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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.

            1. If you have a Whole Foods Market, try their Mexican decaf. Or Sumatra decaf. The store near me roasts the beans right there and best of all, you can buy as much or as little as you want (cost is per pound) so you can try several different ones to see which your favorites are.
              In addition to their bulk beans, they also sell lots of other brands of pre-packaged beans. I like Rao's and Terrior of those, but find myself preferring the just-roasted bulk beans the best.

              1. We used to drink Starbuck's Light Note Decaf exclusively. When they discontinued that, we tried all the other Starbucks decafs---all were much too charred for our taste. Finally found Trader Joe's "Smooth and really Mellow" decaf---it's great! And it costs about 1/2 what Starbucks is getting for their decafs.
                If you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby, try Eight O'Clock decaf (green bag). It's surprisingly good.

                1. I gave up caffeine several years ago, and now drink only decaf (I know, it still has caffeine in it, but doesn't trigger migraines for me). I drink my coffee black, so I save the "dark roasted" brands for frou-frou lattes or iced coffee (which I do put milk and sugar in, go figure). The brands I have found here on the west coast to my taste are Illy (often at higher end grocery stores) and Graffeo (usually only at fine coffee places).

                  1. I have to agree, Dunking Doughnuts. Doesn't give heartburn either..lol

                    1. GOYA decaf, which I buy at Mexican markets in Chicago for $2.99 per paper package or $3.69 per can. It is a full-bodied Puerto Rican coffee. We think it is the best decaf we have tried.

                      1. I've been drinking decaf for several years now (back in the day when I got to work before 7am, I did full on caf!) and I've enjoyed Gevalia, especially the Royal Vintner and Breakfast Blend.
                        The Dunkin Donuts decaf sounds great! I won't need to buy beans for a good long while, since I'm so overstocked from getting Gevalia delivery. I will be getting a cup to go at my nearby DD soon to check it out, however ;-)

                        Who else thinks you can taste donuts when you get coffee at DD? Mmmmm.

                        1. If you are in NYC, Porto Rico on Bleecker has some pretty fine decaf roasts. They also ship.

                          1. I've been off caffeine for several years now and swear by Sprouts "Mesa Orange Grove" whole bean. Their breakfast blend is pretty darned good too.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: CoteGal

                              Where can you buy that? Do they have a website? I did a search and didn't come up with anything.

                              1. re: stephanieh

                                Google Sprouts.com

                                Sprouts is a "farmers market" type store out here in the western US.

                                they may not have a store in your area so you can always feel free to contact me and I'll send some your way! The "Mesa Orange grove" is a full bodied but mellow blend......not bitter.

                                Let me know


                                1. re: CoteGal

                                  Thanks CoteGal! That was super easy to find once I realized that Sprouts was a market and not a coffee brand. I checked their locations, and sadly, none in Austin. However, we're going to be in the Dallas area visiting family in a couple weeks, so I can pick some up there. Can't wait to try it!

                                  I wonder why Sprouts went in the Dallas market, but not Austin (where we're known for our "hippies")? Maybe something to do with WF hq here. We have sort of a love/hate relationship with WF in Austin.

                              1. I love Lavazza decaf. I'm not sure if I you can buy it retail, I guess you can check their website... I get my supply from a wholesale connect.

                                1. Enjoyed this list of decafs and tried most every one that people mentioned here over the past year. Mavericks was in 1st place for me, with Peets MD in 2nd, until I found Jeremiah's Pick. It's an order of magnitude better according to my palate and quite a bit cheaper than Mavericks. For reference I fresh grind before each cup, use single cup filter or french press, and drink it black.

                                  Since they were mentioned briefly and probably (sadly, like me back in the day) a reference point for many coffee drinkers at some point in their career - I think Dunkin is better than Sbux, but quite sour, thin. Sbux is simply charred in most cases and often the beans are stale, but I have been wowed by a limited edition release here and there (there were these "one time only" aged Indonesian beans during the holidays years back that they basically found after the beans had sat around in sacks aging for years in the tropics. I don't remember the story exactly and who knows if it was entirely true since aging of beans is a debated topic, but those beans were stunning; I'll never forget the smell in particular...magical...of course, it wasn't decaf, but was well worth the awful caffeine feeling).

                                  1. The very best decaf coffee I have ever tasted, which I get on a regular basis, is from Thomas Coffee on Boyle Street in St. Louis, Missouri. It is WONDERFUL! My favorites are Cinnamon Hazelnut, Hazelnut, and Praline. They have many other delicious flavors as well. I llike the flavored decaf but you can also get unflavored decaf from them.


                                    1. I like mixing Folger's decaf with Dunkin Doughnuts decaf.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: MARISKANY

                                        Just curious; how did you happen to discover that combination? Did you run out of one and supplement with the other while making a pot?

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          I really like DD decaf but found it a little pricy, so I tried the mix and I've been happy with it.

                                      2. I continue to go back to La Colombe's Monte Carlo...you do not have to use extra to make a normal strength cup of coffee.


                                        1. I've been on the search for a naturally decaffeinated (water solvent) coffee. I have found an Organic French Roast at Trader Joe's which is pretty good, but haven't found a lot of other options that are water decaffeinated. Also, can anyone recommend any online sources for quality coffee with better prices than retail?

                                          1. Since Starbucks doesn't offer water processed decaf any longer, I bought a Nespresso machine and all their decafs are water processed and delicious. I also bought their aerocchino machine and have my latte every morning. I've had it two years and it is wonderful.

                                            1. Our favorite is Taster's Choice decaf. Yeah, it's instant, but it's easier & much less messy to clean up after than whole bean coffee, & doesn't take all the equipment, either. In the past I had a coffee machine & grinder, the whole nine yards, and Taster's Choice is up there with anything I had tried before (I did like Trader Joe's Guatemala, though, when it was available).

                                              1. Too bad for all of you living outside of Des Moines. Friedrich, a local chain does a superb French Roast decaf that's bold and rich. I've served it to many regular coffee drinkers and they don't know the difference. www.sirfriedrich.com

                                                1. Castro Coffee Company out of SF. Their House Classic French Roast Decaf is amazing, and you would swear it was not Decaf. (Don't let "French Roast" deter you - it is not dark and bitter) - it is also very inexpensive. Mail order, or their store next to Castro theater.


                                                  1. Peets Major Dickenson is the best. No one can tell the difference. HOWEVER...If you are in Sonoma, go to the drive-thru HOTSHOTS on broadway. They roast their own and it is FABULOUS...as in THE BEST EVER!.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: goldenret

                                                      +1 for Major Dickason's Blend, it's one of my favorites...both leaded & unleaded. Peet's decaf Sumatra is excellent too.

                                                        1. re: goldenret

                                                          Peets... Not sure where you are but Albertson's grocery store has it. Online if you are elsewhere, I'm sure. Major Dickson is awesome ! I agree

                                                        2. Extreme, I know, but the absolute BEST decaf I have ever had was in Puerto Rico - Hyatt Regency Cerromar. Sadly, the Cerromar is no longer!

                                                          1. Not only the coffee but the coffee maker. I use a Bialetti pressure pot...concentrates the coffee flavor. Melitta from the supermarket or Starbuck's Verona dark roast.

                                                            1. After trying many brands including Peets and Gevalia, we've settled on Costco's house brand, Kirkland, which with a full three pounds in the tin at a very good price is really good value.

                                                              1. For our Canadians, President's Choice Swiss Water Filtered Decaf is the best that I've ever had. It tastes so good that if it weren't for the "lack of jolt", you would swear it was non-decaf (is that a word? double-negative).

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: nacbram

                                                                  if it weren't for the "lack of jolt", you would swear it was non-decaf (is that a word? double-negative).
                                                                  "caffeinated" ;)

                                                                2. Tchibo- a German brand found in military commissaries is excellent. Also can be found in some nicer grocery stores, such as Whole Foods. Rich, full, not overly roasted. Perfect for a late night Irish coffee.

                                                                      1. Best commercial decaf coffee in New York area is Chock Full 'O Nuts Decaf...a robust, "nutty" taste, not bitter, not watered down. I like to blend it with another decaf fave--Whole Foods 365 brand "buzz-free" decaf (although I don't know why they diss the product with that "buzz-free" reference, like it's a "weak" coffee! It's really very good, esp. when mixed with the other one...or even a regular coffee.
                                                                        I also like the Illy or Lavazza (sp?) decaf espresso...great European taste, but decaf!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: geohabe

                                                                          although I don't know why they diss the product with that "buzz-free" reference, like it's a "weak" coffee!
                                                                          that's not about the flavor or character of the coffee. buzz = caffeine high or jitters.

                                                                        2. Biggby Coffee, Biggby's Best Decaf is by far the best. (Their caffeinated coffees are wonderful, too.) Big in Michigan, and the Great Lake States, but also opening in DFW area in TX, and near Charleston SC.

                                                                          1. Since this thread has been revived: Trader Joe's medium roast decaf beans. $5.99 for the orange-lidded canister. Since it came out a couple of years ago, I have not used any other brand.