How to Make The Best Decaf Cold Brew Coffee

My Mama is from Kentucky and on a hot summer night, she just loves her sweet tea. If there was ever a comfort food to relax with after a hard day, this would be it. Yet, the rest of our great country has discovered Decaf Cold Brew Coffee.

Yep, making your own Cold Brew Decaf Coffee is simple, fast, and is one of the best comfort foods that you're likely to ever find. In this article, I (Russell) will tell you exactly how to make the smoothest decaf cold brew coffee on Earth.

What Is Cold Brew Coffee?

Cold brew decaf coffeeMy favorite coffee brewing methods mix together the water and coffee grounds and allow them to steep (like tea) for a period of time. My favorite brewing methods that allow this steeping of the coffee grounds include the French Press, the AeroPress, and of course Cold Brew.

There are over 100 compounds in coffee, each having its own flavor. I prefer my coffee to be smooth as silk, i.e. no bitter flavor, therefore I want only the non-bitter compounds to steep from the coffee grounds. This is easily accomplished with a course grind and cold water. Heat will draw out more flavor, but it will also draw out compounds with considerable bitter flavors as well. This is why cold brew is one of my favorite go-to brewing methods.

Couple in sailboatHow Are Decaf Coffee Beans Different?

Since we are discussing decaf coffee, it makes sense to understand that decaf coffee has typically been a very different coffee than regular coffee. This is not true with my coffee beans, but understand that not just any decaf coffee will suffice.

Typical Industrial Coffee Companies

Typically, decaf coffee is regular coffee beans that have been decaffeinated using solvent chemicals similar to formaldehyde. Yes, that would be the same chemical that morticians use to preserve dead people before burying. Not very pleasant sounding is it? If you care about what goes into your body, then this would not be a good choice. Also, if you care what your decaf coffee tastes like, again this is not a good choice for decaf. Yet, well over 90% of all decaf coffee is decaffeinated in this way.

Swiss Water Processed

Fortunately, there are alternatives for decaffeination. We utilize the 100% natural Swiss Water Process to decaffeinate our coffee. We use zero chemicals. Just 100% pure water. This process is more expensive to us, but it's worth every dollar. Not only do we end up with a chemical free decaf coffee, but the flavor is almost indistinguishable from our regular Majestic Medium roasted coffee.

Costa Rican Beans

Costa Rica pickingHere at Lake City Coffee, I source 100% of our beans from Costa Rica. Why? I drink and roast only coffee that's smooth enough (not bitter) that I can actually taste both the prominent and subtle flavors that God has put into these beans.

I have taste testing hundreds and hundreds of coffee beans. In my humble opinion, the smoothest coffee beans generally come from Central America. I also believe that the smoothest beans in Central America come from Costa Rica. Lastly, the smoothest beans in Costa Rica come from the Tarrazu region.

The Tarrazu region of Costa Rica is where we taste test 20-25 different beans each year. Our goal is to select the smoothest and most flavorful beans. This is also where our Swiss Water Processed decaf beans originate.

How Should Decaf Coffee Beans Be Roasted?

Russell Roasting Russell Roasting

All large industrial coffee companies, even the small independent roasters, burn the snot out of their decaf beans. Why? First of all, they're buying cheap beans and if they burn the beans, then you'll never know that their beans are inferior. Secondly, these companies burn their decaf beans because they're using chemical laced beans, which taste nasty. By burning these beans, you'll never know that the beans contain bad chemicals.

Since I'm sourcing all natural beans, with no chemicals, there's no logical reason to burn the beans. In fact there's every reason that even Swiss Water Processed decaf beans should be medium roasted. Even though these decaf beans have been processed using water, they've still been through a lot. I therefore believe that to get the most out of these beans, they should be "gently" roasted.

That's why I roast them so they'll taste as close as possible to our regular Majestic Medium. Go to our Reviews page and you'll find that we get as many 5 star reviews for our Delicious Decaf as we do all our other roasts combined.

Fresh Roast Is The Key

Woman winking while drinking coffeeThe difference in taste between old stale and fresh roast is like the difference between Boon's Farm and a fine world-class French Bordeaux. That's because all coffee starts going stale as soon as it is roasted. You can easily tell the difference between 1 day old roasted coffee and 1 month old roasted coffee. Go out 2 or more months after roasting and the coffee turns so bitter, that it's not worth drinking.

And sadly, no amount of space-age packaging technology can retain coffee's freshness. Here's a sad fact. Well over 90% of all roasted coffee in the U.S. has been sitting in warehouses and on store shelves for months if not years. No wonder U.S. coffee has a reputation for being one of the worst in the world.

Obviously, the key is this. The fresher the roast, the better the coffee. The difference is very very noticeable. That's why we roast and ship our coffee the same day.

How To Make Decaf Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee in mason jarCold brew coffee is about the simplest and fastest brewing technique known to man.

What You Need:

  • 1 Quart Mason/Ball Jar
  • Swiss Water Processed Coffee Beans
  • Medium Roasted Coffee Beans that were roasted less than 30 days ago
  • 1/4 - 1/3 Cup Course ground coffee
  • Water (Preferably Filtered)
  • Refrigerator (Optional)
  • Strainer or Coffee Filter

What To Do:

  1. Grind your coffee
  2. Toss the grounds into your jar
  3. Add water
  4. Put lid on jar
  5. Shake
  6. Put jar in refrigerator (optional)
  7. Let jar sit in refrigerator or on counter for 8-12 hours (how long is totally up to you)
  8. Strain the coffee grounds out.
  9. Drink & Enjoy.

Experiment - Cold Brew Decaf Coffee

For me, the key, as in all coffee brewing, is to experiment. Any time that I change even the slightest variable, it can make the difference between OK and Great coffee. I've found that how you grind your coffee is probably the most important variable.

I suggest that you experiment with how course or fine you grind. Experiment with how much grounds. If the coffee isn't strong enough for you, try more grounds, that are slightly finer, and let the coffee steep longer.

Russell and Alisha Russell and Alisha

Lake City Coffee

Alisha, my wonderful wife, and I started Lake City Coffee for the sole purpose of providing our customers with the smoothest home brewed coffee experience of their lives. And by looking at our reviews, it's obvious that we've succeeded.

We hope that you've enjoyed this article and we hope that you'll give our coffee a try. It's truly amazing, but then again, I roast what I like. So, you'd be the best judge of our coffee's success for you.

whole bean decaf coffee


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