How to Reduce Caffeine in Your Coffee

By Julie Sews - 7:00:00 AM

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I have realized that I need to eliminate caffeine to help balance my hormones (caffeine is hard on your adrenal glands).  This has been a struggle due to my love affair with coffee.  I always have a cup in the mourning.  In fact in the winter I could have as much as 4-5 cups in a day.  For about the last month and a half I've been having about 3-4 cups a week.  I know what your thinking why not just drink decaf coffee? The problem is the chemicals used in extracting the caffeine to create a decaf cup, are well not very good for you.  Our local CBS news station had this as one of their "Good Questions".  You can view the video here.  You can however look for decaf coffee made from the Swiss water method, that uses water to extract
caffeine instead of chemicals.  It will however still have some caffeine just not as much as non decaf coffee.
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 So what is a coffee lover to do when they need to reduce their caffeine?  My solution has been to have roobios tea most days in the mourning.  It is caffeine free and high in antioxidants.  I have found I can have this for a few days and I'm fine and then I start to crave coffee.  So a couple of times a week I think it's fine to have one cup.  If you follow this blog you probably know that I'm not big on denying yourself anything (as long as it's not anything really bad for you), my philosophy is to practice moderation and try to offset the "bad" effects in some foods with little tricks whenever possible.  So here are my tricks to reduce caffeine in coffee.




How to Reduce Caffeine in Your Coffee
  • Use organic (to avoid pesticides) Arabica coffee beans.  These beans are the lowest naturally in caffeine and are popular because they also taste great.  Luckily I unknowingly have been drinking arabica coffee.  I get my organic fair trade arabica beans from Trader Joe's for about $8/lb.  
  • Brew your coffee in a french press.  The amount of brewing time makes a difference in the amount of caffeine that is extracted and the size of the grounds.  French presses take 4 min to brew, while drip brew (in a normal coffee maker) takes much longer.  Espresso actually doesn't have that long of a brew time and therefore this process actually has less caffeine than drip brew.  Extra bonus of using a glass french press (which is what I use) is that you can adjust it to not pour through the plastic filter and therefore you don't have to worry about chemicals from plastic in your coffee.  Or you could buy an all stainless steel french press.
  • Use course coffee grounds the larger the grinds you use the less caffeine you will extract.  French presses typically need larger course grounds so that the grounds don't go past the filter when pouring.  Often when using an espresso maker many people will use extremely fine grounds. 
  • Subsitute 1/3 of your coffee with chicory.  Chicory was used in WWII as a coffee substitute and is naturally caffeine free.  I have heard online it doesn't taste that great, so most drink it 1 part chicory to 2 parts coffee.  I've tried it this way and it taste good to me.  Don't use chicory if your dealing with a yeast infection or have been on antibiotics.  It is high in inulin which though many claim it's a prebotic only feeding good bacteria, according to natural news they actually feed candida (yeast) and bad bacteria too.
  • choose a dark roast I know you would think that a darker roast would have more caffeine, but it's actually the lighter roast.  Coffee beans lose some of their caffeine in the brewing process.
  • use a lower temp of water to brew the lower the temp the less caffeine will be extracted.  Proper coffee extraction happens between 195-205 degrees, but most drip brewers only get up to about 190 degrees.
  • Use a little less coffee grounds and add a little cocoa (or raw cacao for more nutrition) and a little bit more of organic whole milk, or creamer.  Chocolate does have caffeine but much less than coffee.
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