If you’re switching to decaf from regular coffee, you may be worried that you’ll be sacrificing flavor or aroma, but never fear – today’s top coffee producers have mastered the art of producing the same high-quality, delectable beans, grinds and blends you love – minus the caffeine.
Our top pick has to go to Kicking Horse Coffee – Whole Bean Decaf.
We love the rich, dark brew produced by these premium, oily beans, and you can’t really go wrong with coffee that has subtle hints of chocolate and hazelnuts.
We also love that Kicking Horse coffee is Fairtrade, organic and sustainable, providing you with a delicious, guilt-free, decaf cup of paradise.
You are spoiled for choice with our top 10 pick of the best decaf coffees available today – our list is brimming over with aromatic, rich, delectable beans and grinds that will make divine brews to suit even the pickiest connoisseur.
Top 10: Best Decaf Coffee Beans
Decaffeinated coffee is a great option for those who adore the aroma and taste of a fresh cup of coffee or two, but are sensitive to the jittery buzz provided by caffeine, or need to avoid it for health reasons.
Drinking decaf gives you the satisfying coffee smell and taste, without keeping you awake all night. It may also be a touch less bitter – depending on the brand – so a great choice for those who prefer their coffee just a little milder.
To be classified as decaf, coffee must have a minimum of 97 percent of the caffeine removed, meaning your six-ounce cup of coffee drops from 100-150 milligrams of caffeine to around five milligrams.
1. Cafe Don Pablo – Decaf Colombian Gourmet Coffee
Café Don Pablo Colombian Arabica coffee beans are processed using the natural Swiss water method and slow roasted in small batches to a medium-dark roast that is 99.9 percent caffeine free.
Grown and processed in Colombia, the beans are organic, and graded to ensure that every single one that reaches you in this two-pound package is high quality.
The flavor produced has hints of cocoa and caramel, along with a dash of citrus.
To ensure you get the most out of these delicious, rich beans, Café Don Pablo only roast to order, so you can grind and brew knowing that you are using the freshest possible beans to ensure a smooth, satisfying brew.
2. Koa Coffee – Swiss Decaf Coffee
Koa decaf coffee is a whole bean medium roast, loaded with great flavor and 99% caffeine free. You can grind it to your taste and enjoy it at any time of day.
This product is available in a five-pound bag, ideal for freezing and grinding whenever you need a cup of delicious, caffeine-free coffee.
Remember when decaffeinated coffee was rough on the tongue, unpleasant to the nose and generally undrinkable for true coffee fans?
Thanks to the growers and roasters of fine Hawaiian coffee from the Koa Coffee Plantation, that nasty beverage is a thing of the past.
Koa Swiss Water Decaf coffee is treated with the Swiss water bath method. Through the careful application of water, time and temperature, caffeine is extracted from the beans and flavor remains.
This is a great improvement on previous treatments that included the application of chemicals such as ethyl acetate or methylene chloride, which stripped the beans of oils, leaving a papery, dull flavor.
3. Eight O’clock Whole Bean Coffee (The Original Decaf)
Eight O’clock Original Decaf is a blend of premium Arabica coffee beans that have been medium roasted. Although not a single-origin product, the beans are sourced from top coffee-producing regions around the world.
Although some decaf coffee can have an intense burnt or bitter taste, this blend is surprisingly bright and fresh. The mouthfeel is smooth, but the medium roast provides a nice kick, without the buzz of caffeine.
Eight O’clock is a famous US brand that may be lower budget, but is still a quality everyday brew. Unlike many other decaf coffees on this list, it is decaffeinated using the solvent method, rather than the water method.
It’s also mass produced, so may lack the freshness of some of the other brands of coffee listed here which are roasted and packaged to order.
4. Volcanica – Espresso Decaf Coffee Beans
Volcanica’s espresso roast is made with dark roast Arabica beans that have been processed with the Swiss water bath method. Dark roast doesn’t have to mean bitter, but be aware that these beans offer an intense flavor.
If you gave up on decaf because it was rather flat on the tongue, this coffee can change your opinion and awaken your palate to new possibilities. These beans are aromatic and produce a lush espresso with a caramel sweetness.
You can grind these beans to any grain size and enjoy quality coffee, from espresso to French press.
A burr grinder is recommended for the best quality grind size and for a “cool” grinding process, which is less likely to overheat the oil remaining in the beans.
The stainless steel blade of a traditional grinder can change the flavor of your coffee and leave you with unpleasant coffee dust.
5. Lion Coffee – Decaf Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee
The Lion Decaf Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee is a flavored coffee blend and lightly roasted, with the added flavors of vanilla bean in the forefront and macadamia nuts as a subtle underlying taste. It comes pre-ground.
Lion Coffee has been around for well over a century, so it stands to reason that they know their craft inside out. In an island full of spectacular quality coffee, this brand by Hawaii Coffee Company was voted as Hawaii’s Best coffee in 2017 – quite the achievement!
The light roast allows the full intensity of the vanilla flavor to bloom – in fact, your mouth will be watering from the moment you open the bag and smell those rich, delectable aromas. The nutty hints are a perfect complement to this delightful blend.
This is an exceptional decaf coffee that won’t have you feeling like you’re missing out on anything.
Don’t forget that coffee, once ground, releases CO2 and can start to dry. Keep this coffee airtight and sealed in a cool storage spot to enjoy it to the last scoop!
6. Volcanica – Costa Rica Decaf Tarrazu
Volcanica offers a variety of decaf coffees, all treated with the Swiss water bath method for pure coffee taste minus the caffeine.
Their decaf Tarrazu coffee is grown high in the mountains of Costa Rica.
This shade-grown coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified. If you’re looking for a coffee that is gentle on the stomach and has been processed lightly on the earth, this beverage is an ideal choice.
The volcanic soils and moist growing conditions of Costa Rica have resulted in a lush and flavorful coffee that is rich in flavor yet low in acid.
Volcanica offers this bean in a medium roast for delicious, round flavor without any acid bite to finish the cup.
7. Roy Yamaguchi – Royal Kona Decaf
The flavor will be deeper but not bitter. There will be a hint of caramel and a bit of smokiness to your coffee, which will serve as an excellent foil for a sweet finish to your meal.
Hawaii Coffee Company offers fans of decaf coffee the chance to enjoy a proprietary blend with this Vienna Roast, developed by Chef Roy Yamaguchi.
This lush, medium to dark Vienna Roast contains 10% Kona coffee beans in combination with a blend of other beans from around the world, for a unique, delicious coffee – ideally paired with a great dessert.
Coffee experts at Hawaii Coffee Company work with the award-winning chefs of Hawaii to produce a signature decaf blend for their restaurant patrons.
Now you can serve this coffee to your guests and enjoy it any time of the day! It’s ground and ready to load into your best drip coffee maker.
8. Peet’s Coffee Decaf Major Dickason’s Blend
This Peet’s coffee blend is a dark roast which comes in a 12-ounce bag. It is pre-ground to your preferred grind size, so you can use it in whatever brew method you choose.
The Major Dickason referred to in the name is actually a loyal customer to the Peet’s Coffee brand, who introduced the idea of this blend to the company in 1969. The beans are the same blend used in the original Major D’s offering – only minus the caffeine!
The dark roast produces a deep, dark and satisfying cup of coffee, with slightly chocolatey aromas.
The taste can be described as mellow, earthy and surprisingly complex, given that it’s a decaf blend. In fact, it’s so rich and lacking in bitterness, you won’t even realize you’re drinking decaf.
9. Lavazza Gran Filtro Decaffeinato Whole Bean Coffee Blend
Here we have another blend – this time featuring whole beans rather than pre-ground coffee – served up in a 1.1-pound bag from Lavazza.
Although the beans are blended and medium-roasted in Italy, they are sourced from the highlands of Central and South America and are 100% Arabica beans.
Lavazza themselves recommend you’ll get the best aroma and taste when using these beans in a drip coffee maker or French press.
The caffeine is extracted using liquid carbon dioxide – a natural method preferable to the solvent method which uses chemicals that can strip flavor and dry out the beans.
The medium roast allows the natural flavors of the bean to shine through, with caramel, nutty and ever so slightly spicy tastes. You’ll find it a nice, smooth cup, but it may lack a little intensity for some palates.
10. Kicking Horse Coffee – Whole Bean Decaf
These Kicking Horse Coffee dark roasted whole Arabica beans are sourced from the highlands of Central and South America, and have had the caffeine extracted using the Swiss water process.
The aroma is deeply chocolatey, with a nutty twist, while the taste can be compared to roasted hazelnuts and chocolate.
For conscious consumers, Kicking Horse uses only fully certified Fairtrade coffee. It’s also certified organic, and sustainable – you can’t get much more karma-friendly coffee than that!
The beans are rich, dark and oily – quite a rare find in a decaf offering.
You’ll find the Kicking Horse Decaf blend offers a smooth and bold flavor kick, without any bitter or acidic tones.
It’s not the cheapest product on the list, but if you enjoy a dark brew with a full body and some complexity, you’ll find it worth the investment.