How Much Caffeine is in Decaf Coffee?

Decaf is short for decaffeinated coffee or tea.

Actually, it means it is coffee with about 95-97 % of the caffeine removed. This leaves you with about 3 mg of caffeine left which is dependent on your cup size.

Many people like coffee but need to or want to limit their caffeine intake.

Everyone reacts differently and has individual tolerance levels to caffeine. Some can drink it and be very tolerant of caffeine levels.

Some are so sensitive, and get hyped up on just a half of a cup of coffee; affecting their central nervous system and causing anxiety and restlessness for the rest of the day.

The process of decaffeinating coffee is done before the beans are roasted. There are 3 main types of processing to remove the caffeine from your coffee beans. 

Making Coffee Decaffeinated

Caffeine is water soluble so manufacturer’s use water and some use chemicals which speeds up the decaf process.

  • Chemicals methylene chloride or ethyl acetate are the chemicals used, but if you want more natural, I would avoid these chemical uses for decaffeinated
  • Carbon dioxide is a solvent method also, but using high pressure pushing natural carbon dioxide to circulate around the moist wet beans. It also uses charcoal to remove the caffeine released from the beans, but is more effective, drawing out 1-2% more caffeine, a total of 97-98%, than other methods.
  • Swiss water process uses osmosis and water to draw out the caffeine, it is pretreated with charcoal to help remove caffeine. This removes 94-96 % of the caffeine.

Decaf Coffee Summary

If your worried about losing antioxidants, they say that there is very little loss of nutrients during the decaffeination process. The only change is less caffeine; you will not get the big boost of energy or boost in metabolism.

For those who have to limit their caffeine, decaffeinated is the best choice. Many doctors recommend patients with cardio problems, ulcers, gastric reflex, sleep problems or bladder issues to avoid caffeine.

Caffeine is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding and even can interfere with certain medications. Consult with your doctor if you have any medical questions about caffeine.




Cindy Burrows, B.S., M.T., Herbalist and is a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant helping individuals with health programs to improve life and happiness. She is a writer, speaker and owner of several businesses.


Written by Cynthia Burrows