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Biotech Science

Decaffeinated, Real Coffee 100

Posted by timothy
from the bacon-free-bacon dept.
reeb writes "ABC News Australia reports that Brazilian scientists have discovered a naturally occurring but rare coffee plant, native to Ethiopia, that is 'almost free of caffeine.' Decaf without the genetic engineering?"
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Decaffeinated, Real Coffee

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  • Yippee! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by justanyone (308934) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @10:46AM (#9507796) Homepage Journal
    Cross breeding may take a while, though, so maybe by the time I'm not allowed to have caffeine anymore (vis-a-vis old age restrictions on my cardiac function) I'll have that option.

    Granted, I'm not 18 anymore, but I'm not 40 yet either.

    • Re:Yippee! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by b-baggins (610215) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @01:20PM (#9509906) Journal
      So. Genetic engineering by cross breeding for fifty years is good. Genetic engineering by gene insertion in the laboratory to produce the exact same result in 5 years is bad.

      I see, now.
      • Re:Yippee! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Deagol (323173)
        Not this again....

        Yes, there are those of us who see these as two entirely different things. You (and the scientists) may think the end result is "the exact same result" but I'm sceptical. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

        While by its very nature, DNA provides for some sanity checks on what's viable, artificial mingling of DNA in the lab hasn't been through as rigorous a Q&A procedure as good old natural reproduction. I don't care if the resulting "species" can continue to pro-create -- it

        • I agree that there's a lot still to learn about genetic engineering. However, a quote in a recent issue of Wired made a lot of sense to me. The geneticist (obviously a fan of genetic engineering) said "What's better? Transferring hundreds or thousands of genes unintentionally to get the one gene you want enabled or simply enabling it directly?"

          More to the point, I think we don't know enough about how single genes act, interact, and co-exist to be confident in any type of genetic engineering, whether it
          • Re:Yippee! (Score:4, Informative)

            by Deagol (323173) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @04:30PM (#9512181) Homepage
            Funny that I don't hear a Call to Arms to stop the practice of selective breeding for desired traits.

            You're looking in the wrong crowd. :)

            My wife is one such person. She used to groom dogs, and she worked at a pet shop and at a local chapter of the Humane Society. So she's familiar with the results of poor breeding.

            It's not so much that breeding for a particular trait is bad, as much as doing so at the detriment of other important traits.

            The AKC [akc.org] is pure evil. The fact that they have "specs" for registerable breeds and that they allow "line breeding" and inbreeding is proof (in my mind, at least). See this link [akc.org] for evidence. This can result in bad traits. Two well-known examples are that Dalmations are often deaf (though, to be fair, it's more common in any purebred dog than a mutt), and that German Shepherds often develop bad hips.

            It may be an American (capitalistic make-money-fast) kind of thing. Appearently, the original shepherd lines from Germany were execllent dogs. It wasn't until they were bred for AKC specs that they went downhill. Again, German Angora rabbits are excellent dual-purpose meat and wool animals (we've researched this, as we raise own own rabbits for meat as well as wool), but the Americanized version -- the "show quality" one -- is lacking in both traits, but it looks prettier.

            Silly breeders. :)

          • The geneticist (obviously a fan of genetic engineering) said "What's better? Transferring hundreds or thousands of genes unintentionally to get the one gene you want enabled or simply enabling it directly?"

            That's my approach to programming -- instead of using the API, I just directly call the underlying functions that I want. I'm way more productive and <sarcasm>my code is way more stable.</sarcasm>

            Come'on folks, the API for DNA is there for a reason. Don't go mucking with the underlying
            • Bearing in mind that computer APIs and DNA structures are entirely unrelated, of course.... and you still get 1:1000 bugs:lines when you use the API.... and if you knew how to use the underlying functions, your apps would be smaller, faster, and much more stable... and that to learn how to do that you have to experiment, even if you burn your disk platter....

              Yes, bad things can happen when you do experiments and something doesn't work like you thought it would. Christ, Newton tasted his damn chemicals. I'm


        • While by its very nature, DNA provides for some sanity checks on what's viable


          And why is what's viable "good", and what's not viable "bad"? Bufotoxin and anthrax will kill you dead, though they're completely natural and organic. What survives in its own environment has nothing to do with if it's good or bad for you. Evolution doesn't produce "good", it produces what survives.


          Look at the panacea antibiotics once were, and now look at how royally screwed up the situation now is.

          So we never should
      • So. Genetic engineering by cross breeding for fifty years is good. Genetic engineering by gene insertion in the laboratory to produce the exact same result in 5 years is bad.

        Correct. Because genetic engineering by crossbreeding modifies the whole environment whereas generic engineering in a laboratory *doesn't*.

        It's the same reason you shouldn't just pick up a plant or animal from one isolated environment and drop it into another one - *because you don't know what will happen*. History is riddled with t

      • Re:Yippee! (Score:3, Insightful)

        I would have expected geeks to be some of the people most against genetic engineering.

        We've all had the problem that changing one line of code in a program has huge unexpected consequences in a totally different part of the program, and there is good reason to imagine this problem will be even worse in DNA.

        It is possible that there is a number of safeguards when it comes to cross breading. Maybe there isn't, but at the moment we understand very, very little about what most DNA actually does and how it int
        • This is the exact reason why we NEED genetic engineering - to fix these kinds of horrible naturally occuring problems. If we let this mutant decaf species breed with the caffeinated ones, and the caffeine gene turns out to be recessive, we'll all have to get our caffeine from chocolate. Imagine a world where every woman weighs 40 lbs. more than they do right now, a world where most coders and geeks are the size of small pickup trucks, and where Hershey bars and M&M's are priced higher than gasoline in C
      • With 'normal' cross-breeding, at least, you can't pull the rug under your feet so quickly, and usually QA is much better than with genetic engineering.

        The problem with genetically engineered stuff is that no one has a real clue what repercussions snipping around on a gene has until it rears it's ugly head. With cross-breeding, at least, you can see what's coming....
    • Glad I gave it up early [mormon.org], then. (No, this is not a joke, but it's still funny).

      PS: I do still have a cup every now and then. Odie well...
  • Appalling (Score:5, Funny)

    by PD (9577) * <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:04AM (#9508090) Homepage Journal
    This is appalling news. We must write our congress people to tell them we want a war against the lack of drugs. This heretical coffee plant must be wiped out. Coffee should have caffeine!
    • by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @12:34PM (#9509296) Homepage Journal
      This is appalling news. ... Coffee should have caffeine!

      Don't worry. The marketers will quickly come up with a coffee drink based on this new coffee, with caffeine added. Just as they have done with most soft drinks. Citrus fruit don't contain caffeine, but most commercial citrus drinks do.

      • This is appalling news. ... Coffee should have caffeine!

        Or, just buy some jolt, and mix that in with your coffee. And even if that coffee costs more than regular coffee, you'd be getting more bang for your buck.

        Or we can just do a daring commando raid on the factory, I'll bring the rubber bands.. ;)
      • Just as they have done with most soft drinks.

        In the same way that Coca-Cola removed the most interesting stuff from the extract of the coca plant.
  • by A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:05AM (#9508109)
    Decaf without the genetic engineering?


    From www.kraftfoods.com/maxwellhouse/mh_decaff.html [kraftfoods.com]


    The Maxwell House® Family of naturally decaffeinated coffees offers the full-flavored taste of regular coffee, without the caffeine. Maxwell House® decaffeinates its coffees using pure water and natural effervescence. The effervescence gently draws the caffeine out of the beans, preserving their delicate coffee flavor.

    I don't touch decaf, but who would genetically engineer decaf beans?

    • Having worked at Starbucks for a few years, I happen to know a bit about decaffeination...

      The most popular method is by a chemical process, which removes about 75% of the caffiene from the beans. A newer method(as described in parent) is the Swiss Water method...I'm no coffee scientist, but the caffeine is removed chemical-free. After decaffeination, the caffeine is sold to companies like Coke, etc. There's no genetic engineering about it.

      Despite all this, the discovery of this rare plant is an atroc
      • The Swiss Water method works as follows:

        1) Take beans, and let them soak in water, this leaches out the caffeine and the oils (the good parts)
        2) Remove those beans and compost them... no good will come from them.
        3) Remove the caffeine from the water, but leave the tasty oils.
        4) Put new coffee beans into the water, the caffeine will be leached out, but the oils won't because the water is already saturated with them

        So... what you get (supposedly) is coffee that still has all of the flavor, but none of
    • I don't touch decaf, but who would genetically engineer decaf beans?

      The Maxwell House web site has some puffery to it. When you take out the caffeine, you also take some of the other coffee flavor compounds. A "knockout" coffee plant (which was genetically identical to regular coffee except for lacking the caffeine gene) would taste more like caffeinated coffee than water-process decaffeination.

      Of course you'd lose the caffeine taste, which in its pure form is very bitter but in coffee is pleasant, but
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:07AM (#9508126)
    This is important because the headline/blurb is misleading.

    Decaffeination is done through a process called 'supercritical fluid extraction' with carbon dioxide as a solvent. Turns out, with enough pressure and temperature, a substance can go 'supercritical', where it has the simultaneous properties of a gas, liquid, and solid. By fine tuning the temperature and pressure, it can act as a very selective solvent, only leeching out the caffeine and leaving in all the other delicious coffee flavors. The caffeine is then recovered and sold in pills or other products.

    Not that you should drink decaf. Caffeine is the primary reason to drink coffee.
    • by etymxris (121288) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:19AM (#9508312)
      All about decaffeination. [howstuffworks.com]

    • In the phase diagram, this is refered to as the triple point, the point where the three phase boundaries meet. Meaningful and easily comprehended.

      The original meaning of "supercritical" was "oh my god, I can write grant applications on this discovery for the rest of my career". In the humanities camp the angel of narcisistic relevance is pronounced "postmodern", as if the arrow of time was in need of a gentle directional prod to regain its bearings: "oh yes, past toward future, now I remember". It offen
      • Actually, the critical point is the "upper right" end of the liquid-gas phase boundary. The solid phase does not exist at the critical point.

        The triple point is where all three phases meet, but it is at lower temperatures where the substance can freeze. For water, for instance, the triple point is at 0.01 C, at a pressure of 4.5 torr. The critical point of water, by contrast, is at 374 C, and 165467 torr.

        Triple points are useful because they are single points in the phase plane that are relatively easy t
  • by Tom7 (102298) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:17AM (#9508293) Homepage Journal
    What is the problem with "genetic engineering"? We've been doing it for ages with breeding, as has "nature."
    • by cgreuter (82182)

      What is the problem with "genetic engineering"? We've been doing it for ages with breeding, as has "nature."

      What we traditionally call "genetic engineering" is different from breeding or natural selection because it adds genes that weren't there before while breeding just juggles them about. And the problem with it is that we don't yet understand this sort of DNA manipulation or its consequences well enough to know what will happen when we dump it into the ecosystem. And yet we--or at least Monsanto's

      • by SEE (7681) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @01:37PM (#9510147) Homepage
        What we traditionally call "genetic engineering" is different from breeding or natural selection because it adds genes that weren't there before while breeding just juggles them about.

        False. Selective beeding and natural selection both involve the addition (through "natural" radiation, "natural" chemical mutagens, and "natural" retroviruses) of geners that weren't there before.

        For example, there's a specific DNA sequence that, oddly enough, occurs in both certain breeds of cattle and the rattlesnakes that live in the region where that variety of cattle originated. It's probably the result of a retrovirus that was in the snake population, and was transferred to an ancestral cow by a snakebite. This natural inter-species gene transfer, of course, is identical to a standard method of interspecies genetic engineering -- except in deliberate genetic engineering we have some idea what the gene we're transferring does, and we know to keep an eye on the recipient of the genes. The natural version moves random genes, and we don't even know that it occured.
        • by cgreuter (82182)

          False. Selective beeding and natural selection both involve the addition (through "natural" radiation, "natural" chemical mutagens, and "natural" retroviruses) of genes that weren't there before.

          Okay, granted. Various natural things do cause mutation and cross-species gene travel and yes, selective breeding (both natural and 'man-made) do bring those to dominance, but that's still different from genetic engineering.

          Natural processes are random, which means that most natural mutations e

          • That's a position I have the utmost respect for.

            I don't agree, but it's on grounds of unprovables (how vulnerable is nature?) and probably a differing tempermental tolerance for risk.
          • the biological equivalent of a programmer slapping some code together, testing it a couple of times to make sure it doesn't crash and then installing it on the fly-by-wire system of every airliner in the world.

            Not really. This is not the wholesale production of a new life form, de novo. What you see in GM crops is more like a patch. It is a couple of genes. To extend the analogy, it's a few lines of code added to an OS. To keep the perspective clear, the wheat genome is roughly the same size as ours, if no

            • Hehe imagine what the right 85 lines could do to the linux kernel though. But if someone is going to be malicious I don't think laws or telling them its not ethical is going to stop them :-P
        • Just remember this thie next time you see products advertised as "all natural": cyanide and arsenic are "all natural" too.
    • by Red Rocket (473003)

      What is the problem with "genetic engineering"? We've been doing it for ages with breeding, as has "nature."

      That's about as insightful as if people started plowing their SUVs though other peoples' yards and living rooms and then saying, "What's the problem with driving? People have been driving cars for a hundred years."

      The difference is we've been driving mostly on roads. And we've been breeding plants and animals using natural methods and reproductive techniques and only being selective about whic
      • by PD (9577) *
        Argument by analogy is not persuasive. And car analogies are the most annoying. Besides the analogy, the only other point you seem to make is that there is a "normal" mode of genetic change. If I am misunderstanding you, let me know.

        But, you haven't done two things, which would have bolstered your argument:

        1) You didn't define what and why a certain mode of genetic change is normal. Is it because it's done by nature and not by man? (what's the difference?) Is it because the genetic changes are imprecise?

        • Argument by analogy is not persuasive. And car analogies are the most annoying.

          And antiseptic argument by pedantism is even more annoying.

          1) You didn't define what and why a certain mode of genetic change is normal. Is it because it's done by nature and not by man? (what's the difference?) Is it because the genetic changes are imprecise? (what about precise changes to DNA that a natural virus causes?)

          The reason is that the natural mode of genetic propagation is the mode that created absolutely
          • And antiseptic argument by pedantism is even more annoying.

            But, it's correct. You've got to be logical, and show your logic.

            The reason is that the natural mode of genetic propagation is the mode that created absolutely every living thing that came to be on this planet for millennia. For a fairly clever ape to jump up and say, "Hey, I can make changes in a completely different way -- damn the consequences" is the ultimate in hubris and recklessness.

            The argument that the "natural" mode is the proper one


            • The argument that the "natural" mode is the proper one, because it's always done that way is not persuasive.

              I never said it was the "proper" mode (straw man). My claim is that it's the prudent one.

              You're in essence arguing that yours is the only right and moral way to do something. Hardly a position to be distinguishing hubris from.

              What makes you think that I've laid claim to the methods of natural reproduction? They're not my methods. They're nature's methods. Your position is that it's OK to
              • OK, let's go back to my first message. Basically, I explained why your argument wasn't persuasive. I outlined very specifically two reasons (numbered helpfully 1 and 2).

                If you can address those reasons directly and effectively, then you may persuade me. But, what you chose to do is interpret my questions as an attack, ignore the problems that I helpfully outlined to you, and attack me.

                You're assuming all sorts of things about me that are pretty amusing from my standpoint. Yes, that's right, I'm snickering

                • OK, let's go back to my first message. Basically, I explained why your argument wasn't persuasive. I outlined very specifically two reasons (numbered helpfully 1 and 2). If you can address those reasons directly and effectively, then you may persuade me.

                  If you would like the answers then go back up the thread four levels and reread my post. I don't know what was unclear or indirect about my answers except maybe that you couldn't twist my words to fit your argument. I can't hold your hand through this a
                  • Not everyone who asks you a question is an opponent. I haven't made an argument at all. Go back and reread.

                    What you have done here is attacked someone who simply asked for a further justification. But more than that, you've failed to persuade someone who could have been convinced with a logical argument.

                    You were the positive claimant, and I was the questioner. Therefore the burden of proof lies with you, and your logic must be supported to the satisfaction of the questioner.

                    But instead of realizing that
      • There's a reason fish don't breed with strawberries in the natural world. It might not be a good idea to discover exactly what that reason is until we know a whole lot more about the way DNA works.

        I agree with part of this, we need to know more about how DNA works. One of the best ways to *really* understand how things work is by experimentation. And that involves doing GM research, and making GM plants and animals. Anything else is just theory.

        • One of the best ways to *really* understand how things work is by experimentation. And that involves doing GM research, and making GM plants and animals.

          Experimentation is fine. They just need to keep the products well isolated from the rest of the environment. They aren't doing that. Millions of acres of land are populated by their living, breeding experiments as we debate.
      • Let's explain how selective breeding works, shall we?

        You take a plant. You randomly mutate it through radiation and chemicals. If the result has a property you like, you breed it into the food supply willy-nilly.

        Now, you might be using "natural" radiation (but many "organic" foods were derived from strains deliberately mutated by human-created radiation) and "natural"ly-occuring mutagenic chemicals (but many "organic" foods were derived from strains deliberately mutated by human-created mutagenic chemic

        • Let's explain how selective breeding works, shall we?

          Oh, thank you, Oh Wise One, for bestowing your most holy wisdom upon me. Would that I could only SEE how my mind is clouded and yours is clear. :-)

          You take a plant. You randomly mutate it through radiation and chemicals. If the result has a property you like, you breed it into the food supply willy-nilly.

          What???? That's not like any of the selective breeding I've learned about. Selective breeding involves nothing more than choosing the traits
          • That's not like any of the selective breeding I've learned about. Selective breeding involves nothing more than choosing the traits you'd prefer to see in the offspring and then breeding a pair of individuals that posses those traits in the hope that they will be passed on to an improved generation.

            And where do you think the variations of genes within a species -- the "natural" variety between individuals your selective breeding is taking advantage of -- comes from?

            If there were no natural mutation, ther
      • by Sgt York (591446)
        I hate to break it to you, but we have been doing genetic engineering in the lab for quite some time now. No one has made plague. No one has made either Pinky or the Brain. No one has made a sqaudron of atomic mutant basketball players to challenge the Globetrotters. The most we have managed is a few things that are resistant to certain diseases, and a lot of things that get funky diseases. And we know that's all it is in many cases, because these animals, plants, and bugs have been monitored for nearly 100

        • I hate to break it to you, but we have been doing genetic engineering in the lab for quite some time now. No one has made plague. No one has made either Pinky or the Brain. No one has made a sqaudron of atomic mutant basketball players to challenge the Globetrotters. The most we have managed is a few things that are resistant to certain diseases, and a lot of things that get funky diseases. And we know that's all it is in many cases, because these animals, plants, and bugs have been monitored for nearly
          • So just because it hasn't happened means that it can't happen? Sorry, that's not a good argument.

            No, but because it hasn't happened in a long time is a good argument that it is unlikely. Simply replying "Just because it hasn't happened doesn't mean it won't!" doesn't hold much water with me; monkeys just might fly out of my butt. Just because it hasn't happened.....

            As for the SUV quote, I think the satire was obvious. It did detract from the point, but I like to intersperse a little humor here and there, e

        • I hate to break it to you, but we have been doing genetic engineering in the lab for quite some time now. No one has made plague.

          So what are these "biological weapons" thingamajigs I keep hearing about on the news ?

          Saying things like "Oops! Plague!" is simply inflammatory [...]

          So is whispering "it's all right" without really knowing what's going to happen.

          • So what are these "biological weapons" thingamajigs I keep hearing about on the news ?

            Dig in the ground. Find some Anthrax spores. Do a little selection for the most virulent strain. Grow it, mill it, put it in a good delivery vehicle. No genetic engineering needed. Same with smallpox or any other bug. These are natural bugs that are delivered in a particularly harmful way. It's engineering, but not the genetic variety. Besides, the original argument was that someone would do this accidentally, not intent

            • Dig in the ground. Find some Anthrax spores. Do a little selection for the most virulent strain. Grow it, mill it, put it in a good delivery vehicle. No genetic engineering needed. Same with smallpox or any other bug. These are natural bugs that are delivered in a particularly harmful way. It's engineering, but not the genetic variety. Besides, the original argument was that someone would do this accidentally, not intentionally.

              Firstly, that is a basic form of a genetic engineering, as the "it's just like

              • by Sgt York (591446)
                Most anti-GM's argue that selective breeding is not genetic engineering. If selective breeding is genetic engineering, then we have been engaged in genetic engineering for thousands of years.

                You claim that the foreseeing is not done past next week/year/whatever. What is the basis of this claim? I have seen computer model studies investigating the impact of introduced genes and species spreading over dozens of generations. You claim simply that it is not done. I have seen it done, and I have read the repo

      • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @02:01PM (#9510479) Homepage Journal
        There's a reason fish don't breed with strawberries in the natural world. It might not be a good idea to discover exactly what that reason is until we know a whole lot more about the way DNA works.
        Not entirely sure why you were modded flamebait, especially as many of the responses to yours seemed to be responding to an entirely different argument.

        Whatever though, the reason why fish do not breed with strawberries is because fishberries would taste absolutely disgusting. I thought I better let you know that.

    • There are some serious implications to directly manipulating genes as opposed to just going through the natural breeding process. Previously, people just grew and harvested stuff until it had the best of the properties that they wanted, now we are starting to get genes from other places and just kind of force the plant to make it. Until now, it wasn't possible to cross a fish or a spider and a plant that grows corn. This is the danger with trying GMO's as opposed to just planting the seeds of the tallest c
      • There are some serious implications ... ... Until now, it wasn't possible to cross a fish or a spider and a plant that grows corn. This is the danger with trying GMO's as ...

        This is precisely the kind of non-argument that I constantly hear. What are the implications? What is the danger? You say there is one but you don't say what it is.
        • Well,

          The thing is, scientists have started creating organisms (plants that is) to produce chemicals that are found in animals, or bacteria for defense. The difference between spraying bacteria onto a field to kill off insects and creating plants that manufacture the same toxin is that you are creating a strain of ... corn lets say that is full of natural pesticide with every bite.

          No offence intended, we just don't have long term studies in a controlled environment to see what that can do to animals or peo
    • What is the problem with "genetic engineering"? We've been doing it for ages with breeding, as has "nature."

      1. Nature does a lot more QA.

      2. Nature is unaffected by the odd species being wiped out here or there.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:21AM (#9508350) Homepage Journal
    ..it never had any caffeine to start with.

    it's cafeine free.. with the same taste apparently.

    why would you drink coffee just for the taste is beyond me though when you could be drinking it with caffeine ;)
  • ...tasting coffee around. Just look at the hordes of /.ers showing off how they only care about the caffeine and not the taste.
    • I've only ever had one cup of coffee, and that was purely for the caffeine. I much prefer a good cup of tea. Part of my routine is Yorkshire Gold to send me up in the morning, and a big mug of South African Rooibos (naturally caffeine-free, I might add) to bring me down at night. ..that and a good seven or eight pints of Yorkshire throughout the day :-)
  • Could be useful (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dr. Spork (142693) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @11:52AM (#9508748)
    I don't think I'm alone in preferring big cups of very strong coffee (made with an espresso machine), but I'm not always interested in the huge shot of caffine that a large, dense cup of espresso gives me. I get jittery, post unwise things online, and generally have to pace for a while before the peak buzz wears off and I can get real work done. So if this stuff could be bred with some of the really tasty beans to produce a delicious coffee that has, say 20% of the caffine, that's the stuff I'd be buying. (As long as FairTrade growers grew it.)
    • Well, then you should really reconsider your brewing methods. A properly made shot of espresso contains virtually no caffeine.

      Granted.. this is definatly more true for high-pressure café-brewers than (relatively) low pressure homemacines...
      • Moderately priced home machines (that have pumps) achieve the ideal pressure of 9 bar (if this guy is really drinking it by the mug full I doubt he is preparing it properly, but that's beside the point). And properly prepared espresso typically has far more caffeine by mass/volume than drip-brewed coffee.
  • genetic engineering? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Goldsmith (561202)
    Decaf coffee is (or at least can be) produced from "real" coffee by soaking it in supercritical carbon dioxide. Last I checked, that was relatively cheap, effective, environmentally friendly and has nothing to do with genetic engineering.
  • by dnamaners (770001) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @12:45PM (#9509440) Journal
    Unfortunately there will be flavor loss in caffeine free or decaffeinated coffee. it is inevitable as one of the major flavor compounds is the caffeine itself. caffeine has a strong acid (sour) flavor and is quite distinctive as a coffee component. just bite on a caffeine pill some time and compare it to a cup of standard starbucks black roast. i personally prefer a slightly sour (perhaps acrid) coffee with a slight fruity nose. of course decaffeination will not affect the flavor of the average low grade truck stop/diner coffee as that is already very nasty.
  • ... is like going on a date alone.

    Sure, you can do it, but what's the point?
  • According to the usual account [selamta.net] of the discovery of coffee, the first major users were Ethiopian monks, who thought highly of it precisely because it would keep them awake for their lengthy services.

    God obviously made this version of the plant rare for a reason. So let's not get needlessly heretical here or anything.

  • by Ann Elk (668880) on Wednesday June 23, 2004 @03:50PM (#9511728)

    ...under "Products Least Likely To Be Sold By Think Geek...

  • Why would anyone want coffee without the caffeine?
    That's the whole point of drinking the foul muck.
  • All you people did not see the most obvious use for this new coffee bean:

    Surreptitious replacement of the caffeinated coffee brewed by your PHB.
  • If they do, the world will probably fight another Opium War.

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