Japanese researchers say they've developed a genetically engineered coffee plant with 70 percent less caffeine in the leaves. They say they're still a few years away from knowing whether the resulting coffee beans also will have less caffeine.
If they're successful, researchers claim the new brew would be an improvement over the current decaffeination process. That method, they say, strips away some of the flavor and aroma from the coffee.
The marketability of the new plant remains in doubt for two reasons. One is consumer skepticism over genetically engineered products. The other is consumer preference for the jolt that normal coffee often provides.