For many Iowans and Americans in general, coffee is an essential part of your day. Maybe you start your day with a cup, or three. I know I do. Maybe you enjoy a cup after dinner. Or, maybe you're always hitting the coffee machine at work for more energy. If you are a coffee drinker because you love caffeine... no sweat. It's not going anywhere. Except down the hatch, right?

But for those sensitive to caffeine, or who want the taste of coffee without the jitters, you're likely a fan of the decaffeinated versions available. There could be an interruption to your enjoyment if that's the case.

A chemical used to decaffeinate coffee is facing a ban in the US

Coffee naturally has caffeine. So when companies advertise a decaf version of their coffee product, there must be an easy and efficient way to 86 the drug. That method involves a lot more processing than most of us are aware of. Chemical solvents are often used to sponge out caffeine, and one such chemical, methylene chloride, is likely to be banned in the United States.

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Methylene chloride has been linked to such nasty diseases as liver cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, and others. On April 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formally announced a ban on the chemical for most uses.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

So what does this mean for your (caffeine-free) cup of joe? Well, obviously there are enough fans of decaf coffee that it will not go extinct. Many of our favorite decaffeinated offerings are already free of methylene chloride.

A recent report showed that some of our favorite brands do not have any traces of methylene chloride in their decaf options. The brands include:

  • Starbucks
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Folgers
  • Caribou Coffee
  • ILLY

One way coffee companies can remove caffeine with zero health impact on their customers is the Swiss Water Process. This involves soaking coffee beans in... GASP, water.

Fear not, if you rely on decaf for your coffee enjoyment, there will always be other options.

Looking for some fun to go with your coffee this summer? Try one of these unique Iowa glamping options!

Where to 'Glamp' in Iowa in 2024

Want to have a camping experience without having to sleep on the ground? There are plenty of options here in Iowa! Here are 12 places that you can go "glamping" in Iowa this summer:

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

New Iowa Coffee Shop Is Becoming 'Iconic' With First-Ever Design

There's a new coffee shop in Iowa and it's the first of its kind in America. Iconic Coffee + Energy (2777 18th St) in Bettendorf, has opened in the old Jiffy Lube. After construction and making the necessary changes to the building, Iconic Coffee + Energy is now the first full-enclosed, dual drive-thru coffee shop in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: Connor Kenney


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