You know decaffeinated coffee doesn’t necessarily have to be atrocious-tasting. Now I understand that it isn’t as high in demand and fast-selling as regular caffeinated coffee. But this doesn’t mean roasting companies neglect putting in the same amount of precision and care into roasting the decaf version. But, unfortunately, some of them do. So what really is the best decaf coffee?
However, the good news here is that there are manufacturers who understand how important it is to care for decaffeinated coffee beans during the roasting process. These beans demand extra attention because they get subjected to the complex decaffeination process.
So it’s time to choose these roasters and brands over the ones that are responsible for tainting the reputation of decaffeinated coffee.
Table of Contents
- Best Decaf Coffee Brands: Top 15 Reviews 2019
- Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf Whole Bean
- 2LB Café Don Pablo Decaf Colombian Gourmet Whole Bean Coffee
- Starbucks VIA Decaf Italian Roast Ready Brew Coffee
- No Fun Jo Decaf Organic Whole Bean Arabica Coffee
- Eight O’Clock The Original Decaf Whole Bean Coffee
- Tim Horton’s Medium Roast Decaffeinated Ground Coffee
- Peet’s Coffee Decaf Mocca-Java Dark Roast Ground Coffee
- Kirkland Signature Dark Roast Decaf Arabica Coffee
- Seattle’s Best Coffee Decaf Portside Blend Ground Coffee
- Illy Coffee Decaffeinated Medium Roast Ground Coffee
- Lavazza Espresso Decaffeinato Medium Roast Ground Coffee
- Folgers Classic Roast Decaffeinated Ground Coffee
- Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Sumatra Decaf Whole Bean Coffee
- Café Bustelo Decaffeinated Coffee
- Tassimo Gevalia Decaf Espresso Coffee
- What Does Decaffeinated Coffee Mean?
- Methods of Decaffeinating Coffee
- Does Decaf Coffee Taste Different from Regular Coffee?
- Decaf Coffee: Is It Good or Bad?
- Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Decaf Coffee
- Decaf and Pregnancy: It’s a Match!
- Is Half-Caff Coffee for You?
- Final Thoughts
Best Decaf Coffee Brands: Top 15 Reviews 2019
Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf Whole Bean
If you enjoy the darker side of coffee roasts, no other decaf coffee is ever going to satisfy those deep cravings. On top of that, Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf Whole Beans are organically and sustainably produced. The proof of which is the certified organic label. Along with Kosher and Fair Trade certifications (1) too!
The blend is made from coffee beans sourced from South and Central America. The dark roast, to my surprise, is quite earthy, deep, and nutty. The subtle hint of hazelnut and chocolate added to the mix uplifts the senses no doubt.
You can use it with any type of brewing method, which is the best part actually. Be it French Press, Chemex, Espresso, or even your favorite decaffeinated cold brew.
The method employed for decaffeinating the beans is a common one, Swiss Water. This particular technique removes most of the caffeine yet maintains all of the flavor.
Even though the bag these dark roast beans come in is quite small, it doesn’t keep coffee lovers from buying the product. And that’s because they simply love the deep roast experience without having to stay up at night. Even the brewing versatility the coffee beans offer contributes to their unparalleled success.
2LB Café Don Pablo Decaf Colombian Gourmet Whole Bean Coffee
Yes, this medium-dark roast by Café Don Pablo is decaffeinated. But is the coffee a good choice for your taste buds too? There’s no denying just how smooth, rich, sweet, and pleasantly mild this Colombian whole bean coffee is.
The acidity is quite charming, the lasting finish equipped with walnut and chocolate, and the slight touch of citrus. All these are tasting notes I think you might find very interesting given how most decaf coffees out they offer a chemical-like, bland essence.
The beans also contain natural sugar, which is slightly caramelized. It’s what gives the medium-dark roast its distinctive quality. All this comes into effect without disturbing the natural character of the roast or flavor. The aftertaste is plenty sweet and pleasant to most coffee lovers’ preferences. After all, the stuff involved is pure Arabica coffee beans.
As you already know, it’s a medium-dark roast. But it inclines more toward the darker and oilier end of the roast spectrum. In that case, if it’s too roasty for you, you can opt for the light roast by the same brand. However, it’s unlikely you’ll find decaf coffee like this that gives even regular caffeinated coffee a run for its money.
Starbucks VIA Decaf Italian Roast Ready Brew Coffee
Made from ethically sourced 100 percent Arabica coffee beans, this instant decaf coffee is a force to be reckoned with. It’s not cheap-tasting like most instant coffee nor is it flat-tasting like most decaf coffee. All you have to do is add some hot water. Then stir to enjoy a cup that doesn’t keep you up all night.
The aroma itself is so smooth and rich you don’t even have to taste it to realize just how sweet and strong the coffee is. 100% Arabica beans are used, like I already told you. This means quality is kept in check. These are micro-ground so you can prepare instant coffee without worrying about the powder not dissolving properly.
As for the taste and flavor, it is Italian roast after all. But the decaf kind! So don’t expect your nerves to jangle even if you’re a bit on the sensitive side. Although you might have to use 2 packets to get the real coffee flavor. However, in the defense of Starbucks VIA Brew Coffee, this is a common concern with instant coffee.
Moving on, you can prepare an iced or hot beverage with this. Once you introduce your taste buds to it, you’ll want to carry some packets in your bag or pocket when on the go. Even sprinkling some of it into the coffee you’re having at a café outside or anywhere else gives the cup the much-needed boost of flavor and strength.
No Fun Jo Decaf Organic Whole Bean Arabica Coffee
You can expect a brand like Jo Coffee to do everything right. No wonder they’ve got their coffee equipped with USDA Organic and Fair Trade certifications. The method used for decaffeination is Swiss Water, obviously. The roast is a medium-dark one, which is ideal for Drip, Pour Over, and Espresso.
After tasting these decaffeinated Arabica coffee beans, it was impossible for me to not appreciate the chocolate and blueberry elements. There’s absolutely no artificial flavoring, which is quite surprising given the fruity cupping notes. The fruity tones combine well with the cocoa by the way. The whole blend is quite natural if you ask me.
But it’s the blueberry aroma that appeals to the olfactory senses the most. If you enjoy cappuccinos, then let me tell you that you might not even need sugar for that. The blueberry components in here do the job of sweetening your beverage quite flawlessly. Great news for those trying to cut back on their caffeine and sugar intake, isn’t it?
The bold taste is very smooth, unlike most other decaf coffees that offer neither bold taste nor smooth finish. Instead, what’s lacking is the relatively lighter roast. In comparison to the decaffeinated whole beans reviewed in the article, these are a bit lightly roasted. Nevertheless, the current option is quite famous for its low acid profile and rich taste of course.
Eight O’Clock The Original Decaf Whole Bean Coffee
Do you think all high-quality decaffeinated coffees are expensive? If yes, then maybe you think so because you’ve not yet come across an option like this. The Original Decaf Whole Bean Coffee by Eight O’Clock is both affordable and premium quality.
Pure Arabica beans never hold back when it comes to opening the floodgates to a smoother flavor in comparison to Robusta beans. And to top it off, this is a medium roast. So you get all the depth and richness you desire from your decaf cup of coffee. Without the bitterness by the way.
The brand has a regular caffeinated version too. And both are equally popular among coffee drinkers! The beans are remarkably consistent. Meaning they are sweet, well-balanced, and fruity every single time. So you can always go back, no matter the time of the day or night.
But please note; the decaffeination process here is not Swiss Water. Caffeine is removed using methylene chloride. In simple words, chemical decaffeination (2) is carried out. So if you’re okay with that, you can go ahead and consider buying this Eight O’Clock Original Decaf blend.
Tim Horton’s Medium Roast Decaffeinated Ground Coffee
Do you think Amazon reviews as many as 5,900 actually matter? In my opinion, as a professional product reviewer, they certainly mean something. Particularly if most of them are positive reviews. So let this define the Medium Roast Decaffeinated Ground Coffee by Tim Horton’s.
You can have just about any automatic coffee maker, and expect this ground coffee to pair up well with it. The premium blend is great-tasting of course. Otherwise why else would I include it in my list of the best decaf coffee!
Swiss Water method is what decaffeinates the coffee. This is the ground form of pure Arabica beans. And it appeals to even those that claim to be anti-decaf.
The brand, Tim Horton’s is quite popular all over Canada. They manufacture some of the most delicious caffeinated and decaffeinated options on the current market. In fact, if you have a look at what all they have to offer, you’ll be quite surprised. The range of flavors is impressively full of variety.
A cup of this decaf medium roast doesn’t taste like decaf at all. I mean it feels so pleasant on the taste buds you simply cannot differentiate between this and regular caffeinated coffee.
The roast is not really dark but the aroma is quite powerful. The former appeals to those who prefer something a little subtle than super-strong coffee. As for the latter, it seems like an enticing aspect for all kinds of coffee lovers! Just not for those with a sensitive tummy. It’s because of the high acidity of the coffee.
Peet’s Coffee Decaf Mocca-Java Dark Roast Ground Coffee
Fan of dark roast? Then don’t look beyond this Mocca-Java Dark Roast by Peet’s Coffee. The addictive chocolate complexity this decaf coffee has to offer doesn’t drain your wallet too you know.
A cup of decaffeinated coffee this tasty; the brand has definitely achieved the impossible. Combine the Swiss Water processed decaf version and the rich blend of Ethiopian and Java Mocca. The inevitable outcome of this is full-body with bittersweet chocolate and baking spice. Did you ever think decaf coffee could yield such flavor and taste?
Peet’s Coffee doesn’t just care about you. They also value communities that grow and harvest these coffee beans. When coffee is grown and sourced responsibly, you automatically feel better about drinking it.
The brand offers both whole bean and ground coffee. Even the roast options are perfect for all types of coffee lovers. Their light roasts are smooth and mild. As for a dark roast like this, it’s perfectly full-bodied and smoky. And the medium roast coffee provides the best of both worlds.
The only exclusive drawback is the bitter aftertaste.
Kirkland Signature Dark Roast Decaf Arabica Coffee
Allow me to begin by stating that this is fine grind decaf coffee. It’s the most suitable for Espresso! That’s the beauty of fine grind actually. And it’s a wonderful dark roast with no hints of pronounced bitterness to overwhelm your taste buds.
The use of pure Arabica beans speaks volumes here. Quality is a factor you don’t have to worry about at all. These coffee beans are meticulously selected. So your daily cup doesn’t feel cheap or tastes bad just because the price is affordable.
Needless to say, the dark roast by Kirkland performs quite well in comparison to the other decaffeinated coffee options reviewed in the article. The chances are you’ll love drinking a cup of this coffee daily without missing caffeine.
Seattle’s Best Coffee Decaf Portside Blend Ground Coffee
The Portside Blend is the epitome of medium-roast, hearty, full-bodied, well-rounded coffee. The premium beans are smooth-roasted, that’s for sure. And the final taste has the power to provide the much-needed boost to your mood and day.
The roasting process of Seattle’s Best Coffee is unique in so many ways. They use Arabica coffee beans that are exclusively sourced from Latin America. During the roasting action, total consistency is maintained with the help of quality checks spread throughout the whole process. This goes a long way when it comes to creating a blend that’s smooth and has an approachable taste.
Like I already told you, this is medium roast coffee. Perfect for those who love to devour both the bitter side of dark roast and sweet side of light roast. It doesn’t bother the stomach either, which is great news if yours is a bit sensitive.
Flavorful and bold decaf coffee like this is certainly not easy to come by. The perfect satisfying decaf drink you’d love to have first thing in the morning and even last at night. It’s just a tad dusty, on the negative side. Meaning the ground coffee creates a lot of mud in a cold brew.
Illy Coffee Decaffeinated Medium Roast Ground Coffee
Illy Coffee allows you to prepare your own delicious brew at home. And not just weak-tasting brew, I’m talking about a well-balanced, robust flavor. The decaffeinated kind of course!
Arabica beans are once again put into action here. The ground coffee, in this case, is nitrogen-sealed to keep the original freshness intact. You’ll also like to know that the coffee beans are subjected to air cooling and processing in an air-free pressurized setting. This is done so that the premium quality of the Arabica beans also remains untouched.
It’s a medium roast that satisfies your senses with a perfectly balanced and smooth flavor. What’s exceptional here is the use of cans, which make excellent upcycle projects. So expect a guilt-free experience along with no chemical undertones. The clean and rich taste is also quite commendable given the decaffeinated element.
You can use this ground coffee with an Aeropress, French Press; it’s really your call. Just think of it as convenient, well-ground coffee with tempting aroma and taste. Although I hate to mention that the grind size is not coarse enough.
Lavazza Espresso Decaffeinato Medium Roast Ground Coffee
Decaffeinated coffee has a bad reputation. And I find that very annoying because there are quite a few great options like this one. Even espresso, as a matter of fact, has attracted an unfavorable opinion. Whenever people hear the word espresso, they automatically think of too much caffeine. Now, that is true in most scenarios, but not when talking about Lavazza Espresso.
This amazing decaf version satisfies your espresso cravings without flooding your body with caffeine. The medium roast is full-bodied, no doubt. The blend of fruity and sweet is quite exceptional given the quintessential bitter taste of espresso.
The coffee beans are harvested on American soil. But the roasting is done in Italy using a process known as convection air roasting. It prevents the beans from giving you that burnt taste you don’t enjoy while sipping coffee, decaf or not.
Just because this is an espresso blend doesn’t mean you cannot use the ground in any other coffee maker. But for an Espresso, the grind size is not very fine. Even so, most people seem to enjoy it.
Folgers Classic Roast Decaffeinated Ground Coffee
The manufacturer is Folgers, a quite recognizable American brand that has been in the business for very long. Their history is as rich and deep as the coffee they produce, both the caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties.
The beans are mountain-grown and the aroma fresh. The quintessential flavor of Folgers, consistently pure and rich, is a part of every cup. And so is the natural decaffeination process and natural ingredients.
The first thing you’ll notice is just how delicious this decaf coffee is. Much like any caffeinated version! You can even fool someone into believing that this is actually caffeinated coffee. And that’s because of its rich aroma, no doubt.
You can indulge at whatever time of the day or night. No more having to stay up or be on edge just because your coffee cravings take control. And the best part about it all is that no more compromises in terms of taste just because you wish to opt for decaf. Folgers has got you covered!
As a smart consumer, you’ll also appreciate the large container. The ground coffee in there lasts for quite a while and tastes delicious, rich, and full-bodied till the very last cup. There’s not much to complain about either. It’s the perfect treasure for a coffee nut like me and you.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Sumatra Decaf Whole Bean Coffee
This is organic, Fair Trade-certified, mountain water-processed decaffeinated coffee made using Sumatra beans. The mountain water processing part, in particular, is the most appealing in my opinion. Since it’s all-natural in comparison to the Swiss Water decaffeination method. You can buy this coffee in the ground or whole bean form.
The beans are processed with great care. Care for the environment. Care for the original flavor and taste of the coffee beans. And care for the roasting process. The roast here is medium, which means you’re in for a complete treat because you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Expect to find no artificial preservatives, flavoring, or additives. So you get the opportunity to savor every bit of the natural flavor of this decaf Sumatran coffee. Speaking of which, what’s the taste like? The characteristics included are earthy, creamy, full-bodied with a slight touch of smooth and delicious baker’s chocolate.
Now you know the good part. So what about the bad side? Sumatran coffee is not for everyone, to be completely honest. It offers a sort of earthiness that some coffee lovers might not find palatable.
Café Bustelo Decaffeinated Coffee
If you ever want to prepare delicious decaf coffee, pick Café Bustelo. Also, if you ever want to prepare delicious espresso, then too select Café Bustelo. Espresso that is 97 percent caffeine-free that too! Isn’t this unlikely and amazing at the same time? This decaffeinated option is good for iced coffees and cappuccinos as well.
It’s so rich you may think there’s the typical bitterness or an unpleasant aftertaste lurking somewhere. But that’s not the case at all. Unlike most decaf coffees, this one isn’t bitter or funny-tasting.
Even those who generally find coffee tasteless and bitter enjoy the iced version of this decaf coffee. The essence is quite smooth, dark, and rich. Even the smell is so good, you’ll quickly get hooked on to this. The time of the day won’t matter either, which it shouldn’t since this stuff is decaffeinated.
But I think you might want to know this. The brand uses a Mexican process for decaffeination. The method involves ethyl acetate, a chemical, and steam. So if you think this is Swiss Water decaffeinated coffee, you’re wrong.
Tassimo Gevalia Decaf Espresso Coffee
This stuff is hard to come by since Keurig is the most popular option in the current market. So it’s much easier to find coffee for Keurig. But if you have a Tassimo machine instead, here is your decaf coffee for that.
It’s espresso coffee that’s proud of the extra bold roast. Each time you prepare a strong-bodied, intense cup with an exquisite scent. This is what pure Arabica beans give away in abundance.
All you have to do with these T-discs is insert them in the coffee maker. And then simply follow the brewing instructions of the machine. There aren’t many espresso options for Tassimo, let alone caffeine-free ones. So this particular creation feels like a huge stroke of luck.
The only problem is that a single T-disc makes only half an espresso shot. So you might end up using 2-3 of them just for one drink.
What Does Decaffeinated Coffee Mean?
Even coffee-addicts swear by decaf coffee! Don’t you think that means something? Regular coffee contains caffeine which contains all the magical powers. But not everyone can drink caffeinated coffee all day long.
So what’s the alternative? You can devour the best-tasting decaf coffee at any time of day or night. And I promise you; it won’t keep you awake all night! What’s the story about decaf coffee?
The origin of decaf coffee comes from Germany. When steaming the coffee beans and using benzene can remove all of its caffeine content. Isn’t that great? However, this discovery failed to catch a spark, at the time. Because the benzene removed the caffeine as much as coffee’s delicious flavor.
But we now have multiple methods to go decaf. Studies suggest that 97% to 99% of caffeine is eliminated from decaf coffee beans. So you can drink cup after cup and not feel jittery or insomniac at all.
Methods of Decaffeinating Coffee
Most brands use this method to decaffeinate their coffee beans. It’s popularly known as a “chemical bath.” Where the coffee beans are watered down and moistened. Then they’re soaked in water and chemical solvent. After a thorough bath in the solvent, carbon dioxide is sprayed over the beans using blasted jets. This process is repeated until the caffeine leaves the coffee beans for good.
Another popular and age-old method is the Swiss Water method. It uses only water to remove the caffeine while retaining the coffee’s flavor. Compared with chemicals, water does a better job of enhancing the aroma and taste of the coffee.
New technologies have introduced carbon dioxide into the mix as well. After the coffee beans are soaked in hot water, they are exposed to CO2 in a stainless steel container. A high-pressure blasting device is used to remove the caffeine. The CO2 runs at 1,000 pounds per square inch pressure to extract maximum coffee.
Does Decaf Coffee Taste Different from Regular Coffee?
Not all decaf coffee tastes like regular coffee. You have to be very picky when choosing it. For example, coffee that has been decaffeinated by water has more flavor. This is when compared with solvent-based decaffeinated coffee.
Having said that, any process of decaffeination will alter the flavor of the coffee. Even if slightly but thanks to new technology, it’s hardly noticeable. What you can select for yourself is the strength of the decaf coffee.
From mild to extra strong, you can select the roast of the decaf coffee you want. It’s in the nature of decaf coffee to taste dark, bitter, and strong. This is because during decaffeination. The coffee beans are hard to roast, unlike regular coffee.
Decaf Coffee: Is It Good or Bad?
I’d like to talk a bit more about your personal experience of decaf coffee. And this involves talking about its pros, cons, and tips to making it better.
I’m sure you want to know if the health benefits of decaf coffee and regular coffee are the same. So here’s the catch. Whether coffee is decaf or not, it is good for you.
Coffee is linked to longer life, a healthier heart, and better brain function.
It contains antioxidants
Be it roasted, decaf, or regular, antioxidants are abundant in coffee. Cafestol, trigonelline, phenolic compounds, and quinine; these are all the antioxidants found in coffee that you didn’t already know about.
So what do these antioxidants do?
Antioxidants improve memory, regulate proper digestion and boost metabolism. The antioxidative properties of coffee (3) also balance free radical damage to cure diseases. So it’s a plus for reversing aging, reducing inflammation, and fighting memory loss.
It reduces and stabilizes glucose
A recent study done in men (4) concluded the diabetic benefits of coffee. It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by regulating glucose and insulin levels. But here’s the catch! This study actually recorded the effects of decaf coffee. And they came out positive!
So this means drinking decaf can reduce high glucose levels. It protects against diabetes by playing a hand at regulating hormones. Even better than caffeine!
It improves cognitive function
Decaf coffee has benefits across the board. It is directly linked to improving focus, memory, and boosting brain energy. Old people often deal with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
It won’t keep you awake all night
This is an important health benefit of decaf coffee. While decaf coffee does contain small traces of caffeine, it is not enough to keep you tossing and turning in bed all night. You can go through 2-3 cups a day without feeling restless. Maybe even more unless you’re sensitive to caffeine (most people are!).
And substituting caffeine for decaf can actually do you more good than harm. So your brain doesn’t receive the “caffeine kick.” It’s known that high doses of caffeine elevate blood pressure. So drinking decaf to as a dietary supplement is essential.
Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Decaf Coffee
Decaf coffee is not completely empty of caffeine. A single cup of decaf coffee contains between 0 to 7 mg of caffeine. And the amount of caffeine in regular coffee per cup is 70 to 140 mg.
While the side effects of drinking too much caffeine are insomnia and rapid heart rate. You won’t feel the effects of decaf, even if you indulge in more cups during the day. However, knowing this might help you portion your decaf coffee consumption.
Drinking too much coffee is linked to a reduction in bone density. Be it decaf, it can imbalance calcium absorption putting you at risk for osteoporosis.
You don’t need to consume high levels of caffeine to spike your cholesterol. Decaf coffee can also increase LDL cholesterol levels in the body. But this is only when you drink more than 3-5 cups of decaf coffee per day.
Drinking a lot of decaf coffee is also linked to acidity, hormonal imbalance, and anxiety. But if you regulate a healthy coffee drinking habit, you can keep these problems at bay.
Decaf and Pregnancy: It’s a Match!
If you’re in the opinion of that caffeine is bad for pregnancy. You can always opt for decaf to maintain a stress-free environment. However, there are no conclusive studies linking caffeine to miscarriage or birth defects. So it’s safe to say that indulging in regular coffee as much as decaf is totally normal.
Having said that, drinking less than 200 mg of caffeine during pregnancy is ideal. You don’t want to overdo it nor do you want to completely restrict yourself. Going cold turkey on coffee during pregnancy can cause headaches and irritability. But not to worry because that’s where the magical powers of decaf come in.
You will probably go through way too much cups of decaf coffee to reach to 200 mg. And you don’t even have to. Since a single cup of decaf contains about 0 to 7 mg of caffeine.
Is Half-Caff Coffee for You?
Half-caff coffee is when coffee is blended with regular and decaf beans. This gives birth to the most versatile blend for coffee lovers. You will experience the same taste, aroma, and acidity. And you get to cut your caffeine consumption by HALF because of it. Isn’t that great?
Keeping your caffeine intake in check can have many health benefits. And half-caff coffee allows you to do that. You still get that adrenaline rush and high brain activity, but without annoying insomnia, anxiety, or stomach distress.
You can create your own half-caff coffee at home. By using pure Arabica coffee with the best decaf coffee.
Decaffeinating coffee can be the best thing to do. It’s true that coffee is one of the healthiest beverages to drink. Even after being reduced to its caffeine-free form, it is loaded with antioxidants. So you can enjoy the benefits while eliminating its side-effects.
After all, drinking coffee is and should be a personal experience. Your response to its aroma, taste, and acidity is everything. So if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you can always opt for the best decaf coffee to go!