What happens to the caffeine from decaffeinated coffee beans?

The process of decaffeinating coffee
starts with green coffee beans like these
Have you ever wondered about what happens to the caffeine in coffee beans that are processed into decaffeinated coffee beans? You know, I had never thought about it myself, and if I didn't know better, I would have thought that it just ends up going down the drain. Well, it doesn't.

I heard this fascinating story on NPR this morning about a company in Houston that makes decaffeinated coffee beans and sells the extracted caffeine in powder form to companies such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, and Monster for their caffeinated products. I guess it makes sense when you think about it that caffeinated drinks have to get their caffeine from somewhere, but it had just never occurred to me. In fact I think in some way I thought it was synthesized caffeine in those products.

A mere 4 oz of extracted caffeine powder is enough to kill several people!

Before you check out the story, what color do you think the extracted caffeine powder is?


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