Best Decaf Coffee Beans: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Reviewed by Urban Bean Coffee Team

on October 29, 2021

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10

Products Considered

114

Hours of Research

6

Experts Interviewed

20

Customers Consulted

I'm an avid coffee drinker, and one day I noticed that I was getting anxious after three cups of coffee

After doing a bit of research, I found that the recommended daily dose of caffeine for an adult is 400 mg—about 4 cups per day—but that some people can tolerate less or more.

I couldn't deny myself an extra cup of coffee, so I started looking for the best decaf coffee beans.

But a lot of what I tasted was a far cry from the rich and vibrant taste of regular coffee.

After nearly a year of searching, I was able to find the best decaf coffees — one that tastes just as good as my regular coffee.

Now I brew my first two cups of the day using regular beans and then switch to decaf beans.

If you're trying to tackle coffee-related nervousness, headaches, or insomnia, here is a list of the decaf beans. And they all taste great!

Quick Summary

  • Our Top Pick: Lifeboost Organic Decaf
    "Coffee grown without pesticides and harvested by hand. The caffeine is removed via the chemical-free Swiss Water Process."
  • Best Decaf Blend: Volcanica House Blend
    "A blend of Arabica beans from the best coffee-producing countries. The coffee is roasted and packaged in the US for freshness."
  • Premium Pick: Koa Coffee Kona Decaf
    "Elite Kona coffee from the best plantation in the region. Voted "Best in America" by Forbes.
  • Best Dark Roast: Equator Coffees Decaf Shakeout
    "Ideal for drip coffee makers and espresso machines."
  • Best Light Roast: Lion Decaf Gold Roast
    "Light roast coffee that reveals floral and fruity flavors. Perfect for French press, cold brew, and pour-over."
  • Keto-Friendly Decaf Coffee: Coffee Over Cardio Nite Owl
    "Decaf coffee with no sugar, carbs, or gluten."
  • Best Decaf K-Cups: Tayst K-cup Coffee
    "Compostable Keurig pods containing Swiss Water Process decaffeinated coffee."
  • Best Budget Pick: Coffee Bros. Colombian Decaf
    "Perfect for those looking for delicious decaf coffee at a budget price."

Best Decaf Coffee

Therefore, it’s hard to choose only the best decaf coffee brands from the market. Everyone has different reasons for buying decaffeinated coffee. So, to help make your choice easier, we have organized the top decaf coffees by value for money. Let's take a look.

1. Lifeboost Coffee - Top Pick

Editor's Rating: 9.8

LifeBoost Decaf Coffee

Specifications:

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Roast: Medium Roast
  • Flavor profile: Chocolate, caramel, and fruits
  • Decaffeination method: Swiss Water Process

Lifeboost coffee is healthy. It's pesticide-free, low in acid, and tested to ensure it's free of mycotoxins. Coffee from Lifeboost is also our number one choice for the best coffee beans in the world.

Because the coffee is shade-grown, the coffee beans mature slowly, which gives the finished drink a complex, interesting taste.

To preserve the excellent taste and health benefits of the coffee, Lifeboost decaffeinates its coffee using the Swiss Water Process. This is a chemical-free method that removes up to 99.9% of caffeine while retaining the flavor of the coffee.

The only disadvantage of this method is its cost. It's more expensive than chemical-based decaffeination methods. But when you drink Lifeboost coffee, you can be sure that it won't harm your health.


2. Volcanica House Blend — Best Decaf Blend

Editor's Rating: 9.5

Volcanica Decaf Coffee

Specifications:

  • Beans: Arabica blend
  • Origin: Central and South America
  • Roast: Medium Roast
  • Flavor profile: Sweet milk chocolate with roasted nuts
  • Decaffeination method: Swiss Water Process

Volcanica Coffee Company specializes in exotic coffee from the best coffee-producing countries. Typically, these are countries where coffee is grown in volcanic soils rich in minerals and nutrients.

This decaf coffee blend is no exception to the rule that Volcanica produces delicious coffee. You are getting the best Central and South American coffee that is decaffeinated via the Swiss Water Process.

Because it's processed this way, the coffee is both flavorful and safe.

The coffee is roasted and packaged in Atlanta, Georgia, before it's shipped to you. You will always get a fresh product, whether you buy ground coffee or whole beans.


3. Koa Coffee Kona Decaf — Premium Pick

Editor's Rating: 9.3

Koa Decaf Coffee

Specifications:

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Kona Arabica
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Roast: Medium Roast
  • Flavor profile: Tropical fruits, grapefruit, and nuts
  • Decaffeination method: Swiss Water Process

Coffee from the Kona region is renowned for its special taste. When you drink Kona coffee, you first experience the rich, sweet taste of tropical fruits, then feel the bitter aftertaste of grapefruit with a hint of nuts.

The quality of the coffee is all thanks to the growing conditions: rich volcanic soil and a unique climate with sunny mornings, rainy and windy evenings, and cool nights.

However, when choosing Kona coffee, you can easily stumble upon a fake. Due to the high price of this coffee, scammers sometimes mix Kona beans with other beans.

But coffee from the Koa Coffee Plantation is guaranteed to be pure Kona. This plantation and its coffee were rated "Best in America" by Forbes. Koa coffee brand also ranks high in our list of the best Kona coffee beans.


4. Equator Coffees Decaf Shakeout — Best Dark Roast

Editor's Rating: 9.0

Equator Decaf Coffee

Specifications:

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Peru
  • Roast: Medium
  • Flavor profile: Milk chocolate and roasted almond
  • Decaffeination method: Swiss Water Process

This is an interesting medium-dark roast Arabica blend from Latin America.

When we brewed and tasted the coffee, we noticed flavors of milk chocolate and roasted almonds. This taste was revealed especially well when we brewed espresso.

This decaf coffee is made from beans from a Peruvian cooperative called Asociación de Productores Cafetaleros Selva. The cooperative promotes organic, sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable agriculture means that farmers make the most of their land's resource potential while also ensuring environmental safety and the fertility of the ecosystem.

In addition, through the sale of green coffee, the cooperative improves the living conditions of its employees, their families, and their communities, all in the tradition of Fair Trade.


5. Lion Decaf Gold Roast — Best Light Roast

Editor's Rating: 8.7

Lion Decaf Light Roast Coffee

Specifications:

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Roast: Light
  • Flavor profile: Floral and fruity
  • Decaffeination method: Swiss Water Process

This decaf coffee is cheaper than its competitors, but it tastes just as good. It's ideal for morning consumption.

Thanks to light roasting, the coffee reveals its flavors well with French press and filter brewing methods. It has a mellow taste and a sweet, slightly citrusy finish.

This decaf light roast from the Hawaiian Coffee Company is suitable for those who don't drink coffee very often. This is a small, 10oz package of ground coffee. Because ground coffee loses its flavor quickly, small packages allow you to finish the coffee before it goes stale.


6. Coffee Over Cardio Nite Owl — Keto-Friendly Pick

Editor's Rating: 8.5

Night Owl Ground Decaf Coffee

Specifications:

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Roast: Medium
  • Flavor profile: Wine, caramel, and roasted nuts
  • Decaffeination method: Swiss Water Process

Coffee Over Cardio's offerings are specially designed by Abbey Scott for women who love coffee but are looking for healthier options.

Coffee can be part of a Keto diet because it does not contain sugar, carbs, or gluten.

This decaf coffee was grown in Costa Rica. The climate helps coffee cherries ripen correctly—it is humid during ripening and rather dry during harvesting and processing.

Therefore, the coffee acquires a light, smooth taste that is appreciated all over the world.


7. Tayst Coffee Roaster - Best Decaf K-Cups

Editor's Rating: 8.4

Tayst K-cup Coffee

Specifications:

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: South America
  • Roast: Dark
  • Flavor profile: Bittersweet
  • Decaffeination method: Swiss Water Process

With Tayst Coffee's pods, you'll get the convenience of capsule coffee for your Keurig machine and also take care of nature.

Tayst's Defiantly Decaf Coffee is free of caffeine but will amaze you with its depth of flavor. No chemicals are used to decaffeinate the beans.

This decaf blend is made from the finest beans harvested in South America. They are roasted, then slowly cooled and ground before being packaged in Keurig-compatible capsules.

The company is reducing the amount of plastic waste that pollutes our planet and only supplies coffee in 100% compostable capsules. The paper packaging is made from recycled materials.

Tayst only purchases coffee from Rainforest Alliance-certified farmers who follow EPA guidelines.

You can choose a set of 30, 50, 80 or 100 top-rated K-cup coffee pods depending on your monthly needs. You can also save 10% on s monthly subscription or opt out of this feature at any time.


8. Coffee Bros. - Best Budget Pick

Editor's Rating: 8.2

Coffee Bros. Decaf Coffee Beans

Specifications:

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Colombia
  • Roast: Medium
  • Flavor profile: Prunes and chocolate
  • Decaffeination method: Ethyl acetate

Coffee Bros.' decaf coffee is great for preparing drip coffee with bright notes of graham cracker and chocolate.

This is a great decaf coffee for an affordable price. The medium roast coffee brews a smooth, full-bodied beverage.

This is a single-origin whole bean coffee that uses beans grown and harvested in southwest Colombia, in one of the country’s traditional coffee departments. It’s a great place to grow coffee, as the high altitude sedimentary volcanic soil make coffee from this region bright and recognizable.

This coffee is decaffeinated with the help of ethyl acetate obtained from fruit or cane sugar, so decaffeination using this method is considered natural. Decaffeination with ethyl acetate removes 99.9% of the caffeine from coffee while preserving all flavor qualities.

The coffee is roasted immediately after you order it. This ensures that your coffee beans are fresh when they arrive at your door. These beans reveal their taste if no more than a month has passed since they were roasted, so you'll be able to enjoy an espresso at its peak.

Coffee Bros.' special packaging keeps the best 100% Arabica coffee beans fresh and lets you enjoy the wonderful aroma every time you open the package.


Buyer's Guide

Best Decaf Coffee – Buying Guide

Benefits of decaffeinated coffee

Is decaf coffee good for you?

It is logical to ask yourself why you should drink decaf coffee. One the caffeine is removed, what remains?

Let’s take a look.

  1. Vitamin B3: helps to eliminate toxins caused by oxidative stress
  2. Vitamin B12: is good for your nails and hair
  3. Potassium: helps to maintain stable blood pressure, thereby strengthening the heart and blood vessels
  4. Phosphorus: is a main component of strong teeth and bones

As you can see, the benefits are obvious.

Furthermore, there are many important benefits of decaf coffee:

  1. Helps to slow down aging by reducing problems with cognition and motor function
  2. Helps reduce blood pressure
  3. Helps in the fight against insomnia and anxiety
  4. Reduces the risk of developing diabetes

Now you know the health benefits of decaf coffee. However, as we said previously, you still shouldn't drink too much.

Taste and individual preferences

Decaf coffee beans are harder to roast than regular beans, so if you buy a cheap decaf product, the flavor will be a bit muted. It's best to buy from roasters that use high-quality decaffienation methods, even though this will increase the cost.

In the end, we advise you to choose a coffee that matches your specific taste preferences. A good place to start is with our list, because we've identified the best decaf coffees available for purchase.

Why Drink Decaffeinated Coffee?

The most obvious reason is that you don't want caffeine to keep you awake. Decaf coffee is a great choice for an after-dinner or late-night treat.

Since caffeine can contribute to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, regular coffee can seriously affect your cardiovascular system. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that consuming 500mg of caffeine—equal to four cups of coffee—increased participants' blood pressure and that this effect lasted all day. Decaf coffee, though, is safe in this regard.

Also, the flavor will be just as good as that of ordinary beans (if you buy a quality product), so you can drink more delicious coffee without the negative effects of caffeine.

Also, scientists have found that increasing coffee consumption reduces the risk of diabetes by 11%, so drinking decaf coffee is a good option for those who don't want too much caffeine. Still, you shouldn't drink too much of any kind of coffee—regular or decaf—because it can cause stomach upset.

Ways to remove caffeine from coffee

The most common method is to use plain water, because caffeine dissolves in it. In the past, chemicals were used to decaffeinate coffee, but now water and other natural substances are used.

Since caffeine is now removed without the use of chemical additives, the finished decaf coffee is not as irritating to your stomach as before. The negative impact of decaf coffee on the body is reduced to a minimum.

There are many methods of removing caffeine. These are the basic ones:

The Direct Method

In this method, the best coffee beans are soaked in water mixed with a special solvent. This removes the caffeine, and then the processed beans are dried and roasted. After drying, the solvent remains on the surface of the beans, which is a drawback of this method.

However, studies have shown that with further roasting, the solvent is almost completely evaporated.

This method is the cheapest, but there is a possibility that your drink will contain a small percentage of the harmful solvent.

The Water Decaf Method

This method differs from the first in that the hot water in which the beans are soaked is then pumped into a separate container, to which caffeine solvent is added. The caffeine and solvent are removed from the water and the water is pumped back to the beans so the beans will re-absorb their oils and flavor.

During the round trip, some of the taste and aromatic properties are lost. As a result, the manufacturer is forced to add artificial flavors in order to preserve the taste. This will never be as good as natural flavor, so we don't recommend buying coffee decaffeinated with this method.

Now let’s consider one of the highest-quality ways to get decaf coffee. These methods are also more expensive.

The Swiss Water Method

The key feature of this method is that it uses no chemical additives at all as. Instead, it uses a water filter. Some of the aroma is lost after the return of the treated water, but most remains. Furthermore, the finished coffee contains only the most natural ingredients. Great, right? We think so too.

However, there is an even cooler way:

The CO2 Method

This method is the best on the market. Let us explain why. Like the Swiss Water Process, the CO2 Method also uses water. But carbon dioxide is also added to the beans and removes 95% of the caffeine before the water is even filtered. After passing through the carbon filters multiple times, the water has absorbed most of the caffeine from the beans.

The main advantage is that the flavors and aromas are preserved very well.

FAQ

Is there any caffeine in decaf coffee?

Decaf coffee contains caffeine, and not always in small quantities. Therefore, you need to be careful. Choose only high-quality brands and carefully monitor your wellbeing to ensure you are not drinking a decaf blend with too much remaining caffeine.

Do decaf and regular coffee taste different?

Currently, decaffeination technology allows manufacturers to produce decaf coffee that tastes almost the same as a standard cup of coffee. The taste really depends on you: Learn the art of making the perfect cup of coffee, practice, and you will succeed.

What are the risks of decaf coffee for health?

Currently, the FDA says the harmful substances that are formed during the production of decaf coffees aren’t enough to seriously affect the body, so you don’t need to worry. However, we advise you to buy a high-quality product.