The 10 Best Decaf Coffee Brands (2022 Reviews)

The Best Decaf Coffee Brands (2020 Reviews)

Decaf coffee gets a bad rap. It’s understandable, you’ve probably had decaf that’s worthy of spitting out never to be tried again. Maybe even more than once!

Getting decaf coffee right is a challenge. Have no fear though.

Not all decaf coffee is created equal.

If you love the taste of coffee but, don’t love the caffeine we have researched the best decaf coffee brands to check out. We also included some insight into how coffee is decaffeinated and the benefits of drinking decaf coffee.

We want you to know this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a product and decide to buy it we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf, Swiss Water Process, Dark Roast - Best Decaf Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee
Best Decaf Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee decaf dark roast will make you a believer that there is good decaf coffee. It's smooth and full of flavor. In a blind taste test we bet you a cup that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Top 10 Best Decaf Coffee Brands

1. Kicking Horse Coffee - Decaf Dark Roast

Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf, Swiss Water Process, Dark Roast - Best Decaf Coffee

All Kicking Horse Coffees are Fair Trade, Organic, and Sustainable. That’s a pretty high bar so we’re already off to a strong start.

This decaf coffee is smooth and delicious. No harsh finish and full of flavor. If there was a blind taste test we’d bet a cup of coffee you wouldn’t know this is decaf.

The beans are grown in Central and South America. Recommended brewing methods include; french press, drip machine, pour-over, espresso, and cold brew. You won’t find this decaf coffee in K-Cups or instant packets.

Kicking Horse is committed and heavily involved in supporting land and conservation efforts in particular in the Canadian Rockies.

What We Like

  • Fair Trade

  • Organic

  • Sustainable

  • Swiss Water Process

What We Don’t Like

  • Umm … we got nothin’!

2. Cafe Don Pablo - Light Roast Decaf

Cafe Don Pablo Light Roast Decaf - Best Decaf Coffee

Cafe Don Pablo’s Columbian decaf is perfect no matter what time of day it is. The light roast is quite frankly one of the best decaf coffees we’ve sampled. It has a smooth finish with low acidity.

The beans are slow-roasted to order in small batches. They roast by sight, smell, and sound.

The Cafe Don Pablo roasting facility is Food Safety certified and certified for Organic Production. All of their roasting is done in the USA.

What We Like

  • Smooth finish

  • Roasted in small batches

  • Roasted to order

What We Don’t Like

  • 2lbs is a lot of decaf or any coffee for that matter. Freshness could be impacted depending on how fast you consume the coffee.

3. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters - Breakfast Blend Decaf

Green Mountain Roasters Breakfast Blend Decaf - 10 Best Decaf Coffee Of 2020

Our top two spots went to coffee beans but, if you love K-Cups (we do too) we’ve got you covered.

Green Mountain is consistent whether you’re looking for decaf or not. Their Breakfast Blend Decaf doesn’t disappoint.

This decaf offers great flavor with no bitter aftertaste. It’s an added bonus that it won’t break the bank.

What We Like

  • Consistent great taste

  • Good value

What We Don’t Like

  • Some reports of clogging the coffee maker more frequently

4. The Original Donut Shop - Medium Roast Decaf K-Cup

The Original Donut Shop - Medium Roast Decaf K-Cup. 10 Best Decaf Coffee Of 2020.

The Original Donut Shop has a good tasting decaf K-Cup. Decaf is hard to brew as it is and when you want it in a K-Cup too you’re adding another layer of difficulty.

On a scale of 1-10, we give this decaf an 8. Overall it’s quite good but, we do notice a slight bitter hint to it in the aftertaste.

It’s also a little expensive but, we can’t knock it too much for that considering anything as convenient as a K-Cup is going to cost more.

What We Like

  • Good taste

  • Contains more coffee than regular K-Cup pods which gives it a great bold flavor

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey

  • Slightly Bitter

5. No Fun Joe Decaf

No Fun Joe Best Decaf Coffee Review

Jo Coffee starts with quality purchasing exclusively from the top 2% of all Arabica raw coffee worldwide. No Fun Jo Decaf contains 100% Arabica coffee beans.

You won’t find any bitter aftertaste or acidity when sipping this decaf.

The beans are lightly roasted resulting in a bright flavor the most resembles some Central American coffees.

What We Like

  • Organic

  • Fair Trade

  • Swiss Water Process

  • Available in whole bean, ground, and coffee pods

What We Don’t Like

  • Lightly roasted beans deliver a bright decaf coffee vs. bold (personal preference)

6. Fresh Roasted Coffee - Organic Decaf Sumtra Reserve

Fresh Roasted Coffee - Organic Decaf Sumtra Reserve - Best Decaf Coffee Brands of 2020

Fresh Roasted Coffee has a lot of delicious options to pick from and their Organic Decaf Sumatra Reserve is a great pick if you’re a Sumatra lover.

The company is committed to environmentally and socially sustainable business practices. Their coffees are roasted, blended, and packaged in the USA.

100% roasted Arabica coffee beans with no artificial flavors. You’ll find this coffee delivers a full-bodied flavor.

What We Like

  • Organic

  • Fair Trade

  • Swiss Water Process

  • Available in whole beans, pre-ground coffee, and coffee pods

What We Don’t Like

  • Sumatran can be an acquired taste - not for every palette

7. Verena Street - Sunday Drive Decaf

Verena Street - Sunday Drive Decaf - Best Decaf Coffee Brands of 2020

Verena Street Sunday Drive Decaf is aptly named, it’s as smooth as a Sunday drive.

Seriously, you won’t find any bitterness or harsh finish with this medium roast coffee.

Verena Street roasts their beans in small batches to order at their facility in Iowa. A family-owned company, their goal is to deliver consistently high product quality, freshness, and service.

What We Like

  • Good value

  • Kosher

  • Swiss Water Process

  • Sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified farms

What We Don’t Like

  • 2lb bag - freshness could be impacted depending on how fast you consume coffee

8. SF Bay French Roast Decaf K-Cups

SF Bay French Roast Decaf K-Cups - Best Decaf Coffee Brands of 2020

San Francisco Bay Coffee achieves the elusive dark roast without the bitter aftertaste. It’s no easy feat and they definitely get it right.

To achieve the best decaf coffee they exclusively use 100% Arabica coffee. SF Bay blends water processed decaffeinated beans from Central and South America for their French Roast Decaf pods.

The coffee pods are made from plant-based materials and are fully compostable. They should be stored in their compostable bag or an airtight container to maintain freshness because they’re not sealed in a plastic capsule.

What We Like

  • Good value

  • Great flavor

  • Kosher

  • Pods made from plant-based resources

What We Don’t Like

  • Pods have a track record of coming apart in the coffee maker

9. Peet's Coffee Decaf House Blend

Peet's Coffee Decaf House Blend - Best Decaf Coffee Brands of 2020

Peet’s is known for quality coffee and their decaf House Blend doesn’t disappoint.

It’s a great cup of decaf but, it didn’t make the top of our best decaf coffee list because while it’s smooth and well balanced we did detect just a hint of bitterness in the after taste.

The House Blend uses beans selected from Latin America. Peet’s hand roasts their coffee in small batches.

What We Like

  • Full flavor

  • Available in whole beans, ground, and coffee pods

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

10. Folgers Classic Decaf

Folgers Classic Decaf - Best Decaf Coffee Brands of 2020

Folgers Decaf Coffee is consistent and it made our list because it’s also affordable.

We’re not saying it’s the kind of flavor that knocks your socks off, but it does have a reasonably full flavor. There’s a bit of a bitter aftertaste but, nothing awful.

As a budget-friendly brand and delivering consistent flavor it earns the number 10 spot on the best decaf coffee brands.

There’s something to be said for saving some coins when needed, just don’t get your hopes too high!

What We Like

  • Affordable

  • Available in ground, coffee pods, and instant

What We Don’t Like

  • Average flavor

What Is Decaf Coffee?

Decaf coffee is coffee that has undergone a process to remove its caffeine.

The amount of caffeine in decaf coffee depends on the bean and the process used for decaffeination.

How Much Caffeine Is In Decaf Coffee?

None right? Nope. The USDA stipulates that decaf has to be at least 97% caffeine-free so the large majority of the caffeine has been removed but, no decaf coffee is 100% caffeine-free. The Swiss Water Process removes the most amount of caffeine, up to 99.9%.

How Is Coffee Decaffeinated?

Decaf coffee is typically made by using either water, direct or indirect solvents, or carbon dioxide to draw the caffeine out of the coffee beans.

Each of these processes starts with beans that have not been roasted.

  • The Swiss Water Process - this is the only organic method to decaffeinate coffee. Raw coffee beans, also known as green beans are soaked in water and green coffee extract. The caffeine flows out of the beans and into the extract. Both then flow through carbon filters where the caffeine is then trapped and separated.

  • The Direct Solvent Process - coffee beans are soaked in water or steamed to make them softer. From there the beans are exposed to a solution containing a solvent. Typically ethyl acetate is used for this method. It sounds scarier than it is, this chemical is found naturally in fruits. Once the beans have had the proper exposure they’re steamed to eliminate any remaining solvent.

  • The Indirect Solvent Process - this process begins by the beans being soaked in boiling water. Caffeine, among other water-soluble contents, is then extracted. From there the coffee beans are removed from the liquid. Methyl Chloride is then added to the liquid and once heated causes the caffeine to evaporate. The beans then get put back in order to infuse the flavor compounds that were drawn out during the boiling process.

  • The Carbon Dioxide Process - the beans are soaked in hot water and then moved to a stainless steel pot that’s filled with carbon dioxide. The pressurized carbon dioxide attaches to the caffeine. This process typically takes 10-12 hours and from there the carbon dioxide containing the caffeine is then pumped out.

Which Decaffeination Process 

Provides The Best Flavor?

That’s a subjective question and really comes down to personal preference. Companies do their best to infuse the flavor back into the beans to achieve the best decaf coffee but, getting something back to its original taste isn’t easy, no matter what process is used.

We are fans of the Swiss Water Process, in our humble opinion, it leads to the best decaf coffee and legitimately tastes as good as regular coffee. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of folks who love decaf coffee that’s gone through a different method though.

The decaffeination process is one piece of the puzzle. Roasting and brewing are equally important in delivering a delicious cup of decaf.

Does Decaf Taste Different?

All of the processes used to decaffeinate coffee require heating the beans.

The challenge with finding consistently tasty decaf coffee is the beans have to be heated again during the roasting process.

The longer coffee beans are roasted, the darker they become. Darker roasts result in more robust flavor but when it comes to decaf that can be the equivalent of taking something that’s already cooked and putting it in the oven for hours.

The best decaf coffee doesn’t taste different.

It takes finding a brand and roast that appeals to you.

It’s very possible for decaf coffee and regular coffee to come from the same lot yet have very different tastes because once decaffeinated the beans can respond to the roasting temperatures differently.

Why Drink Decaf Coffee?

Coffee is one of the world's most loved beverages but, not everyone wants or likes the caffeine and for others, it causes too many jitters.

We’ll be the first to admit, we love a good caffeine buzz but, not all the time.

Love the taste of coffee with dessert? Decaf is a great option to enjoy the taste of coffee in the evenings without being awake half the night.

Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, decaf contains less than regular coffee but, you can still get the benefit of added antioxidants to your diet sipping on decaf.

Final Word

It might take trying a few different brands and roasts to find your favorite but, we promise you a good cup of decaf coffee does exist.

Gone are the days of it tasting bland and flat. Like everything else though, not all decaf is created equal. 

We hope you find our round-up of the best decaf coffee brands helpful in making your selections!

Related Posts