Is decaffeinated coffee really caffeine free?


I love coffee but can't take caffeine, I have been told that there can be as much as 60% caffeine in some decaffeinated coffees, and my reactions to that can attest to it being true.

I have been told that there is such as thing as 100% caffeine free coffee.

Is there such a thing, and can you tell me where to get it?


Howard Kistler


Howard, hi

It's true that the decaffeination process doesn't remove all the caffeine.

However, whichever method is used, it does remove almost all the caffeine.

The international standard, which most countries abide by, require that 99% of the caffeine be removed before the coffee can be sold as decaffeinated. In the US, some companies will go by a different standard, which requires 97% decaffeinated.

Either way, almost all the caffeine is removed and unless you drink a huge amount of coffee by volume, you shouldn't be feeling any of the effects of the tiny amount of caffeine remaining.

You can learn more about decaffeinated coffee here....

Comments for Is decaffeinated coffee really caffeine free?

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Mar 09, 2022
Caffeine is not healthy.
by: Anonymous

Not sure why anyone would belief that caffeine is somehow good for you. It's basically like a milder form of Cocaine. It artificially stimulates your system, is physically addictive, and leads to energy crashes afterwards. Note that both are also largely from Columbia.

The most important single factor in health is good sleep, which ensures that your body/mind is functioning properly/optimally, and also helps prevent over-eating, or eating unhealthy foods. And also makes it easier to exercise. Caffeine interferes with good sleep, even if you're able to fall/stay asleep after drinking coffee earlier that day. Which becomes more difficult the older you get.

Sep 20, 2017
Arabica or Robusta?
by: Rob

In relation to decaf coffee it is true that you can't get a caffeine free version of any caffeine based product best you can do is remove as much as possible. When you talk about 99% caffeine free this number will vary depending on how much caffeine was in to begin with. Robusta beans can contain 3 or 4 times the caffeine levels of Arabica beans. so the 1% caffeine left would be much higher. Caffeine has been linked to lots of health benefits so drink in moderation is best.
Bottom link is to a product that uses a decaf process called 'supercritical carbon dioxide' Here's a good video from Speciality Coffee Association website;

Jul 31, 2017
Roaster claims 30%
by: PuzzlesCoffee

Hi there, I owned a coffee shop and actually was grossly disgusted with the amount of conflicting evidence out there right now. I have an eternal love for coffee, I was drinking a house decaf made by our roaster that we sold in our shop but it was still addictive and it still triggered panic attacks for me so I queried our roaster. He said the 99% figure is actually not regulated, so where some corporations process the snot out of coffee to attain that percentage and the result is somewhat toxic, most roasters actually only roast decaf at about 30% of the caffeine and that it is something no one talks about but is very much considered ok within industry......Wait so Ive been suffering from anxiety attacks and potentially doing this to my customers as well this whole time?! ...So we switched to swiss decaf from another supplier. It was much better, not as addictive but still had the occasional panic attack until I quit altogether. It caused me to dig more and ask the swiss decaf suppliers, they too laughed at the 1% caffeine figure and said its not gaurenteed and each batch can other words good luck finding decaf that is truly 100% decaffinated. Since then I sold the shop and still can't drink it but would love to know if this has been the experience of others as well, or if it was just unethical suppliers in the pnw. No lab tests just personal experience with my illness symptoms and some shotty suppliers that are actually ok with people suffering. Thanks for posting, very fascinating!

Jun 23, 2015
decaf coffee
by: Anonymous

The Coffee Detective is so, so wrong in his estimation of how much caffeine is left in decaf coffee.

Editor's Note: Well...don't just say that and not offer up what you consider to be the correct numbers! : ) Gives us your numbers and sources.

Jul 31, 2012
by: Anonymous

There are coffee subs. that taste as good or better than coffee. chicory is a common additive in coffee and can be purchased by itself and is naturally caffeine free. it tastes very similar to coffee better actually to me because there is no bitterness

Oct 15, 2011
caffeine withdrawal
by: Anonymous

believe it or not, i had to go to the hospital because i drank a lot of coffee and then stopped cold turkey. i had no idea that could happen. i had headaches and vomitting for two weeks before i finally sucked it up and realized there was something very wrong with me. so now i can't have caffeine, except eating chocolate or drinking decaf green tea that has about the same ammount as chocolate. but i am scared to drink decaf coffee because each one i look at isn't 100% caffeine free.

Apr 18, 2010
RE: Decaff Coffee
by: Sue

I have been told by my GP to drink Decaff as ordinary coffee is agrievating my Tinitus to the point where I can hear almost nothing above the noise in my ears. The problem is that I have always drunk huge amounts of coffee around 20 to 25 mugs a day and since changing to decaff am suffering the most dreadful headaches ..... Has anyone else had this problem when cutting out caffiene and how long will it be before they stop !!

Nov 12, 2009
Comment re: decaf
by: Anonymous

I can empathize with the person who posted this question. As someone who suffers from Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER), I have been told by doctors that even decaf drinks can spur an episode, because of the small amount of caffeine. Hence the search for 100% caffeine free.

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