Most decaf coffee uses chemicals, like methylene chloride and ethyl acetate to remove caffeine from their coffee. Methylene chloride has been banned in some industrial products for toxicity and ethyl acetate can actually alter the flavor of the coffee bean. The beforementioned decaffeination chemicals are commonly used and less expensive, therefore are the industry norm. These methods also leave the coffee at 97% caffeine-free.
Decaf gets a bad reputation because many of the early chemicals, used to decaffeinate (such as benzene and trichloroethylene) are now known carcinogens with some of those ingredients also being linked to deaths in rodents, so that is probably where the rat poison stories came from. Thankfully, those ingredients are outlawed today.
Here at Coffee Beanery, we are proud to use the Swiss Water Process (SWP), which uses no taste-altering solvents or possible toxic chemicals. How does the SWP process work? The short version is that the green coffee beans are soaked in water and the caffeine is then drawn out of the bean where carbon filters trap the caffeine molecule. If you want to know more about the process, check out this link.