We have tried to include answers to some of the most common questions we are asked. If there is a question we have not answered below please feel free to get in touch


• On occasion I find it hard to open your instant jars is there an easy way to open them?

The glass stopper lids help to keep the coffee really fresh, right until the last cup, but we are of course keen that all our consumers should always be able to open the lids with ease. So, we recently modified the design of the lids, to try to make them easier to open.  The lids now have a "lip" for easier grip, or thumbs can be used to push "up" on the lip, so that the lid pops open. This change took effect on jars with expiry dates of December 2012 onwards. For an illustration please click here

• What is the best way to store Ground coffee?

The key to enjoying quality coffee is ensuring it stays as fresh as possible. At Douwe Egberts we recommend that after opening, the pack should be resealed, placed in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dry place. This way you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re always enjoying your coffee at its very best. To enjoy the full flavour and aroma always use within 3 weeks of opening.

• How many cups does one pack make?

A 200g or 250g pack of Ground coffee should make approximately 24 to 30 cups of coffee. As for Instant coffee based on a 1.8g serving should make between 52 to105 cups depending on the size of the jar 95g or 190g. However for both Instant and Ground coffee this will vary depending upon the quantity you use for your own taste.

• How is Instant coffee produced? 

A cup of instant coffee can be prepared quickly and easily, without brewing, since this has already been done in the factory.  There are 2 techniques used to produce Instant coffee: Spray drying, where concentrated coffee is sprayed into the top of a high tower together with hot air and due to the heat the water evaporates as it falls, so that all that remains is dried powdered coffee. Freeze drying, where coffee is frozen to minus 40 degrees centigrade causing the water particles in the concentrated coffee to form ice crystals and retain flavour and freshness. The freeze drying process is what we use at Douwe Egberts for our instant coffee. 

• Does coffee contain additives, like preservatives? 

No, coffee is always 100% natural and does not contain any additives. Coffee is simply the seed of the coffee plant (the coffee bean), which is ground and roasted. Decaffeinated or caffeine-free coffee is pure coffee, from which the caffeine is removed. Coffee remains fresh thanks to its airtight packaging and therefore needs no preservatives. As soon as coffee contains additives, it has to be declared on the packaging.

• What about Caffeine in coffee? 

Caffeine is a substance, which occurs naturally in a number of different plants, including those producing coffee, tea and cocoa. In coffee it is just one of more than 1500 constituents that food technologists have been able to isolate and which combine to give coffee its distinctive character. Indication of the amounts per serving/cup are given in the table: 

mg caffeine/serving  
Coffee (per 150 ml cup) - from roast and ground ~80
Coffee (per 150 ml cup) - from instant ~60
Decaffeinated Coffee (per 150 ml cup) (either ground or instant) ~3
Tea (per 150 ml cup) ~40
Cola (per 330ml can) ~30
Plain Chocolate (50g) ~20

There are a number of over the counter products such as pain killers that also contain caffeine. 

• How is decaffeinated coffee produced? 

Coffee naturally contains the active supplement caffeine. Normal coffee beans contain between 0.8 percent and 2.5 percent caffeine depending on origin and variety. Decaffeinated coffee is not entirely caffeine-free. In European Community (EC) countries, roasted decaffeinated coffee may contain a caffeine residue of 0.1 percent and coffee extract 0.3 percent. There are two commonly used methods to extract caffeine of which we use Dichloromethane method for our Instant coffee.

Water Carbon Method
This process uses water (H2O) as a solvent. The green beans are rinsed with water for a long period, during which time the caffeine dissolves into the water. The water, with its dissolved caffeine, is then pumped through an active carbon (C) filter which absorbs the caffeine. The decaffeinated beans are dried using warm air and then cooled with cold air. They are then roasted, ground and packed in the usual way. The water is re-used for the decaffeination process.

Dichloromethane Method
This method employs dichloromethane (DCM) as a solvent and has been developed to suit the requirements of the out of home industry. The green beans are moistened with water in order to make the surface of the bean porous, and soaked in the solvent for 30 minutes. This is repeated several times. The beans are removed from the solvent once the caffeine has dissolved. They are then steamed for some time in order to remove any remaining solvent. Afterwards the beans are dried using warm air, then cooled with cold air. They are roasted, ground and packed in the usual way. The dichloromethane is reused for further decaffeinating

• Does caffeine affect sleep? 

As caffeine is a mild stimulant, some people find that after drinking regular coffee in the evening, it takes longer to get to sleep. Other people happily drink their coffee after an evening meal without any such problems. Indeed, research has shown that individuals vary greatly in their sleep responses to coffee and that other factors like noise, temperature and stress are as likely to postpone sleep. So it is largely a matter of individual sensitivity. Decaffeinated coffee is available for those who are particularly sensitive to caffeine.

• Is coffee bad for your health? 

There is no conclusive evidence that indicates that a moderate amount of coffee is bad for your health. Modern science recognises the effects of caffeine, such as stimulation of the metabolism and an increase in the ability to react. Normal coffee drinking does not have any harmful consequences for a healthy individual, although not everyone can tolerate caffeine equally well.

• Which different brewing methods exist for ground coffee? 

There are many different brewing methods, some of which are culturally related. Most commonly known are the filter and cafetiere methods. In recent days the espresso method is becoming increasingly well known due predominantly to it’s presence in the out of home market.  It is important to the flavour of coffee that you choose the correct grind size for your brewing method.

• Is the grind size of coffee important and which should I buy?

The size of the coffee grind has an effect on the quality of the flavour. You should always use the correct grind for the type of equipment you are using to enjoy your coffee at its best. However the Douwe Egberts Life style range is ground to work in both cafetiere's and filter machines, but not espresso machines. 

• Sometimes when I make an instant coffee I notice tiny pieces of coffee that didn’t dissolve – what is this? 

The effect you observed is ground coffee sediment. Whilst rare, this effect does occur occasionally, in a similar way that you may have come across with freshly brewed cafetiere coffee, as we extract the coffee in a similar way, albeit on a much larger scale. This effect is natural and completely harmless, and doesn't alter the taste or aroma of the coffee.

• Where can I buy Douwe Egberts coffee?

Douwe Egberts coffee is available in all major retailers especially their larger stores, however you may find it harder to find our coffee in all their smaller stores. For more specific information on where you can buy Douwe Egberts coffee please use the contact fields below.

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