HOME > Chowhound > Greater Seattle >


best decaf coffee?

seattle coffee drinkers, i need you advice! i need to swtich to decaf coffee. just about any decaf i've had in friends homes have been weak and tasteless. what should i buy to use at home? even when ordering at a coffee shop, i drink my coffee black, fairly strong, but not as bitter as starbucks, and regular drip. i prefer to grind the beans.
thanks for any recommendations.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Blue Star Supernova

    Blue Star is over in Twisp, but you can order their freshly roasted beans online.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Gizmo56

      got it. thank you. will check into this.

      1. re: ritabwh

        You can buy Blue Star coffee beans at the Pike Place Market - I think at Pike & Western Wines.

        Beans and coffee drinks in Ballard at the Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery.

        My decaf loving friends say they really like the Blue Star decaf. I go for the high test myself.

    2. The problem with decaf is that in order to make it similar in price to regular coffee they must start with vastly inferior beans, because the decafinating process is expensive. If you can, I would recommend drinking less coffee (1/2 cup as opposed to 1 cup for instance) rather then drinking decaf.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Charles

        thanks, i am not concerned about price. are there any recommendations at all?

      2. I agree with Charles. There is no such thing as "good" decaf. Cut back on the amount of the real stuff you drink or abandon coffee all together.

        1 Reply
        1. re: firecracker

          thanks. i would still like to drink something akin to coffee. would appreciate any recommendations.

        2. I haven't tried their decaf, but my favorite roaster in Seattle is Herkimer, and they do sell a decaf blend on their website. Knowing the quality of their other products, I very much doubt that their decaf would be tasteless. I've also overheard decaf-drinkers at their retail shop comment positively about it. I'd drop in and try a decaf Americano, and determine whether it's to your liking. (I don't think they offer decaf drip.)

          3 Replies
          1. re: Scrofula

            thank you. i'd never heard of herkimer. glad to hear it's not just starbucks out there. :-)

            1. re: ritabwh

              There's plenty more out there. These threads have a few:

              My guess is most of those roasters will have at least one decaf option.

              1. re: Scrofula

                thank you. i guess i will start a decaf crawl. :-)

          2. I like Victorola's decaf. Some of you may criticize decaf, but some of us have no choice.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PAO

              thanks pao. because i have no choice, i asked. :-)

            2. I drink one cup of caf in the a.m. then I switch. I like decaf Sumatra and Verona from Starbucks moderately well and, they're right there in the building I work in.

              2 Replies
              1. re: debbypo

                yup, looks like it's time to hit all the coffee stands for some tasting. i never cared for starbucks super strong roasting, but it might be the ticket for decaf.

                1. re: ritabwh

                  I heading up to Seattle on Thursday (14th) hence, my interest in this thread too.
                  I was a major fan of Trader Joe's Italian decaf. Sadly, it was recently pulled forever....Flavorful, rich, delish. And, I only drink decaf. Very rarely go to Starbucks. Ill keep a lookout as well and, post back when I return.

              2. Have you considered tea? I'm not usually a tea drinker but I had to cut back my coffee consumption and never found a decaf I liked, plus the decaf process kind of weirds me out.

                What scratches my coffee itch best is rooibos tea - it's roasty and earthy and strong and stands up nicely to the creamer of your choice if you are into that. The rooibos sold at Starbucks is awful - it doesn't even taste like rooibos to me. But any of the tea houses in town (Miro, Remedy) would have a few nice varieties to choose from. Top Pot sells a tasty cinnamon rooibos at their stores. If you want something to bring home, I like Numi organic rooibos, which I pick up at Whole Foods.

                I know this doesn't quite answer your original question, but since I've had such success with it I thought I'd mention it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: antennastoheaven

                  i appreciate your input! i have heard of rooibos. frankly i am tired to death of tea, as i grew up drinking tea. but, i am off to try new venues. thank you.

                  1. re: ritabwh

                    I am temporarily off of even decaf or black teas, so I've been drinking Starbucks rooibus soy lattes. Antennastoheaven is right, Closest that tea comes to coffee.

                2. I have had to use decaf only for years for medical reasons. Depending on your reason for using it, the suggestion to use regular coffee but not drink as much simply would not work---if caffeine elevates your blood pressure, then that is going to happen even with less coffee. Try this, which works well for me: get to a Hispanic market and try Goya and Bustelo brands of decaf. I find that the Hispanic decafs have more body than Anglo brands. The Bustelo is finer-ground and you have to use more of it but the flavor is excellent. But I don't think either one comes in beans.

                  1. I'm a caffeine addict but when I do occasionally drink decaf I think the Illy Caffe decaf it pretty good. It comes ground in a silver can at grocercy stores like the Metropolitan Market. I keep a can in the house for late nights.

                    For tea alternatives, try the herbal Roastaroma from Celestial Seasonings.

                    1. I just moved from the Bay Area and love Philz' decaf. Though this isn't going to be the same as getting the coffee made in one of their shops, you can purchase the beans.