Best Decaf Coffee: Whole Bean & Ground
Decaffeinated coffee polarizes opinion.
For many, it’s long been viewed as a necessary evil. Perhaps you can’t stop drinking coffee but you’re fully aware it keeps you up at night so you switch to decaf instead.
Others won’t touch it for any reason considering it almost sacrilegious.
One thing unites both groups…
That’s the idea that low caffeine drinks are weak, bland and a waste of time and money.
The thing is, that idea might once have held some truth but the landscape has changed and decaffeinated today can be rich, robust and absolutely brimming with full-flavor beans even if it’s stripped of pretty much all the caffeine.
Today, we’ll kick off with a shotgun summary of 13 of the very best decaffeinated coffees on the market. Our focus today is on either whole beans for you to pop in your grinder or pre-ground coffee suitable for your machine, French press or any other brewing method of your choice. (Don’t worry, though, we’ll be looking at instant decaf later in the week if you insist on something straight out the can.)
We’ll also be taking a look at how, precisely, the caffeine is removed from the beans along with an honest look at the upsides of drinking decaf.
Without further ado, we’ll launch into our capsule reviews then we’ll double down on some more information and the answers to the most frequently asked questions about decaffeinated coffee so you can invest in the best without wasting too much of your precious time.
I. Best Decaf Coffee: Whole Bean & Ground
1) Don Pablo Decaf
This refined decaf from Don Pablo uses the fabled Swiss Water Process to ensure you’ll get a smooth, vibrant drink that’s 99.9% caffeine free.
Just because you’re doing without that caffeine kick, it doesn’t mean you need to take a hit on the taste front. This punchy Colombian Supremo tastes just like the real thing but it won’t keep you up all night or leave you jittery so why not lay some in for those early evening coffees you’d otherwise go without?
This is medium-bodied and very low in acidity so you’ll get no taint but a deep and rich taste that teases the tastebuds, redefining your perception of decaffeinated coffee.
Read More: Best Instant Decaf Coffee
2) Kicking Horse Fair Trade Decaf
One of the main reasons people shy away from decaf is the fear it won’t deliver like the real thing. Kicking Horse disabuse you of that notion with a caffeine-free drink that kicks like the proverbial mule.
You’ll get an enticing chocolatey aroma undercut with a subtle burst of nuts. When you drink your piping hot mug of Fair Trade decaf, those hazelnuts come fully to the fore along with the rich chocolate.
In terms of brewing, you get a nice range of choice. This decaffeinated coffee works well in a French press or as espresso. You can also opt for the more elaborate pour-over method and you can even enjoy it as cold brew coffee but stripped of the caffeine that would otherwise keep you from sleeping.
3) Lavazza Decaf Espresso Ground
Next up in our decaf coffee reviews is an entry from the industry heavyweight Lavazza. Better known for their coffee machines, they also do a mean ground bean which in this case is delightfully caffeine-free.
You can still get all the enjoyment of your morning espresso much later in the day with this variant, and while it’s ideal for use as espresso, you can pop it in just about any coffee machine fuss-free.
A sweet and medium roast with a flavor that lingers long after your cup is dry, you’ll get outstanding value into the bargain. This coffee comes as a pack of 4 cans (8oz), so you won’t need to hustle out for a refill any time soon.
4) Koffee Kult Decaf Colombian
The chemical-free water process that removes the caffeine from Koffee Kult’s Colombian and the rich, dense beans give you a coffee that won’t molest your sleep and won’t damage those precious rainforests either.
Arabica beans give you all the flavor and aroma you could hope for and you can drink with a clear conscience knowing you’re doing your part for the environment without compromising the drink in your mug.
You’ll get these beans whole so make sure you’ve got a grinder at your disposal. While they come in a resealable bag, we’d recommend you store them in an airtight container anyway.
5) Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Decaf Sumatra
If you love grinding your own fresh beans at home – the perfect way to get that golden cup of coffee every time – this 2-pound bag of Sumatra from Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC gives you a robust medium roast without any caffeine so you can sup it down any time of the day or night.
For a decaf, this coffee tastes amazingly strong and it’s got earthy tones with a hint of chocolate and a delicate creaminess to offset that boldness and balance things out perfectly.
For the purest Arabica beans with no additives or adulterants that’s roasted in an eco-friendly fashion, give this hard-hitting decaf Sumatran a try and you won’t need to worry about whether or not you can down a cup without spoiling your sleep.
6) Eight O’Clock: The Original Decaf
Labeled The Original Decaf, Eight O’Clock delivers a caffeine-free pack of beans that lives up to this bold claim giving you all the taste you’d expect from coffee with none of the downsides of a caffeinated drink.
Kosher and an enduringly popular choice throughout the US, Eight O’Clock now has a legion of global fans to add to its American cohort.
With 150 years in the trenches, these whole beans stick firmly to the tradition that coffee is best when you grind the beans directly before brewing. For a balanced medium-roast that gives you no bells and whistles just rock-solid decaf that tastes just like the real deal, we can’t recommend these beans highly enough.
7) Starbucks Caffe Verona Decaf
It seems impossible to curate a list of the best decaf coffees without the industry giant Starbucks entering the fray. This pack of 6 bags (12oz) represents remarkable value without stiffing you on the taste front.
The darker roast means you’ll get a drink that’s strong and full without feeling out of balance
As long as you obey storage instructions and you use fresh, filtered water, you should get the best out of this coffee for a long time to come.
If you want the pleasure of Starbucks without the stiff bill or needing to leave the comfort of home, why not treat yourself to a batch of this freshly ground coffee instead?
8) Peet’s Coffee Mocca-Java Decaf
Next up in our decaf coffee reviews is a superb Mocca-Java from Peet’s Coffee.
If you’re a dark roast fan, you’ll revel in the chocolate complexity of this Javanese Mocca from a company literally obsessed with bringing you the very finest beans without bankrupting you.
It seems almost unbelievable that you could get a coffee this tasty that’s caffeine-free but Peet’s has performed miracles and achieved exactly that. Their attention to sourcing their beans with one eye on the communities that do all the hard work allows you to enjoy your cup of joe with none of that caffeine and no pangs of guilt about workers hustling for slave wages.
9) Jo Decaf
For anyone looking for a mouth-watering decaf that manages to be fruity and full-bodied at the same time, Jo Decaf is the obvious solution.
With smooth milk chocolate counterbalanced by blueberries, the only thing you’ll struggle with is believing this is not fully caffeinated coffee. You can pick up this whole bean Arabica in single or multi-packs. Whichever you choose, you’ll get outstanding value with no compromise on taste or quality.
Swiss Water Process certified and Fair Trade organic, there are no boxes that Jo doesn’t tick and treating yourself to some of this decaf will let you enjoy the holiday season without worrying about sleepless nights.
10) Wild Coffee Lonestar Decaf
Wild Coffee has a magnificent decaf in the form of the legendary Lonestar that’s well worth popping on your shortlist. If you imagine decaf to be bland and tasteless, check out this single origin Arabica and you’ll quickly change your mind.
The potent aroma and oily beans give you a delicious cuppa without that jolt of caffeine that can help you in the morning but ruin your night if you drink it too late in the day.
This eco-friendly Fair Trade coffee also allows you to do your bit for the farmers and the environment while still enjoying the fullest low caffeine drink.
11) Stone Street Swiss Water Decaf
For a medium roast adhering to the Swiss Water Process, Stone Street pitch up a decaffeinated central American coffee in whole bean form. If you prefer it pre-ground, they’ve covered there, too. You can also opt for a half-caffeine version making this just about the most flexible drink on our list.
There are no frills here and you’ll get a restrained aroma along with a crisp, clear taste that won’t leave you wondering why you didn’t roll with a fully caffeinated alternative.
The finest decaf from this Brooklyn micro-roaster will leave you scratching your head that they’ve only been in the game a bare decade.
12) Kirkland Signature Decaf
Another dark roast as we edge to the end of our decaf reviews with the Kirkland Signature blend.
The fine grind makes this ideal for espresso and the 48-oz bumper can represents sterling value.
From our testing, this coffee responds best if you use a drip machine. That said, this unleaded coffee works well with other brewing methods too so don’t be shy about experimenting.
Made from 100% Arabica beans, you’ll get all the advantages of a full and robust regular coffee without any of the drawbacks caffeine can bring to the table.