jat/article/30/8/611/714415?view=extract

Quote

 

Abstract

Caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world with coffee representing a major source of intake. Despite widespread availability, various medical conditions necessitate caffeine-restricted diets. Patients on certain prescription medications are advised to discontinue caffeine intake. Such admonition has implications for certain psychiatric patients because of pharmacokinetic interactions between caffeine and certain anti-anxiety drugs. In an effort to abstain from caffeine, patients may substitute decaffeinated for caffeinated coffee. However, decaffeinated beverages are known to contain caffeine in varying amounts. The present study determined the caffeine content in a variety of decaffeinated coffee drinks. In phase 1 of the study, 10 decaffeinated samples were collected from different coffee establishments. In phase 2 of the study, Starbucks® espresso decaffeinated (N = 6) and Starbucks brewed decaffeinated coffee (N = 6) samples were collected from the same outlet to evaluate variability of caffeine content of the same drink. The 10 decaffeinated coffee samples from different outlets contained caffeine in the range of 0–13.9 mg/16-oz serving. The caffeine content for the Starbucks espresso and the Starbucks brewed samples collected from the same outlet were 3.0–15.8 mg/shot and 12.0–13.4 mg/16-oz serving, respectively. Patients vulnerable to caffeine effects should be advised that caffeine may be present in coffees purported to be decaffeinated. Further research is warranted on the potential deleterious effects of consumption of “decaffeinated” coffee that contains caffeine on caffeine-restricted patients. Additionally, further exploration is merited for the possible physical dependence potential of low doses of caffeine such as those concentrations found in decaffeinated coffee.

 

 

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One of the most favored means is the Swiss water method, and in those cases not much more than 0.1% residual of the caffeine remains in beans.Other methods can leave up to 4% around. Note that depending on the type of beans and the processing process you can end up with varying final levels in your cup.

Edited by CharonY

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In short, while there’s not much, there is still caffeine in decaf.

Once acknowledged, the question quickly turns to one of personal caffeine sensitivity. 

This is all true, and also does not exclude any possible placebo effects (which may add to whatever is happening physiologically). 

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There are also other components in coffee. What is perceived as buzz may actually not be caffeine.

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