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Are You Drinking Chemical Decaf?

Here at DecafLife, we’re big fans of decaf without chemicals, and we’ve highlighted the health benefits of chemical-free decaf. But how can you tell if the decaf you’re drinking is all natural?

Fortunately, the Clean Label Project has done all the hard work for you. By going to their website, you can search through dozens of popular decaf roasts to see if they contain chemicals like Methylene Chloride. As they point out, Methylene Chloride is an active ingredient in paint stripper, yet it can still be used in coffee decaffeination without label disclosure. This type of thing is what gives decaf a bad name.

Want a cortado from Blue Bottle? Cool, their Night Light Decaf uses the Swiss Water Process..

Want to try Joey’s decaf coffee ice cream recipe with the Kirkland Signature Decaffeinated Dark Roast from Costco? Watch out – the Clean Label Project detected Methlylene Chlroide in the Kirkland decaf. Fortunately, if you still want to shop at Costco, you can pick up their Decaf Colombian. This is a great Swiss-water decaffeinated choice for your ice cream. 

You can look up your favorite brands – from Allegro to Wegmans – at But for those of you who want to just hang out here at DecafLife, we’ve compiled a summary for you.

Pop Art aerial view of coffee cups

The following decafs do not contain Methylene Chloride:

  • Allegro Decaffeinated Organic French Roast
  • Archer Farms Decaffeinated House Blend
  • Caribou Coffee Decaffeinated Caribou Blend
  • Community Coffee Decaffeinated Cafe Special
  • Dazbog Coffee Decaffeinated French Roast
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Decaffeinated Medium Roast
  • Folgers Decaffeinated Classic
  • Illy Decaffeinated Illy Blend
  • Kicking Horse Coffee Decaffeinated Dark
  • Nescafe Decaffeinated House Blend
  • Peet’s Coffee Decaffeinated Major Dickason’s Blend
  • Starbucks Decaffeinated House Blend and Decaffeinated Caffe Verona
  • The Organic Coffee Co. Decaffeinated Organic Gorilla
  • Tim Horton’s Decaffeinated Medium

The following coffees do contain Methylene Chloride:

  • Amazonfresh Decaffeinated Colombia
  • Cafe Bustelo Decaffeinated Cafe Molida
  • Gevalia Kaffe Decaffeinated House Blend
  • Great Value Decaffeinated Classic Roast
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Decaffeinated Breakfast Blend
  • Kirkland Signature Decaffeinated Dark Roast
  • Kroger Decaffeinated Classic
  • Maxwell House Decaffeinated The Original Roast
  • Peet’s Coffee Decaffeinated House Blend
  • Seattle’s Best Decaffeinated Portside Blend

Would we drink decaf in a pinch that was processed with chemicals? Probably. After all, you can be sure that diner or hotel lobby decaf is made as cheaply as possible. But if given the option, we all know that chemical-free decaf is going to taste better, and be a lot better for us. 

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