Reduce Caffeine While Retaining The Flavor And Health Benefits Of Your Brew With Half Caff Coffee

10 min read APR 03, 2023

You love coffee, but you’re a bit sensitive to caffeine. Is there a way to enjoy your brew without ditching caffeine completely? Yes!

You’ve tried decaf varieties that lack flavor. Is there a way to lessen your brew’s caffeine content without sacrificing flavor? This deserves a double yes!

Caffeine is responsible for some of the vast health benefits associated with coffee, is there a way to keep some of those caffeine benefits while lowering the total amount of buzz in your brew? Yes, again!

How can you get the best of both worlds, receiving the benefits of coffee and caffeine without overdoing it?

Half caff, that’s how!

If you’re looking to lower your caffeine consumption without ditching this health booster completely, half caff coffee can allow you to do just that.

Of course, some folks choose half caff simply because they want more flavor than typical decaf offers, and we’ll address that notion as well, as we discuss the ins and outs of caffeine, decaf, and half caff coffee!

What Is Half Caff Coffee?

First, what is half caff coffee?

As the name suggests, half caff coffee contains half the caffeine of regular coffee, instead of ridding your brew of this energy booster entirely, as is the case in decaffeinated coffee.

To achieve this level of caffeine in a brew, half caff coffee varieties blend a 50/50 mix of caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee.

Then, to ensure you don’t get an inconsistent mixture of flavors, the same type of beans are used in each blend.

For instance, half caff dark roast would contain a 50/50 mixture of regular dark roast coffee beans and decaffeinated dark roast coffee beans.

Because roasting times can affect the size of coffee beans, thereby slightly affecting the caffeine content when measuring by volume instead of weight, mixing a regularly caffeinated light roast and a decaffeinated dark roast wouldn’t make for the most balanced half caff brew, in caffeine level or flavor.

And, speaking of flavor, many decaffeinated coffees lack flavor as the decaffeination process can potentially strip the beans of their richness. So, some folks prefer half caff as this contains a fully flavored, caffeinated coffee, as well as decaf, the regular coffee essentially adding back some of the flavor that’s been lost.
Of course, there are some methods of decaffeination that do not strip coffee of its natural flavor, meaning these decaffeinated varieties still boast the full, bold flavors of regular coffee.

So, of course, the half caff varieties incorporating such methods would still be equally as flavorful, they’d just omit 50% of the caffeine, as opposed to all of the caffeine, in a brew.

Looking to order a half caff coffee while out? Many baristas refer to such brews as a split shot or a half and half.

Of course, it’s also possible to make half caff coffee at home, you’d just need to purchase double the amount of coffee to do so.

When making half caff coffee from the comforts of your home, you would simply need to weigh or measure out equal parts caffeinated and fully decaffeinated coffee, grinding the beans together before preparing your brew.

Some folks have tried their hand at mixing these ratios in large quantities to store until needed, but this practice isn’t recommended as the two kinds of beans can settle or unevenly disperse, making it impossible to truly know how much caffeine would be in your brew.

That’s why we recommend leaving the mixing to roasters, who can evenly, and expertly, prepare the exact ratios needed for a true half caff coffee.

Lifeboost Half Caff Coffee

Earlier we hinted at there being a way to enjoy decaf coffee without sacrificing flavor, a commonly listed con against the pros of decaf. And, this boils (no pun intended) down to the method of decaffeination.

Since half caff coffees inevitably contain fully decaffeinated coffee to produce this perfect mixture, we wanted to explain how we produce our decaf, and therefore our half caff coffee here at Lifeboost.

There are typically four ways to produce decaffeinated coffee: direct solvent, indirect solvent, the supercritical carbon dioxide process, and the Swiss water process.

As those names likely suggest, some of these methods involve the use of chemical solvents to remove caffeine from coffee, and well, nobody wants a side of chemical solvent, even half a side of chemical solvent, when looking to lower the caffeine levels of their brew.

That’s why we only use the Swiss water process to decaffeinate our coffee here at Lifeboost.

This method is natural, poses no threat to the environment, and even removes more caffeine than each of the other methods listed above.
While other methods only remove 96-97% of caffeine from coffee, the Swiss water method removes 99.9%.

This method, unlike the others, also preserves the antioxidants found in coffee, part of what makes this beloved bean so beneficial to your health.

The Swiss water process of decaffeination was first discovered in 1930’s Switzerland and is considered the cleanest and healthiest process as water is the only solvent used.

Here, green coffee beans are soaked in scalding hot water to separate the caffeine from the beans.

Then, the coffee beans are set aside, and the water is run through a charcoal filter, where the caffeine molecules become trapped in the pores of the charcoal.

At this point, the caffeine is removed from the water solution and only a flavorless (caffeine-free) extract remains.

Now, a new batch of green coffee beans (fully caffeinated) are soaked in this caffeine-free green coffee extract. And here, as the caffeinated coffee beans and the caffeine-free extract seek equilibrium, the caffeine from the green coffee beans migrates to the liquid, rendering them caffeine-free, without the use of a chemical solvent.

Of course, we choose to use this method of decaffeination as it is the cleanest and healthiest process, but another benefit of using the Swiss water process is that the beans retain their flavor compounds and oils as the caffeine is removed.

One of the main complaints of decaf drinkers is the lack of flavor these brews can have, not to mention the chemical aftertaste, and the Swiss water process negates these problems completely.

So, while half caff coffee is preferred by some for the flavor it can bring back to bland brews, Lifeboost decaf and half caff boasts the same rich, bold, and balanced flavors as our regular coffee.

Hmmm, what benefit would there be to drinking half caff then? If Lifeboost decaf boasts the same rich flavor as their regular coffee, what purpose would half caff coffee serve?

Why Half Caff?

To simply answer the question above, half caff coffee allows those folks needing to cut back on caffeine the option to reduce their caffeine intake in less drastic ways, still enjoying the health benefits of this stimulant, but in a more subtle manner.

I suppose you could look at half caff coffee as a compromise, an acceptable alternative between decaf and regular coffee.

Stranger Things fans would likely think of this description to mean such brews would only make you halfway happy, yet half caff lovers would highly disagree.

Half caff coffee provides java lovers with the blessing of enjoying their brew without the detriments of too much caffeine and without cutting caffeine entirely.

And, as we mentioned above, since Lifeboost uses the Swiss water method in our decaffeination process, there’s no flavor sacrifice either.

The only thing lacking in our half caff is, well, half the amount of caffeine.

The average 8 ounce cup of fully caffeinated coffee contains roughly 100 milligrams of caffeine, 80-100 technically, depending on strength of brewing.

Half caff coffee contains around 50 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounces on average, again depending on how much coffee you use in preparation.

Why would someone want to cut their caffeine intake in half?
Caffeine can potentially affect people in different ways, and for some, too much caffeine can lead to:

  • high blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • caffeine addiction
  • increased anxiety
  • restlessness (or shakiness)
  • elevated heart rate
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • dehydration

When caffeine enters the body it stimulates the central nervous system, often making you feel more alert or awake.

This type of stimulation can also give you a boost of energy, which is why caffeine is often linked to improved physical stamina in athletes.

And, caffeine acts as a diuretic, which can help rid the body of excess salt. This is also why many experience an urge to urinate when drinking coffee.

But, these same effects can also lead to dehydration when you expel too much fluid and too much salt.

The stimulation to your nervous system, likewise, can also lead to the elevation in blood pressure and heart rate that we mentioned above.

Caffeine can also interfere with the amount of acid in your stomach, which may lead to heartburn.

The tannins in caffeine have even been known to inhibit your body’s ability to absorb nutrients like calcium, iron, and essential B vitamins.

And, some of these effects can even be heightened as we age, which is why we often see caffeine limitations in elderly populations.

Some women have seen a need to limit their caffeine intake as this stimulant has been linked to altered estrogen levels.

Your mood can even be affected by consuming high levels of caffeine, which is why those attempting to cut caffeine completely may experience withdrawal symptoms; both of which (mood and addiction) are linked to caffeine’s ability to alter brain chemistry.

And, while those stats make caffeine sound like a giant no-no when it comes to health and wellness, there are still massive benefits to be gained when consuming caffeine.
The thing is, most of the benefits to caffeine come with a cap, as the greatest rewards of this stimulant are linked to low and/or moderate consumption.

  • Low to moderate doses of caffeine have been linked to “increased alertness, energy, and ability to concentrate, while higher doses may have negative effects such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and increased heart rate.”
  • Some research indicates low doses of caffeine may improve autoimmunity and inflammatory conditions.
  • Low doses of caffeine have been shown to improve mood, alertness, and cognition during and after exercise without the side effects that often accompany high doses (of caffeine).
  • The caffeine content of coffee has shown promising benefits in preventing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes when consumed in moderate doses.

If you’ll notice, some of these benefits seem to clearly stem from the stimulating effects of caffeine, but this coffee component is also an antioxidant. So, can lowering your coffee’s caffeine values limit your brew’s antioxidant abilities?

We certainly don’t think so!

Caffeine can increase plasma free fatty acids, a major boost to whole body fat oxidation during workouts.

And, it’s a good source of fiber.

Then, many of the benefits associated with coffee come with a cup limit caveat, meaning there’s a sweet spot associated with many of the benefits of coffee, including those associated with caffeine.
Take the heart-linked effects for instance: We saw above how too much caffeine can cause high blood pressure and elevated heart rate. But, studies have proven in those with a weakened heart that 1-2 cups of coffee daily can decrease the risk of heart failure.

One cup of coffee enjoyed daily has been proven to reduce the risk of stroke in women.

And, even without caffeine, (decaf) coffee has been linked to increased longevity, a decreased threat of cognitive decline, stronger DNA, and a reduced risk of cancer and multiple other diseases.

So then, what might all of this mean for you?

Some folks aren’t negatively affected by caffeine, allowing such individuals to reap the rewards of this antioxidant sans any side effects.

But, caffeine can act as a tightrope for some people, where too much can tip the scales and cause unwanted or negative side effects.

That’s where an option like half caff coffee can allow you to reap those rewards associated with lower doses of caffeine without ditching this stimulant entirely.

Now, if your physician has advised that you should avoid caffeine at all costs, obviously decaf may be the better choice.

But, when looking to only cut back a little, half caff, especially when the decaf component is derived using the Swiss water process, offers a tasty, less caffeinated way to enjoy your brew with peace of mind, without sacrificing health or flavor.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Half Caff.

Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.


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