Best Whole Bean Decaf Coffee

Decaf coffee almost never tastes anything like its fully caffeinated cousin. Why can’t decaf coffee taste every bit as good as regular coffee? By God, if I’m going to drink decaf coffee, I want the best tasting, most healthy, whole bean decaf coffee that money can buy. Let me first show you what the industrial coffee companies are trying to sell you, then I’ll show you what you should be buying.

Robusta Coffee Beans
how long does coffee really last

Stay Away From Cheap Beans

Industrial coffee companies make a vast majority of their profit from cheap very poor-quality beans that are hyped by the Wall Street marketing companies as something special. Oh, they’re special all right. They’re a special kind of horseshit.

As a side note, do you know the difference between horseshit and bullshit? You can grow stuff in bullshit, but horseshit isn’t good for anything.

Large industrial coffee companies know by experience that marketing can only go so far to fool you into buying their stuff. They also know for you to make that giant leap of faith to buy a truly high quality and expensive product, you must like and trust the supplier. That’s where industrial coffee companies fail. Because they know that you know that they’re full of horseshit. Fortunately, that leave the street wide open for small, quality conscious, roasters like me, but more on that later.

Stay Away From Chemicals

Nearly all of the industrial coffee companies make decaf coffee using some pretty nasty solvent chemicals, which are very similar to formaldehyde. Why on earth would industrial coffee companies use chemicals to decaffeinate coffee?

That’s a good question, but one that’s not too hard to figure out. It all comes down to two factors. The first has to do with money. Industrial coffee companies, e.g., Charbucks, Yuban, Folgers, Kirkland, Hills Brothers, BRCC, etc., are motived by one thing only and that’s their bottom line. So, cost is the driving factor.

The second factor has to do with industrial coffee companies knowing that most American coffee drinkers don’t care what their coffee tastes like. Case in point, McDonalds wouldn’t be the biggest hamburger joint in the world, or Charbucks the biggest coffee shop in the world, if most people really wanted quality.

Experiment with coffee
Photo_BeansInRoaster_BestDarkRoastCoffee (1)

Stay Away From Burnt Coffee

As stated above, most decaf coffee has been so chemically tortured, it tastes like a chemical plant’s overflow pond. To mask this chemical taste, every industrial coffee company that I’ve come across burns the living snot out of their beans. Let’s face it, if the beans are burnt to a crisp, you’re not as likely to taste the chemicals.

French Coast, Italian Roast, City Roast, Continental Roast, and their like are nothing more than different shades of burnt. Truly, what’s left over after burning is little more than charcoal. That being the case, you might as well buy a bag of Kingsford charcoal.

And it's not just the large industrial coffee companies like Charbucks, Thomas Hammer, BRCC, Hills Brothers, Folgers, etc. Even small batch local coffee roasters, who's goal is to be the next Charbucks, they too are trying to emulate Charbucks and unnecessarily burn the snot out of their beans. Crazy!

Stay Away From Old & Stale Coffee

Here’s a little-known fact. All coffee starts going stale, and thus bitter, in just a matter of a few short days once exposed to oxygen. Unfortunately, a vast majority of coffee sold in the US, especially decaf coffee, has been sitting in warehouses and on store shelves for months if not years. No wonder it tastes bitter and burnt.

Another falsehood that large industrial coffee companies like to play on consumers is that they install “supposed” one-way valves in their coffee bags. Cute idea. Too bad it doesn’t work. For a detailed analysis of these faulty one-way valves, see these articles:

How to keep coffee fresh

Why is my coffee bag puffed up like a balloon?

Can I freeze my coffee beans?

strong coffee
Dog Howeling Coffee

Stay Away From Pre-ground Coffee

Inside coffee beans are oils. These oils contain bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, flavor, and aroma.

When a company pre-grinds their beans, those beans loose much of their oils, much quicker than whole bean coffee. Without those oils your coffee will taste more like charcoal than it does coffee.

Always buy whole bean decaf coffee and only grind it right before using it.

Best Whole Bean Decaf Coffee

Close to 97% of all coffee companies never taste test the beans that they buy. On rare occasion a small local roaster will taste test two or three beans. On the other hand, each year, Alisha and I taste test two dozen of the best and most expensive beans that money can buy.

After nearly a decade of coffee roasting, I’ve found that the most consistently smooth and flavorful coffees come from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. That means that we source 100% of our beans, every year, from this region.

I’ll put Costa Rica's coffee up against any coffee in the world including Hawaii’s Kona Coffee. Click Here to see the article and video “Kona Coffee vs. Costa Rican”.

Costa Rican Coffee Picker
Swiss Water Processed Decaf Coffee

Swiss Water Processed Decaf

The magic in coffee resides in its oils. Those oils contain all of the coffee bean’s bioflavonoids, antioxidants, flavor, and aroma. Destroy those oils and there’s nothing left worth drinking.

Our decaf coffee doesn’t use any chemicals. To decaffeinate our coffee, we use 100% pure water. Using pure mountain water that’s naturally filtered, our Tarrazu Region Costa Rican green beans are soaked in seven pure water baths. The water is then put through a reverse osmosis to remove the caffeine. The beans are then reintroduced to the same water to put the oils back into the beans.

The results are amazing. Sure it’s more expensive for us to do decaffeinate our beans this way, but we think it’s worth it.

Gently Roasted

Unlike our competition, we feel that the decaf beans have already been through enough manipulation. Therefore, they deserve to be “gently” roasted, low-n-slow, which is exactly what I do with our decaf coffee. This method preserves more of the bean’s natural oils.

Instead of burning our decaf beans, I intentionally roast our decaf beans to a dark brown. Again, I do this to preserve the oils within the bean. In fact, I often play a trick on my house guests, making them decaf coffee, but not telling them. After they’ve raved about how good the coffee is, I tell them it’s decaf. They’re blown away!

Russell Roasting Decaf Coffee
fresh roasted coffee

Fresh Roasted

We roast and ship every Tuesday morning. In fact, the beans are so fresh, that they’re still warm when I put them into you shipping box. Most orders are delivered fresh from our roaster to your table in 24-72 hours.

If you order 3 bags, so you get free shipping, then you want that 3rd bag to taste as fresh as the first bag. How can you do that? After months of experimenting, I found a real cool trick that will in fact make your 3rd bag of coffee taste darn near as good as your first bag.

Oxygen is the enemy of freshness. Get rid of the oxygen and most dry foods, like coffee, will last for months if not years. That's why we put an oxygen absorber into the bottom of each bag of coffee. In fact, we are the only company that I'm aware of that does this. These oxygen absorbers make a huge difference in taste. For more details on preserving your beans, read my article "How To Keep Roasted Coffee Fresh".

Lake City Coffee

What makes Lake City Coffee different? First, Lake City Coffee is a small family run business. Although unusual for our industry, our close communication and friendship with our customers is what we do best. Our coffee is great, but our friendships are even better.

Additionally, if you’re looking for some of the best coffee that you’re likely to find anywhere, AND have fun people to work with, then you’ll love checking out our coffee, our business, and us.

Russell and Alisha Volz
Lake City Coffee

"From Our Roaster to Your Table in 24-72 Hours"