Millions of Coffee drinkers around the world drink decaf coffee, with the single purpose of avoiding the caffeine content naturally present in coffee. The same is true for Tea and decaffeinated teas.
The reasons for trying to avoid caffeine can range from simply trying to have a better sleep at a proper time to various more serious health-related issues. Decaf tea of coffee is rarely if ever been drunk because it “tastes better”. But what exactly is decaffeinated tea and coffee and does it really make a difference to our caffeine intake? Definition of decaffeinated coffee and caffeine-free "Decaf" is short for "decaffeinated" or "decaffeination."
Contrary to popular belief, decaf is not the same as "caffeine-free". Caffeine-free means the product is completely void of caffeine—never had it. The only way it will have caffeine is if you add it to it. However, “decaf” means the natural caffeine in the beverage has been removed through a process during production. Decaf also means, that legally there is a certain percentage of caffeine allowed to be present – so it is technically not caffeine free! Blame the FDA for this “technicality”.
How is Decaffeinated coffee legally defined?
The definition of decaf varies from country to country. In the United States, federal regulations require that in order to label coffee beans as “decaffeinated” that coffee must have had its caffeine level reduced by no less than 97.5 percent.
So two coffees with different caffeine level to start with will end up with two different level of caffeine - even possibly double as much.
In Canada it is defined as follows: Food and Drug Regulations (C.R.C., c. 870) B.05.003 [S]. Decaffeinated (indicating the type of coffee) (a) shall be coffee of the type indicated, from which caffeine has been removed and that, as a result of the removal, contains not more than:
(i) 0.1 per cent caffeine, in the case of decaffeinated raw coffee and decaffeinated coffee, or
(ii) 0.3 per cent caffeine, in the case of decaffeinated instant coffee;