There’s been a war going on, fought for decades with passionate people on both sides. It’s been growing gradually, spreading its tendrils across the borders of the world. It is the war of coffee vs tea.
For a few hundred years the ammunition aimed at the caffeine consumers was strong. They included the impact on the digestive system, loss of sleep, and other health ramifications caused as a result of constant consumptions of high doses of caffeine. Then came into battle, the advent of the Decaf Coffee.
For Caffeine Lovers, read: Best Coffee Bean Brands
Why use Decaf Coffee
While we definitely understand the appeal and adoration towards coffee, there are a lot of people that have either chosen to jump ship to a lesser caffeinated option or have possibly chosen to never board the vessel in the first place. Decaf has stood through time as the poster-child for women who are either trying to conceive are pregnancy or breastfeeding.
It is the answer you’ve been looking for if you have a highly sensitive stomach that seems to detest coffee beans despite your palate calling out for it. It also is a comfort you can turn to if you’re in the mood for a cup of coffee after the sun sets and don’t want to be up and jittery all night long.
The Best Decaf Coffee Beans
1. Victor’s Coffee Decaf by Onda Origins
When it comes to talking about the coffee companies that are engaged in connecting growers and coffee buffs of world-class coffee to bring about a positive change in the ecosystem, Onda Origins definitely deserves mention.
Origin: El Tambor, Fraijanes, Guatemala Roast: Medium to Dark Tasting Notes: Cocoa pops milk, orange, palm, crisp, almonds
These Seattle-based roasters‘ uniqueness lies in their extraordinary approach of enabling coffee drinkers directly to partner with the growers.
Naturally, this allows the buyers to trace the origin. Onda’s origin uses blockchain and virtual reality to bring a transformation in the coffee business. It allows them to create transparency for the buyers as well as the growers. One of the best coffee variants from Onda Origin is Victor’s Decaf coffee. Grown at the elevation of 1750 meters in the El Tambor region of Guatemala, these whole beans are washed and decaffeinated with swiss water making them hundred percent chemical-free.
The beans are usually of Red Bourbon, Pasche, and Caturra varieties. Grower Victor Calderon puts all his efforts into keeping the growing process organic. The firm is located on a migration route for butterflies, and the rich canopies naturally made of trees create a paradise-like ambiance. Needless to say, because they come from such a beautiful firm, the drinking experience provided by these beans is, of course, going to be exceptional.
Once you brew them, you award yourself with a cup producing pure and sweet cocoa pops milk, fresh orange, and palm nodes with the undertone of crisp and almond. Bright acidity adds more to the appeal of the brew. Just like the roaster, the grower also carries an extraordinarily passionate and helpful attitude for his workers. The act of giving away 10% of his property to his workers for planting black beans and corn evidence the same.
Who is this for?
Anyone who loves coffee but can’t withstand caffeine can give this decaf variant a try. One-of-a-kind tasting notes and rich, creamy brews – Victor’s Decaf has simply everything required to please a coffee lover.
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2. Organic Honduras Decaf from Cardiology coffee
If it’s about sipping a cup produced by specially roasted coffee beans that carry plenty of natural antioxidants, which can boost your heart health, feel free to count on Cardiology Coffee’s Organic Honduras variant.
Origin: Honduras Roast: Medium Tasting Notes: Dark chocolate, Cocoa, Earthy
An award-winning cardiologist, Dr. Wolfsom founded the brand, and it aims to promote healthy drinking habits that aid in keeping the function of the human heart optimal.
The founder’s work is being celebrated in over a hundred media outlets. The list includes CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Times Magazine, USA Today, and more. Now, talking about the quality of the beans, Cardiology coffee uses avant-garde beans that are organically grown in Southern Honduras. The high-altitude growing region allows the cherries to bloom slowly, which arrests the extraordinary aroma of the bean perfectly.
They are carefully roasted and mindfully packed, guaranteeing the beans’ freshness when they are delivered to your doorstep. The coffee is free from contaminants, and this specific variety is decaf. Decaffeination is done using swiss water, making it free from chemicals that harm your body.
The decaf organic Honduras coffee from the house of Cardiology Coffee comes with numerous health benefits. The list includes improved blood pressure, lower heart attack and stroke risks, lower risk of AFIB, reduced mortality, and increased life span. These beans carry a robust concentrated flavor of dark chocolate and cocoa with an earthy undertone.
Who is this for?
Cardiology coffee’s Organic Honduras dark roast beans are dedicated to those who want their cups to be the strong-tasting ones. Perfect for a latte, cappuccino, and espresso.
3. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Decaf Coffee – Volcanica
Volacanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe decaf coffee is synonymous with delectability. Grown in the birthplace of coffee, i.e., Ethiopia, these single-origin beans produce cups that offer distinctive floral and fruity notes.
Origin: Ethiopia Tasting Notes: Blackberry, Blueberry, Lemon Roast: Medium/Light
Do you think that decaf coffees taste awful? Well, the perception is not right anymore. Gone are the days of setting for horribly tasting decaf options. Instead, it’s now a much better alternative to pick up, and when it comes straight from the roasting house of Volcanica coffee, you can bet on its deliciousness.
These swiss water-washed, chemical-free, dry-processed coffee beans tend to be medium-bodied and brightly acidic. The winey tones make this variant stand out in miles. The intense decaffeination process allows the roasters to deliver 99.9% caffeine-free beans. The best part is decaffeination doesn’t snatch the exceptional origin characteristics and flavors of the beans.
In addition, Volacanica masters the art of roasting, which allows them to make the most out of these high-quality, wild, arabica beans.
Who is this for?
The coffee freaks looking for options that are extra bold despite being decaffeinated. The state-of-the-art decaffeination process keeps the variant’s exceptional flavor profiles untouched.
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4. Organic Ethiopian Decaf from Cooper’s Cask Coffee
The product is definitely top of the line, as from taste, flavor, and strength to full mouthfeel – it has simply everything that’s required for brewing a cup that blows one’s mind away.
Origin: Ethiopia Tasting Notes: chocolate, orange, black tea, and sweet lemony tangs Roast: Medium-dark
Cooper’s Cask’s Ethiopian Decaf may be the ideal pick if you are looking for 100% organic and decaffeinated coffee beans with an immensely vibrant boutique of aromatics. It’s bold, one of a kind, and it comes with a fantastic flavor profile. Cooper’s Cask sources these specialty beans from the rich coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia.
The roasters are amazingly conscious of the quality of the beans. In case they don’t meet their quality standards, they don’t use them. Additionally, Cooper’s Cask roasts these premium quality beans in small batches, pouring the utmost attention to the roast quality, which guarantees fresh delivery of the beans.
This flavorful decaf version from the house of Cooper’s Cask creates brews that are smooth and rich. Talking about the cup notes, Cooper’s Cask decaf variant is known for its exceptional chocolate, orange, black tea, and sweet lemony tangs.
Decaffeination is done with swiss water, which eliminates the chances of the presence of any harmful chemical. In a one-liner, if you want your decaf cup to be the absolute one, counting on Cooper’s Cask Ethiopian Decaf variant will be worth it.
Who is this for?
For anyone who craves an aromatic, rich, and smooth coffee experience. Cooper’s Cask Ethiopia Decaf coffee will surely deliver a stunning flavorful tang that you will fall in love with.
5. Decaf Colombia La Serranía #1193 from Klatch Coffee
The cup produced from Decaf Colombia La Serranía offers soft, wine-like acidity with a lightly syrupy mouthfeel. The fruit-inflected chocolate takes its deliciousness a step ahead.
Origin: Colombia Tasting Notes: Fruits, vanilla-chocolate Roast: Medium-dark
La Serranía, when translated from Spanish to English, can be stated as a mountain range, which is entirely factual as the beans of La Serrania variant from Klatch Coffee come from the high altitude Andes region.
To take out the mellow fruitiness blended with a smooth vanilla chocolate nuance with the undertones of nut make spice, growers run these beans through sugarcane processing. The cherries are grown at an elevation of 1500-1700 meters which awards the beans with an extraordinary flavor profile.
The slight decaffeination-related sourish tang appears as the cup goals, which brings an otherwise enhanced resonant finish.
The decaffeination is done using a fruit-derived solvent called Ethyl acetate, making it natural. When it comes to talking about the freshness and quality of roasts, you can simply bet on it as the master roaster of Klatch Coffee; Heather Perry has already managed to win the USA Barista Championship.
Who is this for?
It’s a promising dessert coffee candidate. So, individuals who are searching for the perfect ally for their bedtime ice creams can tone it down with the richness fused with rounded acidity offered by Decaf Colombia La Serranía.
Also Read: Best Colombian Coffee Beans
6. Hunky Dory Decaf from Sightglass
The distinctiveness of Hunky Dory’s decaf lies in its ever-changing seasonal tunes. Needless to say, this attribute has helped this specialty grade variant in winning over the hearts of millennials.
Origin: Varies seasonally Tasting Notes: Rich toffee, grape, jasmine, bergamot Roast: Medium
Coffee enthusiasts who get turned on with such a blend that goes with the flow can rely on Hunky Dory’s decaf version unhesitatingly. In fact, it’s the other name for sensation and deliciousness.
When it comes to turning your busy, work-loaded gloomy evenings into enchanting and energetic ones, this coffee can be your loyal companion because, with Hunky Dory, everything is better. After all, it’s about the name’s sake! The components of this coffee change with the seasons. It helps to maintain the balance and versatility of the cup.
However, the cup notes are eternal – the sweetness of rich toffee and undertone of grape, jasmine, and bergamot turns the cup into a source of exotic joyfulness. Talking about the process of decaffeination, it’s done with swiss water making it chemical-free. In a one-liner, it can be said that Hunky Dory is probably the best presentation from the house of Sightglass.
Who is this for?
Anyone who wants their cups to be the versatile yet pleasing ones. An ideal pick for the medium, roast decaf lovers.
7. Volcanica House Blend Decaf
Sliding into the second slot, we have the Volcanica family offering up coffee beans from their fields in Central and South America. Volcanica is known for some of the very best coffee beans collection with several distinct variants to easily confuse as to which one to try and which one to leave.
The finest sourcing of Volcanica makes them among the top brands of coffee.
The company is highly dedicated to ensuring that its coffee is shade-grown and organic. They do not allow for the outside interference of artificial pesticides, herbicides, or any other chemical element in the growth, processing, and packaging of their coffee. It is for this reason they employ the Swiss Water process in their attempt to decaffeinate their beans while holding onto the natural oils and flavors within them.
The medium roast decaf packs a bold punch with its rich body that offers up tones of caramelly sweetness. You can choose to unwind at the end of the day creating a cup of this decaf using either the espresso grind or brew it with an automatic or manual drip machine or even a french press if that is where your talent lies.
As a contribution towards ensuring everyone in the world has access to basic clean water, the company has promised that one percent of the coffee beans sales made on the official site goes towards the charity: water organization that works to do just that.
8. Lifeboost Organic Decaf
The next decaf on our list comes all the way from high up in the slopes of Nicaragua. Lifeboost organic coffee offers shade-grown beans that are hand-picked with care and attention to detail. The altitude, climate, and environment work in harmony with the plant allowing it to grow without the need for any intervention through the use of artificial pesticides or herbicides.
No use of artificial pesticides, only with the love of nature.
The beans are washed with spring water and dried in the sun before they are carefully hand-roasted to a beautiful medium brown. The coffee is decaffeinated using the Swiss Water process sticking to the banner of only using organic elements in the entire process. Each batch of beans is also carefully scanned for mycotoxins to ensure there isn’t any mold that could potentially contaminate the quality and taste of the decaf.
Once you bring a bag of these beans home get ready for a palate pleaser. The bold mesh of chocolate, nuts, and fruitiness with the smooth undertone of caramel round it out to a clean finish.
It’s not just the people directly connected in the process of constructing the coffee that Lifeboost coffee looks after through their fair trade practices. They have a continuous contribution towards the animal and environmental causes in the country through a percentage of the company’s profits. You can also try their coffee subscription service if your first experience satisfies you
9. SF Bay Gourmet Decaf Coffee
- DECAF GOURMET BLEND: This medium/light roast blend of 100%...
- NATURALLY DECAFFEINATED: We decaffeinate our coffees via a...
- WHOLE BEAN COFFEE: Whether you're into finely ground...
- QUALITY COFFEE: San Francisco Bay Coffee uses only 100%...
Entering halfway through our list is the offer from San Francisco Bay coffee company. The blend presents a delicious medium-light roast of solely Arabica beans grown in the coffee fields in Central America. The beans are decaffeinated using a Natural Water Process. The practice ensures there are no artificial or potentially harmful elements included in the entire operation.
The result will have you relishing a smooth cup that melds creamy chocolate and with a taste of toasted almonds and finishes off with a punch of sweet mandarin.
You can opt to buy a bag of whole beans to enjoy a fresh grind when you brew using a french press or any other pour-over method. If you don’t have a coffee grinder at home for any reason don’t worry about missing out. There is even a pre-ground variety available.
The family-run company strives to build and grow relationships with the farmers that are working on the coffee fields. Paying special attention to their imprint on the environment, they have succeeded in becoming a carbon-negative company. The team at SF Bay practices fair and direct trade while sourcing and processing their coffee.
Apart from their contribution to the coffee community, SF Bay also works to enrich the communities that are home to the fields where they grow their crop. To date, they have built 63 schools and 1,775 housing complexes across Rwanda, Mexico, Kona, and Panama.
10. Equal Exchange Organic Decaf
- Contains 3 bags, 12 oz per bag (36 oz)
- TASTE: Organic Decaffeinated Ground Full-Bodied Coffee with...
- ROAST: Full City Roast Blend
- 100% Arabica Coffee Sustainably Grown by Small-Scale Farmer...
Striding in next is a decaf that takes a holistic approach in their contribution to the coffee world. Equal Exchange Organic Decaf is composed of one hundred percent Arabica beans. The beans are gathered from the continents of Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
The beans are shade-grown which helps protect them from any harmful effects the harsh sunlight can cause. It also helps the plants grow without the need for any additional aid in the form of artificial pesticides or herbicides.
The caffeine is removed from the beans using a process called CR3 Natural Liquid Carbon Dioxide Decaffeination. It ensures that by the end of the exercise, 99.9% of the caffeine has left the beans leaving the flavor and texture of the beans untouched. Their flavor is enriched through a careful full city roast blend.
Equal Exchange Organic Decaf promises to complement your mind, body, and soul with its offerings. The beans used are sourced through fair trade practices. The company works with small-scale farmers and hopes to nurture and grow relationships with both the farmers and consumers through their practices.
So sit back and enjoy a full-bodied fiesta in your that melds caramelized sugar and chocolate in your coffee cup. The arch enemies of the dessert world, aka vanilla and chocolate, unite along with toasted almond cookies to offer up an inviting and intoxicating scent.
Also Read: Best Organic Coffee Beans
11. Koa Coffee Decaf
The coffee world has proven time and again that can never have enough of Kona coffee. The tiny brown beans hailing from Hawaii have always had a seat at the table of coffee royalty.
Try the premium Kona Coffee from one of the finest brands Koa.
The altitude at which the beans are grown along with the climate and environment in the area work together resulting in these uniquely delicious beans. The beans you taste in the Koa Coffee Decaf grow on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano. The beans are roasted to a comfortable medium brown before being packaged.
In an effort to preserve the natural flavor and ensure the least amount of artificial interference The caffeine is removed from the coffee beans through the Swiss Water method. It is also available in the pre-ground variant, so those without a grinder at home don’t have to be left out.
Enjoy a cup morning, night, or noon and get lost in the smooth combination of chocolate and nuttiness that is beautifully balanced out with the sweet citrus.
You shouldn’t be surprised to find a bag of Koa Coffee Decaf to be priced slightly higher than its competitors. It is the legacy you are paying for and we promise you won’t be disappointed.
12. AmazonFresh Decaf Colombia
- Balanced, full-bodied medium roast with a smooth finish
- Three 12-ounce bags of whole bean coffee
- 100% Arabica coffee grown in Colombia
Coming in next on our list is a contender offered up by the online tech giant Amazon. AmazonFresh Decaf Colombia gets you everything that you could need in a flawless cup of decaf coffee. The blend is composed solely of Arabica beans, and as the name suggests, they grow in the coffee fields of Colombia.
The medium roast coffee is also available in the pre-ground variant, which means it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a grinder at home. The beans are packed in the US in specialized one-way freshness valve bags directly after they have been roasted.
Treat yourself to a delicious cup of decaf layered with tinges of brown sugar and cocoa. And don’t miss that sublet whiff of citrus that’s going to hit you as soon as the water hits the beans.
AmazonFresh is confident you’re not going to be disappointed. They offer a hundred percent satisfaction guaranteed, an offer you can hold them to for up to a year.
You can brew yourself a cup of the full-bodied AmazonFresh Decaf Colombia using a pour-over, steep, or drip method via a Chemex, French Press, or Auto drip. You can even opt for espresso if the mood nudges you that way.
13. Starbucks Decaf Sumatra
- Full-bodied decaf with a smooth mouthfeel and lingering...
- Tasting Notes: Earthy & Herbal
- Enjoy this with:Baked brie, a warm baguette and a...
- Roast: Dark
Wrapping up our list is a name almost synonymous with coffee culture itself today.
Not willing to be left out of anything related to the little brown bean, Starbucks offers its own unique variant through the face of Starbucks Decaf Sumatra.
This dark roast derives its hundred percent Arabica beans from the coffee-rich fields in Indonesia. The coffee is decaffeinated through a process that removes the caffeine while holding onto the flavor and fragrance of the beans. The beans are then roasted in Seattle, Washington from where they are shipped wherever desired.
This decaf delivers a strong hearty flavor through its heavy body. You can go through a cup or two every day with a side of something savory. The Starbucks Decaf Sumatra works to tease all your senses with an undertone of cinnamon, nutmeg, roasted pine, and just a touch of grapefruit and apricot. As a delectable double treat, the drink leaves you with an enticing earthy and herbal aftertaste.
You can choose to either use a pour-over, drip method, or french press to brew this coffee. If using a clever brewer to brew is more your style, it yields great results using this method too.
How To Choose Decaf Coffee Beans
Once you’ve decided that decaf is the way to go don’t just rush to the store, online or otherwise. There are a few things you need to consider before you pick a brand to commit to.
To start off it is important to know, decaf coffee is not a hundred percent free of any and all traces of caffeine. Depending on the company, one cup could contain anywhere up to 7 milligrams of caffeine.
Be sure to take a look at how the coffee family chooses to remove the caffeine from the coffee beans. There are four methods used by most companies to complete the process:
- The Direct Method – In this process, the beans are first steamed for about 30 minutes to open their pores. After that. the beans become receptive to solvent. They are then soaked and rinsed in water with a special solvent to remove the caffeine. The beans are then dried for roasting. In the roasting part, most or all of the solvent gets evaporated. The negative part of this method is that the solvent forms a layer on the beans when soaked. After roasting, most of the traces are evaporated but still, some is left which is harmful.
- The Water Decaf Method – Here, the beans are first soaked in hot water for several hours to extract the caffeine. Along with caffeine, the beans also lose their oils and other flavor elements. After soaking, the beans are then washed with either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate for about 10 hours. The molecules of caffeine tend to stick with molecules of solvent. The mixture is then heated to evaporate the caffeine with solvent.
- The Swiss Water Method – Now this method is what we can call progress. Here, the beans are soaked in very hot water to dissolve the caffeine. The water also extracts oils and flavor elements from the coffee beans. This water is then passed through an activated charcoal filter with the porosity to capture larger molecules of caffeine only. As a result, we get a container with flavorless beans and another with ‘caffeine-free flavor-charged’ water. This water now already contains flavor elements, is then used with a fresh batch of beans. Now, the water is already saturated with flavor elements, it only extracts the caffeine molecules from the fresh batch of beans. The result now is decaf beans, naturally. We recommend the Decaf beans marked with this method.
- CO2 Process – This is the most expensive method which is used by only commercial brands with large volumes. Here, the liquid CO2 is forced at high pressure into a sealed chamber containing coffee beans. This extracts the larger caffeine molecules and then this loaded CO2 is transferred to another chamber. The pressure is released and CO2 is converted in a gaseous state and leaves the caffeine molecules behind. The gas is now pumped back into the beans chamber for reuse.
‘Swiss water method’ is considered by many as the safest, and most successful and of the choices. Since taste has always been a big factor in turning people away from decaf in the past, it is also the method that best manages to preserve the natural oils and flavors of the beans. The whole process is conducted without the use of any artificial or chemical components. S.W.M. succeeds in removing up to 99.9 percent of the caffeine from the beans before they are packaged.
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At the End of the Day
There has always been a strange stigma around decaf amongst the coffee fraternity of the world. It simply hasn’t been the most sought-after of all the coffee beans offerings.
One of the main reasons presented as an explanation has always been the unfavorable taste. Luckily though. The world has progressed, and with changing times, there is a palpable shift towards the acceptance for and appreciation of decaf as a viable option. The results are for you to see above.
So the next time you’re craving a coffee but not the caffeine, be sure to approach one of the many delicious alternatives.