Is McDonald’s decaf coffee Swiss water process?

McCafe McDonald's coffee

QUESTION: Is McDonald’s decaf coffee Swiss water process? I have a McDonald’s near me and sometimes like to order a decaf in the afternoon rather than regular coffee. – Elizabeth D

ANSWER: Good news for coffee lovers! We believe that McDonald’s does indeed use the Swiss water process for their decaf coffee.

Although the FAQ on the McDonald’s site does not say specifically, we found this Tweet from an official McDonald’s Twitter account that confirms they use the Swiss water process for their decaffeinated coffee.

So you may be asking yourself what is the Swiss Water Process? Well, I’m so glad you asked. The Swiss water method is a patented decaffeinating process without the use of chemicals. This chemical-free decaffeination method uses only water to decrease the caffeine levels by 99.9%. This is a game changer for coffee drinkers who want to decrease their caffeine intake, those with caffeine sensitivity or those with health risks associated with too much caffeine.

The unique Swiss water process soaks green coffee beans (unroasted coffee beans) in green coffee extract which contains all the water-soluble compounds found in coffee, except for the caffeine. The solution is heated so the coffee beans swell, and become porous. The caffeine molecules move out and into the green coffee extract by osmosis leaving the compounds responsible for flavor and aroma inside the coffee beans. Swiss water essentially creates decaffeinated beans.

Many other decaffeination methods use chemical solvents like methyl chloride (“MC” decaf) and ethyl acetate (“EA” decaf) to strip the naturally occurring caffeine from coffee beans. In my opinion, the swiss water decaf coffee maintains the perfectly balanced flavour of our premium roast and delivers the highest quality and distinct flavor when compared to decaf brands that use different methods of decaffeination.

We noticed that if you buy McDonald’s decaf coffee beans to make yourself at home, those are evidently NOT Swiss water process. We could not find any evidence of that on any of the bags or K cups, and we assume they’d want to tell people if they were using a premium method of decaffeination.

If you have any additional information about this, leave a comment and let us know so we can update.

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