Over the last few weeks, I have went to a number of cafes and ordered decaf coffee. I often order decaf coffee when I am not at home, especially if I plan on visiting more than one cafe. This has become a habit of mine and it has stuck. Sometimes I don’t consciously think “I want a decaf coffee,” I just order one. And through this I have been able to taste some excellent decaffeinated coffees.
Decaffeinated coffee does not contain caffeine (or trace amounts within legal limits). To me, that does not matter. I have had some excellent decaffeinated coffees when I have been in speciality coffee shops. If I am in a speciality coffee shop I trust, I will feel confident ordering a decaf knowing that I will get something that’s not just drinkable, but enjoyable, especially with milk.
Retail coffee is a different story. Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to find a good decaf coffee. I would advocate for going into a speciality coffee shop and asking them for their decaf recommendations or asking a friend you trust if they have had any good decafs lately. This is important because I feel that it it easy to get burned with decaf coffee if you do not find a good one. Some decaf coffees are a bit more roasted than I would like. Some have a harsh bitterness. But just because there are bad decafs out there that does not mean every decaf is bad. Some decafs are good. Some are amazing (and these are not rare decafs, just speciality decaf coffee that has been well-processed and well-roasted).
If you find a decaf coffee that you like, be vocal about it. Tell people that the coffee is good. Encourage others to try it if they want a decaf. This is not about changing people’s minds about drinking caffeine. It’s about making it clear that there are good decaf coffees for them to try. This is especially important if someone you know wants to drink less caffeine or for whatever reason (medical, personal, or otherwise) needs to stop drinking caffeine.
Tell people about good decafs.
I had a good one from Fortitude lately when I visited. It’s not available any more so I cannot link to it here, but I would if I could. I enjoyed Steampunk Coffee’s decaf offering which at the time of writing is still available.
Drink the coffees that you like, irrespective of caffeine content.