This is an “indirect” decaffeination method. Beans are soaked in near-boiling water, extracting the flavor oils and caffeine from the coffee. The water is separated into a tank where it is forced through charcoal filters and generally stirred around in hot water to remove the caffeine. More flavor oils (colloids) are potentially affected. The beans are then reintroduced to the mix, absorbing their flavor. Since no chemicals are used, there’s nothing to worry about in terms of solvents. We have had trouble in the past with the cup quality of SWP coffees. Bright, lively coffees in particular can end up cupping quite flat. But there seems to have been continuous improvement in the process at the plant (located in Vancouver). Perhaps the biggest reason Sweet Maria’s opts for Swiss Water is that they send their own green coffee selections to the plant, so they know what’s going in from the start. In the old adage GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out), Sweet Maria’s found some of their old opinions on the process were influenced by the fact that importers would send second-rate coffees for SWP decaf. We are also able to send smaller batches than ever before to the plant which means we can keep fresh cup quality in our offerings. Sweet Maria’s also like the fact that the plant operates out of Canada to high safety standards. It is expensive, but in both the results we get and the fact that our decaf is not transported through humid maritime climates after being decaffeinated means a big bump upward in cup quality.