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Decaffeinated coffee (decaf) is regular coffee soaked in water prior to packaging to remove some of its caffeine. Though decaffeinated coffee contains considerably less caffeine that regular coffee, it retains between 10 and 20 percent of the original beans' natural caffeine. People who become jittery after drinking regular coffee sometimes find decaffeinated coffee more tolerable, as do people who develop stomach ulcers in response to regular coffee. People with heart problems often receive instructions from their doctor to consume only decaffeinated coffee. In spite of its health benefits, some coffee drinkers complain of its weaker flavor and reduced pungency.
- 1 Tbsp. measuring spoon
- Ground coffee beans
- Paper coffee filter
- Drip coffeemaker
- Liquid measuring cup
Place your paper coffee filter into the allotted space at the top of the drip coffee filter.
Measure the desired amount of ground coffee; use 2 generous Tbsp. for each 8 oz. of water. Alton Brown of The Food Network suggests heaping measurements because too few grounds can yield bitter coffee -- particularly apt advice, considering the reduced flavor of decaffeinated coffee. Experiment with this measurement to figure out how much you prefer.
Pour about 1 cup of cool water into your coffeemaker's canister for each heaping Tbsp. of coffee grounds. Reduce the amount of water for stronger coffee to taste, keeping in mind that decaffeinated coffee is not as flavorful as regular coffee.
Place your coffee pot in position over the heating plate and under the compartment containing coffee grounds. If you fail to do so, your coffee will spurt onto the heating plate as soon as you begin brewing and cause a big mess.
Turn on the coffeemaker to initiate the brewing process. Drip by drip, the water passes through the grounds and into the coffee pot. You will soon notice the coffee's rich aroma.
Wait until all the liquid finishes brewing. Some coffeemakers work more quickly than others, but plan for the process to require about one minute per cup. Do not touch or attempt to move the coffee pot while it brews or try to speed the process in any way; slow brewing is crucial to the development of coffee's strong flavor.
Turn off the coffee pot, and remove it from the coffeemaker's heated plate as soon as it completes the brewing process.
Taste your coffee. If it is too strong for your taste, slowly add hot water to taste to temper the flavor. Stop and sip the coffee every second or two to prevent watering it down too much.
Serve your decaffeinated coffee immediately, keeping in mind that coffee loses its flavor as it sits, and decaffeinated coffee doubly so. Coffee retains its flavor for only about one hour after brewing, so do not save it in the refrigerator or attempt to use it at a later point in the day.
Discard the paper coffee filter and dampened coffee grounds.
- Coffee Research: Decaffeinated Coffee Beans
- Science Daily: Decaffeinated Coffee Is not Caffeine-Free, Experts Say
- National Coffee Association U.S.A., Inc.: How to Brew Coffee
- Talk About Coffee: How to Make Perfect Coffee with a Drip Coffee Maker
- "Newsweek": How to Brew Better Coffee in Your Hotel Room; Sean O'Neill; October 2008
- Coffee: How to Use a French Press
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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