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Caffeine-Free Coffee

Does it exist?


As I've discussed before, decaf coffee has caffeine. This leaves many caffeine-sensitive people looking for caffeine-free alternatives to coffee. Some turn to coffee substitutes, such as roasted chicory root, which are naturally caffeine free. But it turns out there's another (rarer, but still extant) solution: naturally caffeine free coffee.

It's often said that, like tea and chocolate, coffee naturally contains caffeine. But there's much more to it than that. It turns out that different coffee varieties have naturally differing amounts of caffeine. For example, Arabica coffee has about 2/3 the amount of caffeine that Robusta coffee has. But there's one coffee plant that's especially unique in this regard, because it has NO CAFFEINE.

Yeah, really! No caffine. It's called Coffea charrieriana, or Charrier coffee, and it's a naturally caffeine-free coffee plant from Cameroon. Unlike the many popular types of Arabica and Robusta beans we find in commercially produced coffee, it's from a different variety of the coffee plant which is not commercially produced (yet). In fact, it was only discovered around 2008. It was named after Professor André Charrier, whose focus for 30 years was gathering and researching different varieties of coffee at the French research institute Institut de recherche pour le développement. At present, Charrier coffee is not only the single caffine-free coffee known to us; it's also the only known caffeine-free coffee plant from Central Africa.

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