Does Decaf Coffee Taste The Same

  • By: Rob
  • Date: November 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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A very popular topic in the coffee lover community is the topic of decaf. There are many things that have been said about decaf coffee including that it does not taste as good as regular coffee and for this reason most people are not interested. This article will take a deeper look to answer the question of does decaf coffee taste the same?

Decaf coffee does not taste 100% the same, but the difference is so small that the vast majority of people would not be able to tell the difference. Decaf coffee is regular coffee beans that have been put through a decaffeination process to remove as much as possible of the caffeine.

There are a few factors to consider when comparing decaf coffee to regular coffee. The most important factor that we will look at today is the taste difference.

Does decaf coffee taste the same

The answer to the question of does decaf taste the same is a yes and no answer. No, it does not taste exactly the same because there are minor differences in the flavour profiles.

But also yes, it does taste the same because the taste difference is so small that 99% of coffee lovers would not be able to tell the difference. If you do a blind tasting where you blindfold a person and then give them normal coffee as well as decaf they would hardly be able to tell the difference.

instant coffee

The reason that decaf does taste slightly different is because of the difference in the process. Decaf coffee is made by using the green coffee bean instead of the more aged brown bean. The green coffee beans are then put through a process of decaffeination to remove as much caffeine as possible.

The decaffeination process is different depending on what method a specific company chooses to use. The processes range from using solvents to evaporate caffeine, filtering water through activated carbon or a process of combining the caffeine to high-pressure CO2 and then removing it.

A lot of the hype around the taste difference is nothing more than just hype. Coffee drinkers have become obsessed and therefore they boycott decaf. For me personally, and for most experts around the world, decaf coffee still tastes great and it is more about the quality of the bean and the process of roasting rather than about decaf or not decaf.

A related question I get asked is, Is Decaf Coffee a Diuretic, click the link to find out more

Best tasting decaf coffee

With both decaf and with regular coffee there are brands that are very good and also brands that are not so good. If you are a real coffee lover you will do your own research and get to the bottom of which coffee tastes the best. A lot of it is also about preference, people prefer different tastes and so different coffees are good for different people.

There are a few coffee brands that have proven themselves time and time again. They produce some of the highest quality coffee in the world. Taking a look at the best tasting decaf coffee we see these few names being at the top of the game.

Kicking Horse decaf dark roast (Amazon link)

This dark roast is the top pick of decaf coffee. It is a certified organic coffee and is roasted in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Kicking Horse decaf is the best-tasting decaf on the market without a doubt.

No Fun Jo decaf (Amazon link)

No Fun Jo decaf is also a certified organic coffee that is decaffeinated with the Swiss water process. It is a 100% arabica coffee that guarantees the highest standard of coffee.

The coffee is also gluten-free and chemical-free, making it the cleanest choice out there.

Seattle’s Best Coffee Decaf Portside Blend (Amazon link)

This decaf coffee from Seattle is also a popular choice and probably the best choice for those on a tight budget.

It offers you a good decaf coffee at an affordable price.

Difference between decaf and regular coffee

It is a difficult task to distinguish between the taste of decaf and of regular coffee. The difficulty comes because the taste is fairly similar and also because both the beans and the process is so different. The different processes and the different beans will of course give the different flavours but it is hard to prescribe this difference to any one thing.

AciditySlightly sourerLess sour
FlavoursDependant or bean and roastDependant on bean and roast
Caffeine content7 mg per cup140 mg per cup

Why does decaf coffee taste bad

There is no reason why decaf coffee should taste anything less delicious than normal caffeine-rich coffee. The decaffeination process does take some of the flavours out, but the processes have evolved so much that you still get an amazing result even after the caffeine has been stripped.

There has always been a stigma that decaf coffee has to taste bad and that you should not drink decaf. This is really just a stigma.

As with everything, everything is not for everyone and maybe decaf is not for you. If you still enjoy normal caffeine coffee and you have no problem with it then there is no reason the change. Only if you are looking for a caffeine-free option should you start looking at decaf.

How to make decaf coffee taste better

The taste of decaf coffee is very dependent on the quality of the coffee beans, the process of decaffeination and the way in which they were roasted. If you do not like the taste of the decaf coffee you can always look for another brand of coffee that might taste better.

If you are really against the decaf taste and you are convinced that the difference is too big, then you can consider spicing up your drinks. You can consider a caffe latte, iced coffee, coffee with honey or sugar, coffee with flavoured syrups or you could even try taking your coffee with cream or coffee with heavy whipping cream.

There are lots of ways in which you can change the flavour of coffee to make it tastier. It all just depends on what flavours you like and prefer.

Wrap Up

We looked at; does decaf coffee taste the same, so what did we find out? Although it may be hard to tell, there is a slight difference in taste between regular caffeinated coffee and decaf coffee. If you are unable to taste the difference then that’s understandable as many can’t, but there are a few who can, as the decaffeination process using green coffee beans instead of brown ones will alter the taste slightly.

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