What Is the Best Decaffeinated Coffee?

published Feb 8, 2011
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Q: My mother in law LOVES good, whole bean coffee. Her birthday is in March, and we would like to make her a gift basket filled with new flavors to try. Seems easy — but here’s the catch: She wants decaffeinated coffee that’s a dessert blend — something nice to drink in the evenings before bed. I know she loves Starbucks coffee — but I would like to give her a few new brands to try out. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Sent by Carrie

Editor: Carrie, we actually have a short post about this in the archives:

• Tip: How to Choose Decaf Coffee

To sum up: When coffee is decaffeinated, regardless of the process that is used, some of the flavor is lost. It will often have a thinner body, and a sour aftertaste. One of the best ways to avoid the worst defects of decaf coffee is to look for blends. Don’t choose beans from just one region (Africa, Latin America, Indonesia) — look for a blend that has been specifically crafted to balance the defects created by decaffeination.

A good local roaster should be able to guide you to something like this! Good luck — I can’t drink coffee after 1 or 2pm, so while I am a pretty intense coffee geek, I also am always looking for a well-balanced, well-roasted decaf.

Readers, any recommendations?

(Image: Faith Durand)