Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great decafs profiled in Sept/Oct. issue of Roast

Have you checked out the Sept/Oct issue of Roast magazine? Page 76-78 you'll find the reprint of Coffee Review's evaluation of "signature decaf blends." I especially like the "roaster's notes" on each of the top 3 coffees: Nelson Valverde on his Decaf South American Blend; Patrick Grzelewski on his Decaf Redline and Terry Patano on his Organic Decaf Jackie Oh (gotta love that name).

The nice thing about these three coffees is the range of processes and certifications. Two use the water processes, and one uses the direct solvent method (sometimes called the precision method). I think this shows that no one process has a monopoly on "great tasting decaf" -- it all depends on the quality of the bean from origin. Also, one of the top 3 is organic and at least is trying to be fair-trade (see notes in the article about that), showing that one does not have to give up taste in order to achieve the other requirements of these certifications.

I've bought and brewed all three of them now. Good stuff in the cup with each one.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Doctor's Order: Reduce Caffeine

Here's my new slogan: Behind every coffee drinker is a decision to reduce caffeine intake. The coffee industry needs to take more note of this undeniable truism. The question isn't "if", it's "when" for any regular coffee drinker. At some point in their coffee drinking life, each coffee devotee will discover for themselves, or a health practitioner will tell them -- "try reducing the amount of caffeine intake." The next question that consumer has to answer is, "will I switch beverages, or will I go to decaf coffee?" If they haven't been getting any marketing messages about the delightful taste, variety and excitement their cafe, roaster and barista has to offer in the decaf line-up -- guess what? They will probably switch to vitamin water, herbal tea, or tap water.

A large employer in my community, like large employers across the USA, recently had this advice in their employee "Wellness" newsletter: 'Curb Caffeine to Reduce Stress:
Stimulants such as tobacco and caffeine can rev up your nervous system, which increases stress. Also, the addictive nature of some stimulants could leave you anxious until your next fix.'

Wake-up and smell the coffee -- market your decaf or you will be losing market share.