Do you love coffee, but for some reasons, you do not want a caffeine overload? Worry no because there is an excellent alternative that is decaf coffee. Decaf coffee gives any coffee lover planning to give up caffeine a chance to keep on enjoying coffee every day. You are always guaranteed the same alluring taste and aroma minus the effects of caffeine.
In fact, if you pick the right decaf coffee, you are almost assured of having the best experience. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as there are many brands in the market, some of which contain a high amount of caffeine. This means you have to be cautious when shopping. We understand how frustrating it can be, and especially when trying to give up caffeine only to find you are still having more.
So, if you are worried about getting it wrong when buying, worry not because you are not alone. We have handpicked some of the best decaf coffee beans that will not disappoint. But before we take you through them, let’s find out what actually happens to have decaf coffee beans.
Removing Caffeine from Coffee Beans
Caffeine is removed from coffee beans when there are still raw and green using various decaffeination methods. In this post, we shall cover four main methods of removing caffeine from beans.
- Direct solvent process: This is what happens; coffee beans are soaked in water and then directly flushed with a chemical solvent (methylene chloride). For this method, methylene chloride is commonly used, although there are other chemical solvents.
The chemical solvent is used to remove caffeine from raw and green coffee beans. Those beans are then flushed again to remove or rinse away the chemical before roasting.
- Indirect-Solvent Process: This is yet other methods that use chemicals in the decaffeination process. And like direct solvent process, coffee beans are first soaked in water, but this time in hot water. Those beans are then removed, and ethyl acetate to remove the caffeine from the water.
The water(decaffeinated flavored) is added back to the coffee beans through another soaking and drying method. Eventually, the beans are rinsed to wash away traces of ethyl acetate.
- Swiss Water Process: Unlike direct and indirect methods which rely on chemicals in the decaffeination process, this method is chemical-free, resulting in the only certified organic decaf coffee.
Swiss Water Process largely relies on the basic science of equilibrium and Green Coffee Extract (GCE) to draw the caffeine out of the coffee beans and into the GCE during a water soaking process. GCE which has been used a weight loss supplement is an extract of unroasted, green coffee beans.
- Carbon Dioxide Process: This is the most recent and yet expensive method where water-soaked beans are placed in sealed, stainless steel containers and blasted with liquid CO2 at pressures of 1,000 pounds per square inch to extract the caffeine. The CO2 then flows into another chamber where it is depressurized returning to its gaseous state. Owing to the cost associated with this method, often it is used for commercial grade coffee you might find in the grocery shop.
What Has Changed
Coffee lovers, and especially those who love decaf coffee have witnessed decaf coffee gets better each day. For years, decaf coffee has had a bad reputation for lousy aftertaste and lack of flavor. This was mainly because of the chemical methods of decaffeination. Today, decaffeination methods have advanced enough resulting in quality decaf coffee in the market.
Decaffeination process such as Swiss water and carbon dioxide have contributed significantly to the production of quality decaf coffee beans.
Why Decaf Coffee Beans
- It is healthy: Caffeine intake has been associated with illnesses such as blood pressure, stomach upset, sleep troubles, anxiety, heartburn, and so on. Taking decaf coffee, therefore, helps you live a healthy life.
- The best option for pregnant women: Pregnant women are advised to refrain from caffeine intake. For those that coffee is a must, decaf is the best alternative.
The Best Decaf Coffee Beans
Now let’s have a look at some of the best decaf coffee we handpicked for you. So keep reading to learn more.
Lifeboost Decaf Coffee
A product of Lifeboost Company, this swiss water processed, certified organic, shade-grown, and fair-trade specialty decaf beans are exquisite.
In fact, when it comes to the flavor, you would never realize this coffee doesn’t have caffeine because it tastes just as good as their regular beans! The original flavor is not lost.
These Nicaraguan beans are well-rounded offering notes of chocolate and caramel, and a low acidity that helps all the flavors pop. Although a bit expensive, Lifeboost Decaf Coffee is worth it, it never disappoints. So, feel free to splash out more to get these beans.
Cafe Don Pablo, Colombian Gourmet Coffee Decaffeinated
This is a family-owned business with a heartwarming backstory that roast coffee beans in small batches for optimal freshness and quality. Its medium-dark roast has a full-bodied flavor with notes of caramel, cocoa, and a hint of citrus.
While Cafe Don Pablo beans are not fair trade, the company has its own Sharing Certified program and work closely with Colombian farmers.
Jo Coffee, No Fun Jo Decaf
It is a USDA Organic, and Fair Trade Certified coffee with a full, rich flavor. This chemical-free gourmet coffee made with Arabica beans and is an excellent choice for organic coffee lovers.
A great option for those looking for coffee with lower acidity and has notes of blueberry and milk chocolate, and sometimes it is almost possible to confuse it with regular coffee.
Fresh Roasted Coffee, Organic Decaf Sumatra
Yet another excellent decaf coffee in the market that proves that coffee can be decaffeinated organically and still have a full body and satisfying taste.
Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLC does everything to make sure their coffee is grown in harmony with nature and with justice to all farmers who are involved. All these efforts result is a bold medium roast with cupping notes of earthy, creamy, and baker’s chocolate.
Volcanica Coffee, Costa Rica Decaf Tarrazu
A product of Volcanica, this single-origin roast (sourced ethically, and sustainably) is bright and well-balanced with chocolate undertones. It is best known for its smooth finish, great taste, and low acidity.
If you don’t like the idea of buying the whole beans, Volcanica offers a pre-ground alternative that can be used with pour-overs or drip coffee makers.
Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf Blend
A product of one of Canada’s whole bean coffee seller, Kicking Horse Coffee, this bold decaf coffee never disappoints. The dark roast has a nice aroma of chocolate and nuttiness. It also brews well with a variety of coffee makers and Swiss Water Processed. Besides, the tasting notes for this coffee are roasted hazelnuts and a chocolatey balanced body.
Koffee Kult, Colombian Decaf Coffee
It has a dedicated following of customers enthralled with the gourmet; small-batch roasts prepared from an environmentally-friendly roasting facility located in Florida.
It is a single-origin coffee from Colombia, has a heavy body with a bright, floral finish and an incredible aroma. Besides, it is bold coffee with a medium roast.
Eight O’Clock Whole Bean Coffee, The Original Decaf
Among the decaf coffees we have talked about, Eight O’Clock Whole Bean Coffee is one of the most affordable and readily-available option in the market. If you grew up in the United, this is one brand you may have noticed often. Its mild flavor comes from the rich, smooth medium roast. It is an excellent option for a no-frills, everyday brew.
Stone Street Coffee Company, Mayan Water Decaf
This is a medium roast blend from central america and delivers a smooth, low-acidity taste that is relatively mellow. It is favorite among native New Yorkers.
Based in Brooklyn, Stone Street partners with Sweet Unity to improve the economic livelihoods of rural coffee farmers.
Wild Coffee, Lonestar Decaf Coffee
It is one of the best coffee brands that come with a higher price tag but delivers on quality and taste. It is a blend of light and dark roasted beans from Central and South America. The resulting coffee beans are fresh, low-acid taste without bitterness. It also prides itself on being “mold-free,” which gives their coffee a fresh flavor.
It is good to note despite the fact that Wild Coffee comes with a high price tag, it delivers on quality and taste.
Decaf coffee has continued to get better each day. Long gone are the day when decaf coffee had a bad reputation. Today, the efforts of various companies across the globe can be felt. There are many decaf coffee beans than ever and as well as instant decaf coffees like Weka if not ready to ground coffee beans. But that does not mean you pick any decaf coffee in the market. Remember, there are also fakes in the market. So, be cautious when shopping.
The above list was handpicked for you. Take your time, go through it again and again, and remember to share your experience.