STOKES BLOG Caffeine and the Decaffeination Process

Decaf coffee and tea are great for when you fancy a brew but don’t want to be up all night, and as such big coffee and tea fans, we love having a late night cuppa to send us off to sleep. But how does the decaffeination process work? Not many people know so read on for some special Stokes knowledge…


Caffeine occurs naturally in the leaves, seeds or fruit of more than 60 plant species. It is a mild stimulant, which acts on the central nervous system and some other organs of the body, like the kidneys. It is readily absorbed into the bloodstream but does not accumulate in the body.

The stimulant effects of an average sized mug of coffee take effect after 15 – 45 minutes and last normally for about four hours. The effects will vary depending on the amount drunk in relation to age, bodyweight, time of day, over what period of time, and a person’s sensitivity to it.

The effects of caffeine do not last so long in smokers – nicotine doubles the speed at which caffeine is broken down in the body. Alcohol has a similar effect.

Extensive scientific research has been conducted into caffeine demonstrating that moderate consumption, of 4-5 cups of coffee per day, is perfectly safe for the general population. Many studies have shown that caffeine improves concentration, alertness, reasoning, intellectual effort and vigilance.

The beans of Arabica coffee contain less caffeine than Robusta beans (roughly half the amount).

The Decaffeination Process

There are several different methods of decaffeinated coffee. These are:

Coffee is soaked in a water and chemical mixture, which dissolves the caffeine contains in the beans.

Swiss water
Coffee is flushed out with pure mountain water.

Coffee is placed into a chamber of CO2, which absorbs and removes the caffeine.
Stokes uses the Swiss Water system as our decaffeination process of choice. The caffeine is removed from the coffee beans in their green state, before the precious oils and flavours have been developed through roasting. As caffeine is both tasteless and odourless, this gentle method will not affect the flavour of coffee.

So there you have it. Next time you fancy a late night brew, just pick up some decaf Stokes for a great cup of tea or coffee any time of the day or night.