decaf coffee reviews

Whether you just want to enjoy more coffee without the all-nighters or have been warned off the caffeine by your doctor, decaf is an awesome option. We take pride in being Coffee Dorks, not Coffee Snobs, so when a new decaf option pops up, we always try it. Here’s our top list of the best decaf coffees you can find.

Recommended Brand

recommended decaf coffee

The Mystic Monk Coffee is a relatively new product on the market, but it has most definitely won our hearts (and cups). It is made out of 100% Arabica gourmet beans, and it is decaffeinated using the swiss water process.

Was it really roasted by monks in the Rocky Mountains? Who knows? It’s not like monks are known as the best coffee roasters in the world! This decaf tastes like real coffee – that’s all we care about!

Check Price & Reviews

The “Decaf Coffee Tastes Bad” Myth

Decaf is always bad – that’s the myth. That probably was true in the beginning, especially when they used potentially fatal chemicals to strip away the caffeine. That was probably true when they first started using the Swiss water method too. But is that true in 2019? No, it’s really not!

Innovation has not only developed a new method (the CO2 method), but it’s also refined those age-old decaf methods. Brands have been smarter too, selecting just the right beans with flavors that can withstand the decaf processes they use.

You’ll find many bold, dark and medium roasts below that lose their bitterness along with the caffeine to create super smooth flavors!

Best Decaf Coffee Brands Money Can Buy

ProductPriceRatingInfo
Mystic Monk
Mystic Monk
Check Price5/5

  • Swiss Water Process

  • Medium roast

koa decaf
KOA Decaf
Check Price4.8/5

  • Swiss Water Process

  • Fancy choice

  • Medium roast

Allegro organic decaf coffee
Allegro
Check Price4.7/5

  • Swiss Water Process

  • Organic choice

  • Dark roast

Caffe Umbria
Caffe Umbria
Check Price4.6/5

  • Swiss Water Process

  • Medium-dark roast

Coffee Bean Direct
Coffee Bean Direct
Check Price4.6/5

  • CO2 process

  • Light-medium roast

Dean's Beans decaf coffee
Dean's Beans
Check Price4.5/5

  • Natural water process

  • Dark roast

Simpatico low acid coffee
Simpatico
Check Price4.5/5

  • Natural water process

  • Dark roast

  • Low acid choice

Churchill coffee banana foster
Churchill
Check Price4.4/5

  • Unknown process

  • Medium roast

the chosen bean
The Chosen Bean
Check Price4.3/5

  • Swiss water process

  • Dark roast

Farmer brothers
Farmer Brothers
Check Price4.3/5

  • Natural water process

  • Medium roast

Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh
Check Price4/5

  • Unknown process

  • Medium roast

Mystic Monk Decaf Mexican Coffee

Mystic Monk coffee

  • Best Product
  • Swiss water process
  • Medium roast
  • Medium grind or whole bean

Our top choice is the Mystic Monk Decaf Mexican Coffee selection. They use simple Arabica gourmet coffee beans to make their decaf with the natural Swiss water process. The result is a medium roast, medium grind bean with notes of chocolate and nuts. It’s just the right grind for your standard drip coffee maker and it tastes fantastic at all times of the day. We love that it’s so smooth and flavorful – it’s hard to believe that it’s decaf, but it is. It was by far the most flavor-packed decaf bean we tried. It’s our best product for flavor, processing, and quality.

The beans are roasted and ground in the Rocky Mountains, then packaged into simple 12oz/340g bags. You can also buy the Mexican Monk Decaf Mexican Coffee as whole beans if you’d rather grind them yourself (good for you!).

Koa Coffee Kona Decaf

Koa decaf 300x300

  • Fancy Choice
  • Swiss water process
  • Medium roast
  • Pre-ground or whole bean

Available in 1lb bags (16oz/453g), the Koa Coffee Kona Decaf is our Fancy Choice. It’s just as good as our best product, but it costs more and as all coffee lovers know – two estates are never the same. This decaf coffee has maintained the delicious, renowned flavors of Kona while stripping away the caffeine. That’s what sets it apart and makes it our fancy choice.

It’s a full-bodied medium roast with a smooth, rich flavor. Absolutely no bitterness at all! For better convenience, pick up the pre-ground Koa Coffee Kona Decaf, which is ideal for your drip coffee maker. You can grind it further for a finer grind, or choose the whole bean option if you want to grind them yourself.

Pre-ground or not, this decaf coffee tastes incredibly fresh and highlights all the reasons we love Kona coffee without the caffeine.

Allegro Organic French Decaf

Allegro organic

  • Organic Choice
  • Swiss water process
  • French roast (dark)
  • Pre-ground

The Allegro Organic French Decaf is USDA certified organic, non-GMO verified, and Fairtrade certified. Not only does it tick all the ethical boxes, but it also tastes fantastic! The dark, charred flavor is strong and satisfying, rather than washed away by the decaffeinating process. There’s a smoky sweetness to the smooth-bodied flavor that makes it feel like you’re drinking something strong, fresh and caffeinated… yet it isn’t. A classic French roast without the caffeine buzz.

We highly recommend this one as the best organic choice and also one of the best for those people that want to be able to forget they’re even drinking a decaf coffee! It’s available in 12oz/340g sized bags, sourced from across the Americas, and is processed with the Swiss water method in Vancouver.

Caffe Umbria Mezzanotte Decaf Blend

Caffe Umbria decaf roast

  • Swiss water process
  • Italian roast (medium-dark)
  • Whole bean

Caffe Umbria Mezzanotte Decaf coffee is a delicious, medium-dark roast treat. It’s a rich and creamy blend with beans from Colombia and Costa Rica, creating a medley of black tea, chocolate, citrus, and nutty flavors. The recommended way to brew it is in a French press, but you could grind these for a delicious espresso or any other coffee method you prefer. It’s very smooth with low acidity, so if you’re trying to avoid acid reflux problems as well as caffeine, this is ideal. We were impressed with the flavor and freshness of the whole beans. Caffe Umbria deals directly with the coffee bean growers, rather than a supplier or middle man, to keep costs lower for you and to support the hard-working farmers.

It’s available in 12oz/340g bags or Nespresso compatible capsules. The 100% arabica beans are roasted fresh daily in Seattle, WA.

Coffee Bean Direct

Coffee Bean Direct light-medium roast

  • CO2 process
  • Light-medium roast
  • Whole bean

The CO2 Decaf Colombian blends from Coffee Bean Direct is a slightly-more-than-light roast of Colombian coffee beans. The CO2 method keeps the flavor locked inside the beans, rather than washing them out and soaking back up, like the Swiss water method. This is the right call for these beans, as the light flavors might not have stood up to a water process. They have a medium body, light flavour and sweet edge that tastes delicious when brewed black.

The 5lb (80oz/2267g) mountain of coffee arrives in a 2-ply foil bag with a one-way air valve for freshness. It can make over 200 cups of coffee. Don’t buy this large amount of coffee unless you can make a serious dent in it fairly quickly! Even with the valve, you shouldn’t store coffee for prolonged periods of time.

Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee

Dean's Beans

  • Natural water process
  • Dark roast
  • Fine espresso grind

1lb (16oz/453g) of dark roasted, rich, full-bodied, nutty and bold decaf coffee. It’s similar to a French roast in flavor. Dean uses a natural water process (not the Swiss water process, but something similar without the cost of using the Swiss water decaf trademark) to decaffeinate the beans without stripping away the flavor. It’s ground finely, so this is your ideal decaf coffee for an espresso!

Although it’s a blend of beans from around Central America, Dean’s Beans are all 100% USDA Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher, chemical, and GMO-free. They very nearly took the Organic Choice award in our list, but we thought that the smoky Allegro offered something a bit more unique.

The price of this coffee puts it more in the special occasion/event category rather than the everyday decaf choice.

Simpatico Low Acid Coffee

Simpatico low acid and decaf

  • Water processed
  • Dark Roast
  • Pre-ground

Another water processed coffee! This dark, smooth roast made our list as it’s roasted fresh to order in small batches daily and had one of the freshest flavors of all the pre-ground offerings. It has a full-bodied, smooth and low-acid flavour with notes of wood and milk chocolate. The beans are from Southern Mexico and purchased directly from the organic, Fairtrade-paid farmers, then shipped to America where they’re roasted slowly by hard-working Americans.

One bag contains 2lb (32oz/906g) of low acid, very low caffeine coffee. If you struggle with stomach sensitivity and acid reflux, this is an ideal coffee to have at any time of day – even on an empty stomach. It’s pre-ground so you’ll need to use this up as quickly as you can manage before it begins to go stale.

If you like dark coffee, you’ll love this. It’s rich and bitter-free.

Churchill Coffee Banana Foster

Churchill decaf coffee

  • Process unknown (I’ve emailed the company)
  • Medium roast
  • Pre-ground

The first flavored decaf coffee on our list! This 12oz/340g bag of ground coffee beans are a smooth, rich medium roast with the additional flavors of banana and vanilla. We love how banana-crazy this blend is – sweet, fruity and caramelized like a coffee banoffee pie.

Sure, it’s not everyone’s cup of coffee. For the purists, it’s hell on Earth. But if you’re looking for a high-quality coffee that has a well-balanced, exciting and delicious artificial flavor added, this is it.

Don’t expect anything subtle!

The Churchill Coffee Company is a small-batch roaster and retail company from Missouri with a range of different flavored coffees, many of which are available in decaf too.

The Chosen Bean Premium Decaf

the chosen bean coffee roasters

  • Swiss water decaf
  • Dark roast
  • Espresso, French press or pour over grind sizes available

The Chosen Bean uses coffee from East Timor, a tiny but beautiful island in Southeast Asia – sharing many geographical features with Indonesia. They deal directly with Fairtrade paid farmers for their certified organic beans. Then they use the Swiss water method to decaffeinate them and finally grind them into 3 different sizes.

The medium roast beans are smooth, low in acidity, and have notes of chocolate, cream, and orange. The Chosen Bean champion excellency and they sure have found it with this decaf blend. It’s available in bags of 2lb (32oz/906g) which is a good thing because the coffee is a little bit weak compared to the others on our list.

It’s organic, kosher and small-batch roasted for freshness. It’s definitely worth a try.

Farmer Brothers Coffee

Farmer brothers coffee

  • Natural water process
  • Medium roast
  • Pre-ground

Farmer Brothers Coffee is a water processed, medium roast with nutty and chocolatey notes. It has a smooth finish that we love too. It’s a great all-round decaf coffee that you could serve to any guest or coffee lover and have no complaints.

Buying from Amazon offers you the best value for money (check the current price below) so this pack gets you 80 x 2oz packs, totaling 160oz/4535g. Individually sealed packets aren’t so great for the environment, but it is great for keeping that large quantity of coffee fresh. If you run a hotel or café business, this is a great option too.

This is the best decaf for a simple, “I’ll just grab a quick cuppa before we go” coffee.

AmazonFresh Decaf Colombia Ground Coffee

Amazon Fresh decaf coffee roast

  • Process unknown (no idea who to message about it, the Q&A part of the product page is filled with people asking what the process is)
  • Medium roast
  • Pre-ground

Amazon’s Decaf Colombian medium roast ground coffee has a smooth, full-bodied and well-balanced flavor with notes of brown sugar and cocoa. It’s 100% organic and grown in Colombia (not single estate) but we don’t know exactly how it’s sourced (ethically or not) and how it’s decaffeinated. Nonetheless, it tastes pretty good! Like The Chosen Bean decaf, you’ll need to use an extra dose of grinds or longer brew time to get a really strong, rounded flavor.

Available in packs of 12oz/340g, the coffee is roasted and packaged in individual batches all in the USA. You can buy single refill packs or multiple packs in one go to save money.

Volcanica Sumatra Decaf

Volcanica sumatra decaf

  • Swiss water process
  • Medium roast
  • Whole bean, drip grind, espresso grind, and French press options

Volcanica Sumatra is an unbelievably delicious single-origin rare coffee from Indonesia. It has a rich and thick body but with smooth, low acidity. The exotic, earthy and syrupy flavor notes are delicious and perfectly transferred to the decaf version by using the Swiss water process.

Volcanica uses the same beans as their classic Sumatran Mandheling which is shade-grown, semi-washed in an iconic way and sun-dried.

It is slightly more bitter than the caffeinated version, but we don't mind in the slightest. The flavor is exceptional. Each 16oz/453g coffee bag is Rainforest Alliance certified and ethically sourced.

Peet’s Decaf Coffee

Pete's decaf roast

  • Solvent process
  • French roast (dark)
  • Pre-ground

Another French roast, pre-ground decaf with delicious burnt caramel and wood smoke notes. It’s dark and smooth with sweet and smoky notes, as you’d expect. Packs hold 12oz/340g each.

Peet’s Decaf Coffee uses the solvent method, which they explain as:

“The beans are steamed, then repeatedly rinsed with the solvent to draw out the caffeine. The coffee is then steamed for an additional ten hours to evaporate the solvent. The beans are then washed, dried, and ready for roasting.”

They don’t mention the solvent used, but we thoroughly enjoyed their coffee nonetheless!

How is Decaf Coffee Made?

Speaking of Peet’s solvent method, there are several ways of decaffeinating coffee beans. All start with the very same coffee beans as caffeinated ones. Any coffee bean can become decaf by going through one of these processes.

Water processing – often called Swiss water processing if it's processed with the Swiss Water Company. Green beans soak up pure water, then it's extracted. Caffeine is filtered out of the water, then the green beans soak it up again to regain their natural flavor. That's a simplified way of explaining it, but you get the idea! It's entirely chemical-free.

CO2 processing – liquid CO2 is pumped into a container of water-soaked coffee beans. It draws out the caffeine molecules and leaves behind the larger flavor molecules. It's a very costly method and the most modern, so it's rarely used by small-batch roasters.

Solvent processing – the coffee beans are either directly soaked in solvent or indirectly (the beans are soaked in water to draw out caffeine and flavor, then that water is mixed with solvent). The solvent is then evaporated out of the water or steamed out of the beans.

CO2 processing is the cleanest and most effective, with water processing coming in second. Water processing can result in a weaker flavor if not all of the flavor is soaked back – that's why dark roast and strongly flavored beans perform best with that method.

Decaf Coffee FAQs

Is Decaf Completely Caffeine Free?

No, it’s not. No matter how hard you try, not all caffeine will be removed. It’s just like antibacterial cleansers wiping out 99.9% of bacteria. There’s a small amount that could remain. The good news is, that small amount, even if it’s just a milligram or two, isn’t enough to keep you awake or give you any of the other caffeine side effects.

Are the Chemicals Used to Decaffeinate Coffee Harmful?

Yes, both methylene chloride and ethyl acetate can be harmful if ingested. They can be toxic. But coffee produces are regulated by the FDA and must have no more than 10 parts of solvent per million, or 0.001 percent, in the resulting coffee that makes its way into your cup. If you’re really concerned about chemicals, don’t worry – there are plenty of water and CO2 processed coffees on our list.

What Are Some Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee?

The nutritional value of decaf coffee is the same as normal coffee without caffeine, in theory. People are still looking into how stripping away the caffeine might also strip away the health benefits. In general, coffee contains antioxidants that combat free-radicals. The health benefits of that range from preventing cancer to clarifying your skin.

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