From our friends at HeyPumpkin:
Full disclosure: I am a regular coffee drinker, through and through. My day can’t start without a cup (or three) of coffee.
Even still, there’s something to be said for a good cup of decaf. Not everyone can drink caffeine, and not everyone wants to. Besides, I will literally drink coffee all day, so decaf is a good option if I want to get a good night’s sleep.
We all need our beauty rest, right?
In any case, I had a friend (and decaf drinker) mention that it’s hard to find a decent decaf because everyone apparently equates decaf with flavorless coffee. She gave me a few good suggestions on decaf coffees to try and sent me on my way.
I made it my mission to sample several different cups of decaf. I put together my best picks for decaf coffee that doesn’t taste like water.
Best Overall: Jo Coffee No Fun Jo Decaf
At first sip, my first reaction was, “This is hotel coffee.”
Okay, that sounds bad — it’s not. What I meant is that this is a good overall coffee that could please a variety of palettes. It’s not too dark and it’s not too light. It hits that great middle-ground while still boasting a wonderful, complex flavor with hints of chocolate. In other words, it just tastes like a good cup of coffee.
It comes as a bag of whole beans, which means you wind up with an even better taste. The key to fresher and more flavorful coffee is grinding coffee beans yourself! Jo Coffee also uses the Swiss Water process to decaffeinate their coffee, leaving the beans with a more natural, complex flavor.
As an added bonus, this coffee is Fair Trade certified, kosher certified, and USDA certified organic — so you know you’re getting a great cup of guilt-free coffee that doesn’t come with any extra baggage.
Best Dark Roast: Peet’s Coffee Decaf Major Dickason’s Blend
Regular coffee drinkers seem to assume that decaf doesn’t taste like anything, but Peet’s Decaf Major Dickason’s Blend is here to prove everyone wrong. In fact, it’s made with the exact same premium beans as the original (aka caffeinated) Major Dickason’s Blend; they just decaffeinate it. That means it still has that rich, flavorful taste without the jitters.
Pick this decaf if you’re jonesin’ for a really dark roast with a bold, smoky flavor.
Although this coffee came already ground, Peet’s marks their bags with a roast date so you know exactly when it was roasted and bagged. It’s a great way to ensure you’re not drinking stale coffee and helpful in the event you don’t have a coffee grinder or have no interest in dealing with whole beans. You can also pick up whole bean and K-cup varieties, too.
Best Instant: Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Decaf Coffee
I’m not a huge fan of instant coffee in general, but it’s a good option to have if you’re traveling, going camping, you live in a dorm, or you don’t drink coffee enough to warrant buying a coffee maker.
At first, I found Mount Hagen’s Instant Decaf Coffee a little bitter — but that’s because I put too much of the freeze-dried coffee in my water. Oops. It’s instant, so you can adjust the strength to your taste, and I adjusted too much the first time.
This decaf is definitely not weak or watered-down tasting. It is bold and well-balanced, with a nutty undertone. Mount Hagen only uses water and the carbon dioxide found in coffee berries to extract the caffeine, so the process preserves the depth and aroma of the coffee.
This instant coffee is organic and Fair Trade certified, making Mount Hagen the first instant coffee producer to do so. You can enjoy your coffee without worrying about where it came from… and without waiting for a coffee maker to finish brewing.