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Why decaf takes longer to drip

Our conclusion...you’re hallucinating

Dear Matthew Alice: We drink both regular and decaffeinated coffee. We grind them to espresso fineness. But when we make the coffee, it takes twice as long for the decaf to drip through the filter. Why would that be? — Jittery, San Diego

Your decaf particles might cling together more in the filter.

The research elves in the Grandma Alice Homestyle Test Kitchen and Linear Accelerator Lab are up to their jerkins in wet grounds and cold java. We called in temp elves, ran three shifts round the clock, stocked emergency donuts to keep spirits up — but still we failed to duplicate the drip-through disparity. Any elves taking a break from drip-and-grind duty were herded to the phone banks to dial up coffee roasters, coffee processors, coffee sellers, people who can spell “coffee”...whoever. Even the eminencies at Starbucks in Seattle. We got a universal “Huh?”

Our conclusion...you’re hallucinating. But we’ll play along and pretend this really happens in your house. Assuming all other parameters are equal (same variety of beans, exactly the same grind, drip method, water volume and temp, same amount of finished product), the most likely explanation would have something to do with the fact that decaf beans have been soaked in water or chemicals before roasting to remove the caffeine.

Your decaf particles might cling together more in the filter, reducing the tiny air spaces required for quick dripping. Maybe decaf absorbs less water, so it produces more finished product and takes longer. Or maybe it’s because you make the decaf at night, and it only seems to take longer. Grandma Alice recommends you relax and have a nice cup of Postum.

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Dear Matthew Alice: We drink both regular and decaffeinated coffee. We grind them to espresso fineness. But when we make the coffee, it takes twice as long for the decaf to drip through the filter. Why would that be? — Jittery, San Diego

Your decaf particles might cling together more in the filter.

The research elves in the Grandma Alice Homestyle Test Kitchen and Linear Accelerator Lab are up to their jerkins in wet grounds and cold java. We called in temp elves, ran three shifts round the clock, stocked emergency donuts to keep spirits up — but still we failed to duplicate the drip-through disparity. Any elves taking a break from drip-and-grind duty were herded to the phone banks to dial up coffee roasters, coffee processors, coffee sellers, people who can spell “coffee”...whoever. Even the eminencies at Starbucks in Seattle. We got a universal “Huh?”

Our conclusion...you’re hallucinating. But we’ll play along and pretend this really happens in your house. Assuming all other parameters are equal (same variety of beans, exactly the same grind, drip method, water volume and temp, same amount of finished product), the most likely explanation would have something to do with the fact that decaf beans have been soaked in water or chemicals before roasting to remove the caffeine.

Your decaf particles might cling together more in the filter, reducing the tiny air spaces required for quick dripping. Maybe decaf absorbs less water, so it produces more finished product and takes longer. Or maybe it’s because you make the decaf at night, and it only seems to take longer. Grandma Alice recommends you relax and have a nice cup of Postum.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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