Within the global coffee community, there's a word that is guaranteed to solicit smirks and looks of deep disapproval. That word is “decaf“. Decaf coffee drinkers are often regarded as sub par coffee drinkers, a statement to which I personally take exception. To these folks, the term best decaf coffee is at best an oxymoron. The reason for this is that decaf coffee has a reputation of being watered down due to the process it must undergoes to remove the caffeine. Coffee beans are naturally caffeinated and some regular coffee drinkers go so far as to say that removing caffeine is an unnatural process that should be abandoned.
Brief Decaf History
Since 1903, coffee entrepreneurs have been inventing better ways to decaffeinated coffee beans with minimal impact on flavor and potency. While the first attempts at decaffeinating coffee were less than impressive, today the decaf community has been blessed with innovative decaffeinating techniques that have afforded them equal bragging rights. For example, the Swiss Water Decaf process which uses solely water and osmosis to remove caffeine, is a highly effective and eco-friendly method of removing caffeine from coffee beans. This is just one of many different methods that have been developed over the last century. Such advances have ushered in a new decaf coffee landscape that now offers a wealth of far more legitimate options than ever.
Here at Best Quality Coffee, we've identified some of the best decaf coffee blends (including best decaf K cups® ) that are excellent and tasteful alternatives to their caffeinated counterparts. These best decaf coffee blends were selected based on a number of criteria from richness, body, depth, complexity of flavor, and ultimate, how true it remains to its caffeinated counterpart.
Best Decaf K cups®
Peet's Decaf House Blend K cups®
Anyone who is familiar with the bodied and pleasantly smoky flavor of Peet's House Blend will be happy to hear that their decaffeinated version is just as enjoyable. There are no signs of being watered down and the bold flavor that's so often associated with Peet's is in equally full force. Their house blend has a very crisp finish that serves as a distinct accent to a very bold dark roast. And the exact same can be said of their decaf version which is why it's no surprise that Peet's decaf House Blend made it onto our best decaf k cup list.
Maud's Coffee Decaf Tall Dark and Handsome Dark Roast K cups®
Last but not least on our best decaf coffee list is Maud's Coffee Tall Dark and Handsome K cups® . This is a tasty brew that contains all the body and flavorful richness you'd expect in a dark roast. There's a smoothness to it that's reminiscent of Gevalia's decaf blend. Maud's Coffee also has a decaf offering in a medium roast that's appropriately named “Mellow Mood”. It's smooth and particularly well-balanced. Check out our full Maud's Coffee Decaf review on these two decaf blends for more details.
Best Decaf Coffee (Ground / Whole Bean)
At the top of our list is a brand that needs no introduction especially to those who are true coffee connoisseurs. Koa Coffee is the world's renown coffee brand for kona coffee, long considered some of the best coffee in the world. Their decaf kona blend uses the Swiss water decaf method and as a result, retains its impeccable richness and flavor. Make no mistake. This is premium gourmet coffee at its finest and simply some of the best decaf coffee on the market. You can definitely expect to get what you pay for with Koa's Swiss Decaf Coffee.
Herkimer Coffee Decaf
Depending on the type of coffee circles you run in, you may or may not know about Herkimer Coffee. Herkimer Coffee's decaf blend boldly counters the stereotypes that decaf coffee has lived with over the years. If you want to know what “quality decaf” tastes like, then Herkimer Coffee will fulfill your urge for true coffee flavor without caffeine. It's full of sweet candied orange and caramel notes that do a marvelous job of making you forget you're drinking decaf.
Next on our list is Caffeic Coffee, a Third Wave roaster based in Helena, MT. Having sampled many of their caffeinated offerings, we weren't the least surprised to discover that their decaf blend was equally impressive. This blend is made of Guatemalan beans and offers a very wide range of complex flavors with a muted acidity. Often times with even the best decaf coffees on the market, they can still lack variety within the flavor spectrum. That's certainly not the case with Caffeic's decaf blend which is why it makes our list.
Contrary to what some hard core coffee drinkers say, quality decaf blends really do exist, although they're not always the easiest to find. To illustrate, simply go to a Walmart or grocery store and take note of the selection or lack there of. You might notice that of all the available coffee brands in the aisle, only 5-10% of them are decaf. And that's if you're lucky. I've personally found myself scanning coffee boxes for far too long looking for that small green label that's become the iconic marker for decaf coffee. The above list only includes some of the best decaf K cups® and coffee available and there are certainly many more out there. Check out our full list of decaf coffee options and happy decaf coffee drinking to all!