Best water-processed decaf?
imnsho, they all taste terrible. "Water Process," although it sounds sexy, basically means that they brew the coffee _in_ decaf coffee, filter the caffeine, and let it dry. It's comparable to non-alcohol beer.
I can't get past the first sip of any decaf coffee. Even if I try a "half-caf" cup (1/2 regular, 1/2 decaf), I still taste the nasty decaf.
There may be hope in strains of coffee beans that have been grown (genetically engineered?) to minimize caffeine, but I haven't tried them yet.
Also try a French roast. Caffeine does break down with heat; the darker coffees generally will not have the same caffeine levels as, say, a cinnamon roast.
Finally, caffeine also breaks down with age, but it takes 1-2 years--and that's very expensive.
I had this brand http://www.coffeeam.com/bludebrasorc.... once and thought it was pretty good. I tend to only drink coffee in the AM because it really keeps me awake if I drink it at night and I don't trust restaurants to not accidentally slip me the "high test" stuff. But if I was making it at home for night time consumption this would be one brand I would look for.
I have no idea how the medium roast 100% arabica decaf Trader Joe's introduced a couple of years ago is made, but I ADORE it. I detest French/dark roast. I prefer a lighter roast although I brew it strongly (two slightly-heaping coffee scoops of beans per 10-oz mug), so I was not sure I'd like medium roast, but am totally sold. It's in the canister with the orange lid. It's been many years since, for medical reasons, I had to switch to decaf, but to my memory, the TJ medium roast decaf tastes like the caffeinated coffee I enjoyed at one time.
I recently searched for a suitable INSTANT coffee I could drink at home at night that would not keep me up.
I don't think your post was for instant coffee, yet I am moved to pass on what I have discovered.
First, let me say that I was a professional barista in the Seattle area at an independent '3rd wave' coffee house for 2.5 years, and have decent knowledge about espresso. Even though I am about to make a recommendation for an INSTANT (drats!) DECAF (double drats!!), please don't think I am a total idiot. I appreciate fine espresso and have a good palate for coffee.
But with all of that said, I am impressed at the very decent flavor profile of Mount Hagen Instant Decaf coffee. It is available at nicer grocers and online. I get mine from Whole Foods. At night, I'm lazy and don't feel like pulling shots from my plumbed in commercial espresso machine on my kitchen counter. And, I don't like to keep fresh decaf beans around, as I only have one commercial quality grinder, and don't like to empty it of the normal beans used for my morning coffee to make my evening decaf.
IMHO, Mount Hagen Decaf Instant tastes better than 95% of coffee in restaurants and coffee shops. It's not as good as a 3rd wave cafe's espresso, but I like it better than almost everything else, especially when combined with warm milk.