Drinking up to four cups of caffeinated coffee a day is perfectly healthy, but decaffeinated coffee has many benefits. It lets coffee drinkers have a late cuppa without staring at the ceiling into the wee small hours. It is also a good bet for pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with medical conditions like insomnia or high blood pressure. The process used to decaffeinate coffee also lowers beans acidity meaning that people who find the regular stuff upsets their stomach often fare much better on decaf. But decaffeinated coffee has an image problem. The very word ‘decaf’ is associated with flat, tasteless cups of mirky brew. Decaf’s inferiority is largely a myth that has its roots in history. Thanks to technological breakthroughs modern caffeine-free coffees can more than satisfy the sophisticated pallets of the even the most discerning drinkers. Below is a list of our favourite decaf varieties on the market today. For the curious, there brief description of the different ways the decaffeinated process works and how it has changed over the years can be found at the bottom of this article (or you can click here to jump straight to it).
Decadent Decaf is an outfit on a mission to change the much-maligned reputation of decaf coffee and are committed to churning out very high-quality stuff. This single origin Indonesia Sumatra is no exception. The beans are sourced from the Mandheling Province of West Sumatra and have notes of brown sugar and cocoa. It’s a well-rounded cuppa and only a pro coffee taster would be able to tell the difference between this and a normal coffee. The beans were decaffeinated using the all-natural Swiss Water method outlined below too – no nasty chemicals here. It is available through Amazon, or direct through the Decadent website (where it is actually a bit cheaper at the time of writing – plus they have free Shipping Over £35 and there’s a 10% saving if you subscribe), so good buying options too. 5 / 5 Check price at Decadent Coffee » Check price at Amazon »
These beans have had the caffeine knocked out of them using the natural C02 method explained below. They are a blend of high-quality Arabica beans from northern Peru which are certified as fair trade. They are roasted medium-dark and produce a cup with nutty, chocolatey notes that are very polished for a decaf. The blend is a versatile one and depending on how ground can be brewed up in a variety of styles including espresso, French press and pour over. 4 / 5 Check price at Amazon »
Great beans here, all sourced from hillsides in Colombia’s coffee-belt. The beans have been decaffeinated naturally using the C02 process. The coffee is very versatile and is medium roasted with a nice mellow flavour. Perhaps less impressive for those who like an espresso – but great for people who like the longer-style filter coffees and pour overs. 4 / 5 Check price at Amazon »
Produced by a family run Italian company, these chemical-free decaf beans are hand roasted on the shores of Lake Garda. The coffee is a blend of beans from Central America and that have a full-bodied cocoa-esque flavour as well as beans from Vietnam which give it an almost spicy kick. 3.5 / 5 Check price at Amazon »
This blend from Belgian outfit Pelican rouge is a versatile roast that will stand up when brewed in a variety of ways. The blend – like many others that are geared towards making a decent espresso, features a small quantity of robusta variety beans which helps it produce a thick crema. It’s a dark roast with a fairly sweet flavour, impressively full-bodied for a decaf. 3.5 / 5 Check price at Amazon »