Coffee Q&A: Do decaf green beans roasted in your roaster make as good of coffee as regular beans?
(This week Asher takes up a reader’s question – our thanks to Kathleen for asking)
Decaf coffee has two disadvantages which make it inferior:
- The decaf process (even the non-chemical “Swiss Water Process”) preheats the green coffee by soaking it in hot water. The hot water removes the caffeine AND the flavor. Then the flavor is re-added minus the caffeine. This process causes favorable elements to be lost. This is the reason that most decaf coffees taste very similar, they have lost their distinct differences of origin. If you notice, when buying green decaf coffee the color of the coffee is a light brown, not truly green. It has already been partially cooked. It also takes a much shorter time to roast.
- Most often the green coffee designated for decaf is a lower quality coffee than what is used for non-decaffeinated coffee. Producers do not want to use their best grade for decaf for economic reasons.
A suggestion: Are you positive that you cannot drink coffee made from 100% Arabica? Arabica has 1/2 the caffeine as the Robusta variety and, in my experience for many people, does not create a jittery feeling like Robusta does. Please read my essay about the differences between Arabica and Robusta.
Asher… aka Pak Kopi