I get asked all the time.
And my response is always cautious. The question is way too subjective, and there’s about 20 different brewing variables that will impact how any one coffee will behave. But if you want to know what I think is the best decaf available, I will. But you need to tell me yours.
What makes a great decaf coffee? Well, I think some decafs have a processed taste, like the bean has been also sucked dry of flavor as well as caffeine. I look for a coffee that has a full, complex flavor. I like something that satisfies not only my tastebuds but SMELLS good too …. in the bag and also in the cup. I like something that relies on the bean characteristics rather than the sheer darkness of the roast to transmit taste to me. Again, it’s the quality of the bean and the method of caffeine extraction that makes the difference.
My choice for best decaf coffee that’s widely available is:
Peet’s Coffee, “Major Dickason’s Blend -Decaf”
You can find this in many supermarkets or gourmet markets. You can buy it directly from Alfred Peet’s company for 15.95 a pound. It has what it takes to be considered an all-world cup of decaf joe: full and rich, not a whole lot of unwanted roast characteristics, works for the nose as well as the tongue, and doesn’t have that nasty “I’ve-been-messed-with” over-processed quality that cheaper decafs have (think -“Sanka”).
That’s what I think. I’ll always like this particular blend, but I can be convinced that the crown should go elsewhere. Tell me what your favorite is and I’ll give it a spin here on the blog.