Personally, I am a caffeine addict. I admit it. But I do understand that there are those who are not so inclined. Rather than skip coffee altogether, they opt for decaf. Decaf coffee is a pretty misunderstood beverage, but there are some commonly conveyed “facts” about it that are just plain wrong.
Decaf tastes bad
While it’s not my favorite, decaf is not fundamentally bad. Usually, the problem is that it starts with bad beans, which wouldn’t be good even caffeinated. If the decaffeinating process takes places using quality beans with good flavor characteristics, the result should be good. Investing in better beans and higher quality coffee and result in some pretty good decaf.
Decaf is caffeine-free
Decaffeination removes most of the caffeine from coffee beans, but a regular cup of decaf often has about 5 mg. of caffeine, and some studies have shown as much as 20 mg (a typical cup has 100-200 mg). Clearly, decaf doesn’t mean caffeine-free. People who are sensitive to caffeine should probably leave all kinds of coffee in their rearview.
Decaf has fewer benefits than caffeinated
Most health benefits from coffee come from the powerful antioxidants it contains. That doesn’t change whether or not it has caffeine. Studies show these healthy properties are still present in decaf coffee.
Decaf is best for pregnant women
This is sort of true, sort of not. In the past, many women believed that they had to give up their daily cup of java because the caffeine has adverse effects on the fetus. It’s true that pregnant women don’t want to overdo it on the caffeine. However, current guidelines suggest that 200 mg of caffeine a day can be part of a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy. That’s the same as 1-2 8oz. cups a day. If you don’t want to risk it, stick with decaf.