Decaf coffee is usually something we don’t discuss at Doubleshot. Sure we roast it for some of our wholesale clients, but we never sell it in our store. We make snide comments about decaff. We immediately draw conclusions about the supposedly suspect moral character of decaf. What’s their agenda drinking that stuff anyway? See what i mean. Suspect. We even have an ” i dont do decaff” sticker stuck on the bean shelving compliments of Daniel, our roaster.
That’s just changed. Thats just changed in a big way. We got a batch of Swiss Water process Honduras in, and boy is it sweet! From first sight you can see that its a different beast to the usual muddy, foul smelling, raw decaf bean. Ladies, please stand aside as i wax lyrical about the even symmetry of the bean that stole my breathe away. At first glance you cannot help but note the lovely shade of deep green/blue not quiet turquoise that you would expect of a nice fresh crop. It looks remarkably unlike any other chemical processed decaff. It only gets better from there, boasting a fresh sweet odor and defect free even bag of beans. And how she cups! Sweet, bright acidity and layers of flavour so unlike any other decaff. So much like an exceptional specialty coffee. A splash of milk and it dances across your tongue. Laying it on a bit thick? Certainly! And you will too once you taste it.
So what makes this swiss water decaf shine like a regular fine arabica? its all in the process and of course starting off with excellent beans. Most other methods of decaffeinating utilise harsh chemical processes to strip the caffeine from the bean. Often not effectively. This tends to leave residual chemicals, but it also destroys the acidity and leave the bean with that not so fresh taste we have grown accustomed to. Swiss water process by contrast is a totally natural method, using only water and carbon filtering. The difference in the end is environmentally friendly, preserves the intrinsic character of the bean while removing at least 97% of caffeine. But the really quantum leap is the quality of the cup it produces. If coffee had a social caste system, then decaff got emancipated. Now if only they could swiss whatever robusta.