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Decaff coffee taste test

Restricted to caffeine free products for medical reasons, most seem to taste terrible. Any chance of a taste test panel to grade them taste wise?

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hi @9.phillip & welcome to the forum. Are you asking for only decaff coffees to be tested (@requestatest) or other coffee replacement products like chickory too?

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Personally I love coffee and miss it. So I am looking for a good tasting decaf coffee.

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Hi @9.phillip, welcome!
One decaf which I think is not so bad is
made by Lavazza, they say that they extract the caffeine from the still green beans.
But, sorry, I don’t think that any coffee beans can ever make good tasting coffee after having had the ‘caffeine’ removed, by whatever means. :neutral_face:

PS the system removed the quote
which said you are looking for a good tasting decaf, because it’s a whole quote :woman_shrugging:

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Thanks Gaby. I didn’t know they made a decaf.

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I have heard olives, Vegemite, Marmite, and decaf are all acquired / learned tastes. ‘Decaf coffee’ might be technically accurate although a seeming oxymoron for coffee affectionados. Drinking enough decaf for long enough could make it quite palatable so long as one always avoided coffee.

The period it is hard is during the transition while the ‘real thing’ sensory experience remains in one’s palette and the difference stays front and centre. Remove the comparison for long enough and the ‘equation’ shifts.

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Do you mean instant coffee or beans?

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Aside from the degree of bitterness decaf could taste very similar to straight coffee. Caffeine is just one bitter tasting compound amongst many other chemicals that give each coffee it’s unique flavour.

Apparently we also have different tolerances to bitter tasting compounds. Which suggests that a cup of coffee will taste different to each and every consumer.

Caffeine is found in tea as well as coffee beans and also soft drinks. Tea does not taste like coffee nor cola drinks. Which suggests it is not the caffeine that gives the products their unique flavours, otherwise they would all taste the same?

Like Yuk!
An apt kids description of two of the three options.
The third, cola would also qualify, were it not for the shovel loads of sugar added to each can or bottle!

P.S.
Nestle do a range of decaf pods for their machines. It could be an interesting comparison, if not done in prior Choice testing. Yes, I’m being lazy. Members only content if it has.

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I use ground beans and instant. I heard the caffeine removal process does change/destroy the flavour, rather than caffeine having any positive effect on the flavour. But I thought there may be different processes to remove the caffeine and some may leave more flavour?

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There appears to be a number of different ways to remove caffeine from coffee…

I wonder if the manufacturers would disclose which method they used…if there was a difference in the the resulting decaffeinated product.

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I have had to drink decaf in the past and took the advice of my local roaster in Canberra. He advised that I should only buy water extracted coffee-never solvent extracted. My roaster supplied one of a number of decaf beans that he roasts. I couldn’t tell the difference from the “real stuff”.

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Thanks for that explanation. It makes sense but I haven’t seen the caffeine extraction solvent mentioned on packs. I guess those companies that use water would label it as such so I will keep looking.

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FWIW When you have the time, @9.phillip, have a look at the web site of each of the coffee companies you’re considering (under the decaf section). There would be more info there than on the packets of coffee. For example: the Lavazza site discloses that they use the carbon dioxide method.

Also, as a good reference please see the @phb post above, with the link about the various processes which are used to make decaf.

Personally, I find that limiting my coffee intake works better for me rather than switching to decaf.

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My wife likes the Aldi decafffi coffee pods and so do our visitors.
Not very environmentally friendly, however if someone has a specific medical condition that is fair enough. Also look at https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/9jw8rx73

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Thanks jepc and all the other responders. The various methods used to remove caffeine from the beans was certainly interesting. I am not going down the capsule pathway for environmental reasons. I now have a better understanding about why it is so difficult to get a good tasting decaf coffee, and will try some of the suggestions.

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I used to grow & process coffee but didn’t have the equipment (or the desire) to decaffeinate the beans. But at that time the majority of decaffeinating was by the solvent method but the Swiss Water method, which used no solvents, was the gold standard. I am presuming that is still so, and any coffee which is treated by this method would be proudly displayed on the pack.

You should be able to buy this online or a speciality coffee shop but I doubt if you would get it at your local supermarket.

As an alternative, try some Australian grown coffee. When I was growing it & wholesaling it to local cafes on the Tweed, I got our coffee analysed & it came back at less than 1% caffeine whereas the majority of overseas coffee which is a mix of Arabica & Robusta beans usually came in at around 2%.

I don’t know why our coffee was lower in caffeine but it may be that it was because we can only grow Arabica beans (naturally lower) in Australia and maybe the milder NSW temperature had something to do with it. Anyway if you can’t get any Swiss Water coffee the Australian (preferably NSW) maybe worth a try.

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Thanks Old Red (your wine preference?). The topic is more interesting than I could have imagined.

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Much more palateable, this. I have some Lavazza decaf, its expensive and tastes… bland. I’ve almost finished it but wont be replacing. I would rather have a herbal tea than decaf coffee.

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Hear! Hear! :wink:

Years ago I wanted to avoid caffeine just as a health choice, and tried instant and beans decaf.
It made me dread my coffee time, and I thought: hey, life is too short to do this without a medical reason.
Now I have a real coffee in the morning, and when out with friends.

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In case you want to have a cuppa tea at some time in the future Dilmah Decaffeinated Tea uses the CO2 method where others available at the supermarkets use solvents .

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