The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Ethyl Acetate

What is Ethyl Acetate?

Ethyl Acetate is a chemical used in coffee decaffeination process that has low toxicity and is considered benign since it can be naturally derived from fruits and vegetables. This method involves direct contact with the coffee, and can sometimes impart fruity flavors to the coffee. In this process, coffee beans are soaked in hot water to dissolve the caffeine, and then the ethyl acetate is used to bind to the caffeine and separate it from the water. The beans are then steamed to remove any remaining solvents and re-dried before being roasted. Ethyl acetate is often used in decaffeination processes because it is effective at removing caffeine while leaving other flavor compounds intact. However, some coffee enthusiasts argue that the use of any chemical in decaffeination alters the flavor of the coffee, and prefer decaffeination methods that use only water or carbon dioxide to extract caffeine. Overall, the use of Ethyl Acetate is a safe and effective method of decaffeination that allows coffee drinkers to enjoy their favorite beverage without the effects of caffeine.
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