Coffee & Tea
1. Water Process
Beans are decaffeinated by soaking the beans in hot water. No solvents are used. Most coffee experts agree this method leaves the beans with less flavor and more body. These coffees are considerably more expensive.
2. Chemical Process
Beans are soaked in hot water for several hours. The water is transferred to another tank where it is combined with a solvent which absorbs most of the caffeine (The caffeine is sold to manufacturers of medicines and soft drinks). The caffeine laden solvent is then separated from the water. The water is now free of caffeine and solvent, but still contains oils and other materials important to the flavor. The water is returned to the first tank, where it is re-absorbed by the beans
Note: both processes decaf beans in their "green," unroasted state.