Decafination process? What is it?

Black Dog

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May 8, 2007
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Generally, in both chemical and water process methods, the beans are first steamed or soaked in hot water to disolve the caffeine and leach it and the flavor compounds out of the bean. Then the caffeine is removed from the resulting solution either by use of a chemical agent which attracts the caffeine molecules (in chemical process of course) or by means of filtration for the water process. I believe that the caffeine molecules are larger than the flavor molecules so they are able to be filtered out.
In both methods the resulting decaf solution is then re-absorbed into the beans.
I think that in some methods the first batch of beans is leached, those beans are tossed, and then a second batch is soaked in the solution, disolving the caffeine but not the flavor compounds.