Formaldehyde in coffee


New member
Dec 30, 2005
Royal Oak MI
Visit site
An acquaintance of mine has been trying to convince me to start buying fresh coffee beans, roast, grind, and brew them myself. His rationale is you get a richer cup of coffee, it’s cheaper, and healthier for you. When I asked him why it’s healthier? He told me many gourmet coffee growers use formaldehyde to keep the beans fresh? Is this true? Also if I start buying raw beans (I guess that’s what they would be called) can I roast them, grind them, and brew them right away? Would I have to let the roasted coffee beans sit for a while before grinding and brewing them?


Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
Boca Raton
Visit site
I have to call BS on that myth...I have heard this before but that they use it to decaf the no it is not true...if your friend knows something that we don't have him pm me...or he can email me. Let the proffessionals roast the coffee :wink:


New member
Like Topher said, I've never heard of any chemical that is used to preserve freshness. Most likely your friend is thinking of methylene chloride. It is use to decaffeinate coffee beans. One thing worth knowing is that the chemical never comes in contact with the beans. Plus methylene chloride has very low boiling point, and will break down during the roasting process where beans are roasted to over 400 degrees. In my opinion it is very safe. But if the idea of chemical bothers you, there are Swiss water process and CO2 process for decaffeination. But, in my opinion, methylene chloride process does the least amount of harm to coffee taste and aroma.

Home roasting, like home beer brewing and home wine making, requires a bit of dedication. I don't think you will save much money, unless you drink a lot of coffee. More than anything else it's a hobby. There are a few home roasting sites out there, you can do a google search for them.

Lastly regarding brewing roasted beans right away. The prevailing wisdom is to rest the beans a day or two before brewing. However, I got into a bit of disagreement suggesting that; so, yes you can, but would it taste good? Only you can answer that.

Isn't h20 the better way?

Swisswater Processed d-caff that's all I use!

I argued with a chemical company that the Nitrogen overlay they used to protect thier product from 02 was a required certified USP component. They recieved a warning letter from the FDA. ( I was a field inspector) So no mattter the rational for a pure system, chemicals are not " perfect" and react in unitended fasion.. Water on the otherhand is water.