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What is the future: decaf or low-caf?

More and more people are giving up their usual coffee and opting for decaf coffee, yet not everyone is aware of low-caf coffees, which are a great alternative, each with their nuances.

Today, let's talk about coffee varieties that naturally contain low levels of caffeine and how they differ from the well-known decaf coffee.

Let's start with the fact that decaffeination of coffee beans was invented over a hundred years ago, and since then, the decaf coffee market has been rapidly growing. However, in recent decades, the industry has been paying more attention to a natural alternative—varieties with naturally low levels of caffeine. It should be noted that caffeine in moderate amounts has many benefits: it invigorates, improves well-being and concentration, and increases endurance. So, there's no need to give it up completely unless you have specific health concerns. However, more and more coffee enthusiasts worldwide are preferring caffeine-free beverages.

And this is where low-caf enters the ring…

Low-caf coffee contains significantly less caffeine compared to regular coffee but is not completely caffeine-free. On average, low-caf contains about 50-70% less caffeine. For example, if a standard cup of coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, low-caf may contain between 30 to 50 milligrams.

The main differences between low-caf and decaf are:

  • Caffeine levels: Low-caf contains significantly more caffeine than decaf but still less than standard coffee. Decaf almost completely lacks caffeine.\
  • Target audience: Low-caf is aimed at those who want to reduce but not eliminate caffeine consumption.
  • Taste and aroma: Since decaf undergoes more intensive processing to remove caffeine, it can affect the taste and aroma of the coffee more than low-caf.

Finding low-caf in a coffee shop is quite rare, as is buying beans for everyday brewing at home. This is due to the challenges in producing low-caf coffees:

  • They grow slowly, have low yields, and often die. Caffeine acts as an immune system, so approximately 30% of planted trees do not survive their first year.
  • They are susceptible to insects and other pests. Caffeine acts as a natural insect repellent, so its low level makes plants vulnerable to pests.
  • They require special care, which not every farmer is willing to spend a lot of time and money on.

Thus, cultivating low-caf coffees is expensive. Many farmers cannot invest in the equipment, fertilizers, and special approaches needed to grow such coffee trees. For most, these are economically impractical risks, but despite the difficulties in growing low-caf coffees, the specialty market sees potential in producing these varieties. This is driven by consumer interest in exclusive varieties and the growing decaf coffee market.

Well... let's watch the development of the low-caf market, and perhaps one day, we'll try it together ;)

Now, let's discuss some advantages of decaf coffee over low-caf coffee. We have noted the following significant benefits:

  • Minimized caffeine consumption: For people sensitive to caffeine, completely excluding this component can be important to avoid side effects such as anxiety, insomnia, rapid heart rate, and high blood pressure.
  • Lower health risks: Completely excluding caffeine may be better for pregnant women, as high caffeine levels can increase the risk of complications. This is also important for people with certain medical conditions.
  • Flexibility in consumption: Decaf coffee can be consumed at any time, including in the evening, without the fear that it will disrupt sleep.

So, if you have never tried decaf coffee or want to explore new flavors, we encourage you to follow the link and turn your desires into reality as soon as possible ;)