Atlas Coffee Club is a popular coffee subscription service best known for its incredibly diverse selection of top shelf coffees from around the world. But there's a hidden gem within this coffee subscription service that many coffee lovers may not realize. They also offer a selection of specialty decaf coffee. But how is their decaf and how does it compare to their caffeinated offerings? In the following article, we'll take a closer look to see if it's worth your hard-earned coffee dollars.
As an eager coffee aficionado, I'm also cognizant of my caffeine intake. Part of my caution in having too much caffeine on a regular basis comes from personal experience of watching my wife (Mrs. Pedro). I've listened to her headache complaints resulting from missing one of her three morning cups of coffee. I'm also keenly aware of what drinking a deep, rich brew in the evening might do to my sleep patterns. So I’ve recently decided to explore the world of specialty decaf coffee and who better to turn to than the experts at Atlas Coffee Club.
I am no stranger to Atlas Coffee Club (see my previous Atlas Coffee review). As mentioned at the start of this article, they are a coffee subscription service providing exceptional beans from around the world. Speaking from personal experience, I can say that Atlas is really a first-class coffee company that knows how to consistently source quality, roast the finest flavors, and deliver the freshest coffee possible. So I was very excited to get my hands on one of their decaf offerings from the Calca region of Peru. This Peruvian variety is medium roast roasted to perfection. When I say perfection I mean that it's dark enough to give off great aroma, but light enough to maintain its tasting notes of cantaloupe and almond butter. It's roasted to optimize the expression of this coffee's natural flavors.
How is this Coffee Decaffeinated?
We coffee drinkers are well-aware of the negative stereotypes associated with decaf. The thought of decaf often brings to mind adjectives like diluted and flavorless. However, this specialty decaf coffee defies such stereotypes in every way possible.
Decaffeination methods have advanced over the years with the Swiss Water Process being one of the most common when it comes to specialty decaf coffee. However, despite these advancements, many decaf offerings still end up producing a flatter flavor than their caffeinated counterparts. And so we arrive at the Sugar Cane Ethyl Acetate processing which is known for effectively preserving the flavor of a given coffee. This is the method that Atlas Coffee Club has selected for its specialty decaf coffee and it pays off in more ways than one.
According to Atlas Coffee Club, “Ethyl Acetate (E.A) is the same naturally occurring compound found in wine, beer, fruit, and vegetables. Made by fermenting the molasses of sugarcane, this method is known as the natural process and produces a full-bodied cup with mild acidity.”
Specialty Decaf Coffee Review – Peruvian Coffee
In doing this specialty decaf coffee review, I was reminded of how our taste preferences can change with the seasons. Certain beverages taste are a perfect for the fall and winter while others are a better fit for hot sunny days.
I’ve always been one to enjoy coffee any time of the day. But there's just something about a savory evening cup to enhance conversation with friends or wind down alone with a good book. Yet, on a hot summer evening that hot cup of coffee just doesn’t seem fitting for me. An iced Atlas Coffee's Decaf Peruvian brew fulfilled my coffee craving and matched the weather just right.
Right after I received my shipment of Atlas Peru Decaf, the Big Sky country (Montana) experienced record heat. Several days of 90 plus degree weather melted mountain snow and turned the shades of local vegetation from dormant browns to lush greens. There's simply nothing like an refreshing iced coffee on a hot summer evening. And for the record, I'm not talking some sugary syrup concoction that only slightly mimics real coffee. I'm talking about a finely roasted bean, brewed just right over ice with a splash of almond milk. I need something robust enough where the ice and milk only lightly diminish the coffee flavors I am looking for.
This Peruvian bean, which was roasted just past medium, fit the bill perfectly and delivered a coffee experience that was full-flavored, robust, and very balanced.
One of the great things about Atlas Coffee Club is how simple their process for ordering coffee is. All you have to do is choose your roasting preference (or select variety), pick whole bean or desired level of grind, and Atlas does the rest. They source literally the highest quality beans from around the world and this fact is something you will taste when you take your first sip. I recognize from the plethora of coffees I've had the privilege of tasting that the highest quality beans often come from single origin, relatively small farms, where they are picked at peak ripeness then roasted and shipped with a focus on freshness. It just so happens, Atlas Coffee Club follows these criteria to the letter.
My nightly iced coffee has caught the eye of everyone in my family. Considering Atlas provided an excellent roast in decaf, I openly shared it with the kids. Albeit, their coffee resembled more of a sweet treat as it featured a scoop of ice cream, splash of almond milk and this fantastic full-flavored Peruvian bean. Atlas Coffee has surely made the kids coffee drinkers for life! And it’s decaf!
For iced coffee I generally brew it stronger. There is an obvious risk if you are using an average coffee. Not following a careful ratio of grounds and water can lead to bitterness, sourness, and a host of undesirable outcomes. When you are using an expertly roasted, high quality bean like this one from Atlas, there is much less risk of this happening. In fact, I took the time to experiment with my ratios and often found different flavors hidden in those brewing adjustments.
For the record, I also brewed this Atlas Peruvian bean variety with both my pour-over and drip machine. I found the flavors to be fantastic as well. This bean was as good if not better hot than cold. It just so happened that the hot summer day advocated for an iced drink and Atlas was sure to comply.
In closing this specialty decaf coffee review, I can say that Atlas puts as much care into their decaf offerings as they do their main caffeinated brews. They prove to be an excellent option for any coffee snob or connoisseur looking to enjoy a multi-sensory coffee experience without the caffeine. Thanks Atlas!