Sunday, July 11, 2010

Top Rated Decafs - Gotta Get 'Em!

The top rated decaf coffees in this month's Coffee Review are Cafe Valverde's "decaf South American blend", Metropolis' "Decaf Redline" and Doma Coffee's "Jackie Oh Organic Decaf". I've bought and tasted the second (Redline) and the first (South American blend) is on it's way. Need to get on-line and get some of that "Jackie Oh" next!

Metropolis' Redline does hold up nicely to both espresso extraction and drip brewing. I agree with the flavor notes the Coffee Review guys shared -- sweetness comes in the form of caramel and dark chocolate, and there's an aromatic woodiness and fruitiness mixed in. What separates it from other decafs is the mouthfeel -- it's round not flat.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Coffee Review's Pity for the Poor Decaf Drinker

Ken Davids and Ted Stachura have done the coffee world a great service! Their detailed and discerning cupping skills were applied to 50 decaf coffee samples (most were blends, but a few single origins made it in) and now their articulate and thorough review has been posted at

Their overall impression was not surprising: "the North American specialty coffee industry continues to underperform when it comes to producing decaffeinated coffees intended for non-espresso brewing methods." And their conclusion of "what to do about it" is right on target: "the one area where I think roasters and their green dealers could improve is in selecting green coffees for decaffeination. ...The kind of curiosity and innovation that the top tier of the specialty industry has lavished on sourcing exceptional single-origin coffees and developing sophisticated espresso blends has largely passed decaffeinated coffee by. ... What we need are roasters and green buyers [and cafe owners] who bring the same passion to pairing fine green coffees with optimum decaffeination methods as they have to sourcing prize-winning green coffees in the first place."

The new era is coming folks...