This process involves soaking the beans in water and then “washing” them in methylene chloride to absorb the caffeine from the bean. After this, the beans are rinsed clean of the chemicals, dried and shipped to the coffee roasters. The advantage of this method is that it provides decaf coffee with more flavor.
Swiss Water Process
This process uses no chemicals, but rather hot water and steam to remove the caffeine from the coffee. The “life” of the bean is taken into the water, and then the water solution put through activated charcoal filters to remove the caffeine. Once the caffeine is removed, these same beans are then put back into the decaffeinated solution to re-absorb everything except the caffeine. The beans are then dried and shipped to the roasters. The disadvantage is that the water processing removes more than just the caffeine. Some of the oils from the coffee bean are removed as well, making it less flavorful.