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Jun 20, 2008 11:39 PM

Best decaf coffee?

What's your opinion of the best deacaffinated coffee? Not a dark roast like Italian or Viennese, but a medium brown, full-bodied taste as good as regular coffee. Is it Zabars or something like Melitta or Dunkin Doughtnuts? Open to all of your suggestions.

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  1. are you looking for something to pick up while shopping for groceries? or are you willing to mail order?

    I like Maverick's from Visalia CA; their Midnight Ride Decaf is the best I've had from many small roasters, local and far-flung. They roast in small batches and ship freshly roasted. They seem to understand someone wanting a full-flavored decaf.

    2 Replies
    1. re: toodie jane

      I went to Maverick's website with the intention of ordering the Midnight Ride decaf you recommended. I didn't have a problem with the coffee being $13.95, which seemed fair enough, but the cheapest shipping they offered was $7.50, making a pound of coffee $21.45. I just couldn't do it. I was prepared to spend about $15. Just couldn't make myself spend that much. Do you know if they ever run any free shipping promos?

      1. re: stephanieh

        Nope, don't know, but I'd doubt it.

        This IS the trouble with every good out-of-the-area coffee I've found. Maverick's mails the day they roast, and send it 2nd day air. (I'm about 100 miles away and got it the next day.For this reason, I'd order on Monday or Tues)

    2. For me, in San Francisco, it's Peet's Major Dickason's Decaf. In San Francisco or Los Angeles, Graffeo stores tout their chemical free decaffination process. Neither place overroasts their coffee (I too generally dislike French roast)

      I think your best local coffee shop would be the place to go for a decaf that doesn't taste like decaf.

      And it's not quite decaf, but I mail ordered some Community Coffee from Louisianna. It has chicory in it, so it's only about half the caffeine. It's smooth, full bodied, with a sweet light aftertaste. I haven't tried decaf yet, but it's only about $5/lb.

      1. Over the last six years or so, I did a lot of my own "taste-testing". I went through every decaf Gevalia offered, then every decaf in my supermarket, at World Market, and at one of our larger local specialty stores. One day, when I didn't have time to go to a different store, and it was a new one on the shelf, I picked up Dunkin Donuts decaf. It's now my favorite after all I've tried. Before that, I'd have said the Mocca Java decaf at Gevalia.

        Coffee is just really personal. I hate Starbucks coffees because they all seem over-roasted to me, but they work pretty well in those yummy frou frou drinks with whipped cream. My taste for a cup o' coffee would be something pretty full bodied, but not overly roasted, with some acidity. And then there's just some extra flavor about it I just can't put my finger on. If I try to describe it, I'll end up sounding pretentious and you still won't know what I mean.

        If you're going to try some, keep in mind that your brain gets accustomed to what coffee "should" taste like based on what you're drinking now. So, if you try a new one that tastes "odd", keep drinking that one for a few days until your brain catches up to your taste buds and then determine if you still don't like it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stephanieh

          Last time I went for Dunkin Decaf, my store was out, so I bought Newman's Own Decaf. It's actually got a really good flavor, and isn't over-roasted. My only issue with it is that it's a little more chalky or tannic than I'd like. I'll probably go back to Dunkin Decaf, assuming they can keep it stocked.

        2. I love my Starbucks but on the weekends I like to drink a whole pot which makes me shake. So I usually cut it with 1/3 decaf. I have tried various decaf combos. Just yesterday, I bought the Seattle's Best decaf and it is not good in combination with the dark roast Starbucks - a little too bitter. I actually only drank one cup.

          But I will try it on its own before I throw the whole pack.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pengcast

            I get the decaf Komodo Dragon and I get it done in the french press. It's fantastic.


            1. re: Davwud

              Good call. When I've got to go the decaf route, I'll most often look for something that's either 100% Sumatran or a blend with high Sumatran content. While high-test Sumatrans are not my fave, seems that the decaf processing seems to impart less off tastes to Sumatran beans than to others I've tried, at least from roasters I trust for quality. I've had a Sumatran decaf from Intelligentsia last year that could easily have passed for non-decaf in blind tastings, which was mostly from Komodo Dragon.

          2. I'm a Starbucks junkie, but I love Dunkin Donuts decaf.