Coffee is one of the most popular drinks of this world; millions of people can’t even start the day without a fresh brew of this liquid gold; they need their daily caffeine hit.
But when it comes to decaf coffee, just the thought of drinking this version it’s a sacrilege for most coffee lovers, mainly due to its off and light flavor.
To make great-tasting decaf coffee, use high quality decaf beans. You need to store the beans in an airtight container and place it in a dry, cool, and dark place. Fresh ground coffee is always better, so use a grinder. For the preparation, use freshwater; pour it between 90°C and 96°C.
A more straightforward way to make decaf coffee taste better is by choosing a different variety and roast or mixing it to create other drinks.
But before getting into some delicious recipes, let’s talk about the reason for decaf coffee tasting a little off, what it tastes like, among other exciting details about decaf coffee.
What is decaf coffee anyway?
Decaf coffee is like a lighter version of regular coffee. It has a more subtle flavor that has gone through the decaf process. Caffeine content is also reduced through a solvent process before roasting the beans.
According to a review released in October 2017 about coffee consumption and health, decaf coffee and caffeinated coffee compositions are mostly the same; the main difference is the quantity of caffeine in each.
Why does decaffeinated coffee taste so bad?
We cannot say for sure that decaf coffee tastes terrible. As mentioned before, some brands have pretty good options that people find to be acceptable.
But the process to remove the caffeine might be the reason for the off-flavor decaf coffee has. The decaffeination process might dilute some of the flavors from the beans.
Does decaf coffee have flavor? Yes, it might be mild, but the flavor is still there. Of course, it will also depend on the roast and brand. But, does decaf coffee taste bitter? Like regular coffee, decaf is bitter and has some acidity but is lighter.
How much caffeine does decaf coffee have?
Although decaf coffee is not entirely caffeine-free, it contains substantially less caffeine than regular coffee.
According to the FDA, an 8 ounces cup of ordinary coffee generally contains 80–100 mg of caffeine. In comparison, 8 ounces of decaf coffee contains just 2 milligrams of caffeine.
These quantities may vary depending on some factors like brand and the type of beans, but most decaf coffee brands presume to be between 97% and 99% caffeine-free.
Most manufacturers use water mixed with some chemicals to soak the beans before the roasting process. Caffeine is a water-soluble substance, but it is not recommended to use just water because it might remove other components like sugar and protein from the beans.
These other chemicals are used to help speed up the decaffeination process and also helps to minimize the loss of other non-caffeine components considerably. Some of these chemicals are:
● Activated charcoal
● Ethyl acetate
● Methylene chloride
● Supercritical carbon dioxide
Brands with less caffeine
Instead of looking for a brand itself, try to read the labels and look for the solvent process; you would like to get a decaf coffee with the Swiss Water Decaf Process.
This process is certified to get the coffee beans 99.9% caffeine-free and decaffeinates the beans just using water with no chemicals added.
Is decaf coffee a good thing for you?
Decaf coffee is safe and has the same benefits regular coffee has, minus the caffeine. In addition, the residues left after the solvent process are very low and have a really low boiling point, meaning they evaporate quickly in the roasting process. Plus, none of the methods are harmful.
Consuming decaf coffee has some benefits. Besides the ones regular coffee has, like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, they have two majors benefits:
● Less caffeine for the intolerants. Some people cannot consume caffeine, which is a bummer for those who love to get that delicious morning cup of coffee. However, they can switch to decaf coffee to get the delicious taste of the drink. As decaf coffee is not entirely free of caffeine, people will still get some caffeine boost.
● Drinking coffee even before bed. For those addicted to coffee, the lack of caffeine is a significant benefit as it won’t be messing with their health. So, drinking a cup of coffee any time of the day, even late at night, won’t compromise their health, sleep, and nervous system.
Best decaf coffee brands in the market
We told you brands are an essential thing when choosing a good decaf coffee. So here we give you a list of the best decaf coffees out there.
- The Best Healthy & Organic: LifeBoost Organic Decaf Medium Roast
- Full of Flavor: Koa Coffee Swiss Water Decaf
- Best Blend: Volcanica House Blend Decaf Coffee
- Good Value: Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast Coffee
- Organic: Jo Coffee No Fun Jo Decaf
- Light Roast Beans: Cafe Don Pablo Light Roast Decaf
- Budget: Seattle’s Best Coffee Decaf Portside Blend
- High-End: Volcanica Coffee Company House Decaf Coffee
- Instant Coffee: Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaf Coffee
- Pods for Coffee Machines: The Original Donut Shop Decaf Medium Roast K-Cup Pods
- Medium Roast: Koffee Kult Colombian Decaf Coffee
- Dark Roast: Peet’s Coffee Decaf Major Dickason’s Blend
- Best on Amazon: Coffee Bros. Decaf Roast Coffee
What can you add to decaf coffee? A few recipes to try
Decaf coffee can be used just like its regular version, so there are fun recipes out there to try out that are more than just adding milk, cinnamon, or plain ice cubes. So here you have six recipes simple, delicious, and fast to make, to try out next time:
This coffee drink is a perfect option when summer hits. This recipe is delicious and straightforward, and you can make it in one minute or two if using instant coffee.
A year ago, Dalgona Coffee was a boom; everyone was making that creamy inverted cappuccino. Here you have a decaf version of this trendy drink.
You can also try a fancier version of the first recipe. This one uses a cold brew method which takes time, but it’s a delicious option for the hot temperatures of summer.
If you want to hit the night up with some coffee flavor and some buzzing fun, here are some recipes to try out. Of course, you could use regular coffee also, but it is recommended to use decaf for the night drinks.
This one is kind of like an elevated decaf coffee. This recipe has unique ingredients that are pretty good for your health.
Yes, you can make ice cream with decaf coffee. For this one, you need an ice cream maker. BUT, if you know another method of making creamy ice cream, you can try that out or even make some popsicles.
Decaf coffee shouldn’t be something to hate or be afraid of. These days, many options in the market are good and taste similar to regular coffee. You just need to look for high-quality brands and look for the preferred roast and the decaffeination process.
Decaf coffee has proven to be suitable for people who suffer from insomnia and people sensitive to caffeine.
Also, there are ways to make decaf coffee more fun by making different beverages and cocktails, even ice cream and other desserts. So, don’t be afraid to try out decaf coffee on your next dish or drink.