Caffeine is a natural component of coffee. Removing the caffeine can affect the coffee’s flavor by muting its profile. Imagine that each component of a coffee’s flavor profile has its own little dial that controls the intensity of that particular aspect. When coffee is decaffeinated, what often happens is that each part of the coffee’s profile is “dialed down” just a little bit. Brightness becomes slightly less bright, spiciness becomes slightly less spicy, acidity becomes slightly milder, etc. The overall balance of the flavor profile — the ratios or relative relationships between flavors — may not be significantly altered, but the highs and lows are reduced just a bit.
Our approach to decaf coffee is to minimize this “dialed down” effect. We strive to produce decaf coffee that tastes like it would if it hadn’t been decaffeinated. Our Midnight Rendezvous Dark Roast Decaf, for example, doesn’t taste like a decaf coffee. It has a full, rich flavor profile with all the highs and lows you’d expect from an excellent dark roast coffee that hasn’t been decaffeinated.
All of our decaf coffees are decaffeinated using the water process. During this process, green unroasted coffee beans are soaked in hot water, which releases caffeine along with coffee solids. The beans are then discarded and the water is passed through a carbon filter that traps caffeine, but not the coffee solids. The byproduct of this is known as Green Coffee Extract (GCE). New, unroasted beans are added to the GCE and the process is repeated until the beans are as caffeine-free as possible.
Giving up the caffeine doesn’t mean you have to give up the flavor you love! Give one of these decaf coffees a try, and you’ll see what we mean.