I am currently attempting to decrease my caffeine consumption and was therefore wondering whether anybody has experience with decaf coffee? Although I want to reduce the caffeine, I don't want to compromise on the taste. The decaf options that I have tried so far were disappointing, such that I was hoping somebody else had any specific brand recommendations?
When we werekeeping our caffeine consumption low, we used to brew a 50:50 mix of normal and decaf. Both were at the good end of what the supermarket sells ground, and were a nominally similar roast. The overall efect was like slightly less good normal.
You could probably progress to something like 25% normal in decaf, especially if the normal was a slightly richer flavour than the decaf.
You could of course step all of this up a level by buying beans to grind yourself or buying small quantities of freshly-ground.
We used Cafe Direct decaf for this. I've since given up on that idea and have my last coffee of the day just after lunch, so this was a few years ago.
One of my favorites is Mystic Monk Coffee. I personally order their regular caffeinated coffee, but I have tried their decaf and they are just as good.
They also make some flavor coffee that is decaf as well as regular, and they release some seasonal flavors every 3 months.
There is also a half-decaf they offer of their regular roast, which you might be interested in as well.
One other thought that I just had, is to possibly go with a flavored coffee. Something that might be similar to a coffee flavor, and look for that in Decaf. I have a local place near me that has about 200 different flavors and they can make it in regular or decaf. Unfortunately, they are local only and don't have a website or do any shipping of orders at all. OrangeCat is the name of the place, if you want to keep an eye out for them.
Some "flavors" that might be close to what you are looking for (thinking of what I have had that may be similar to a coffee flavor, but everyone has a different taste and palette)....
- creme brulee
- toasted graham crackers & choclate
- dark chocolate
some other flavors that might taste similar...
- french valilla
- almond / amaretto
Years ago, the best decaf coffee I had was from a home roaster. If you are lucky, you can find one near you!
I do NOT drink coffee after 4:00 PM because the caffeine keeps me awake. But sometimes I crave a cup of coffee after dinner. Decaf coffee roasts differently than non-decaf, and most decafs just taste "off".
A friend of mine starting drinking decaf a few years ago. I started buying high quality decaffeinated green coffee from Sweet Maria's to roast some for him (and myself).
It took a few tries for me to learn how to roast it properly - slower is better (easy to over-roast decafs). Now I always have my own roasted decaf coffee available when the rare urge for late night coffee hits me.
The Whole Foods (Allegro) decaf blends are not bad. If I had to drink decaf I would still want some fresh beans and my own grind. However, the best quick and easy instant I have found (decaf or regular) is Mount Hagen.
I'm based in Portland, so luckily there's no shortage of options in the coffee arena. Heart has an amazing decaf that I've had the pleasure of cupping with 9 other coffees (non-decaf) and I rated it in my top 3 for overall taste, and other folks there did as well.
It uses a natural decaffeination process involving little more than sugar cane, allowing much more of the flavor to remain. Here's an article explaining this process a bit - it's likely the only type of decaf I'll have from now on (EA process decafs):
Colombia is well known for growing coffee, but also sugar cane. The grow lots and lots of it. So they use Ethyl Acetate (EA) from the sugar cane, and dissolve it into water for the caffeine extraction. Another claim they make is that EA decaffeination removes irritant substances that benefits people with sensitive stomachs.
I would always stick with a CO2 extracted coffee. Swiss water method will dilute the flavor and chemical decaffeinating is well....chemical-ish. I asked for you as I was reading this at a coffee shop. I don't normally drink decaf but as I get older the need to slow my caffeine down is real (and sucks)
I have two brand recommendations for you. If you want a great decaf coffee, look no further than Mayorga. Beyond being organic, they use the water based method of caffeine extraction to avoid the use of nasty chemicals.
Another decaf coffee option that is very unique is Javazen Relax(Javazen is my company). It is organic coffee blended with herbal teas, this case rooibos. Beyond the decaf blend, Javazen has other coffee+tea blends which may be helpful for your transition away from caffeine.