How Is Decaf Coffee Made? | Live Science


The story of decaf coffee starts, improbably, with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Goethe, who wrote the tragedy “Faust,” was one of Germany’s most famous authors, but he also dabbled in natural science. In 1819, Goethe saw the chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge demonstrate how deadly nightshade extract could dilate a cat’s pupils. Impressed, Goethe gave Runge a small box of coffee beans from Greece and tasked the chemist with figuring out why the stuff kept him up at night.

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