What's The Deal With Decaf?

What's The Deal With Decaf?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee beans that is created by the coffee plant as a defense mechanism against pests and an attractant to pollinators, giving the plant the best chance at fruiting and repopulating. For us humans, we are able to tolerate this chemical in moderate doses, which gives us a feeling of alertness in our mind and performance in our body. 

Some people might have headaches, jitters, or an overwhelming crash after consuming coffee with regular amounts of caffeine, but would still like to enjoy the flavor and experience of a daily cup of coffee. While there are definitely some benefits and risks to drinking coffee regularly, decaf coffee does not lose any of the antioxidants contained in traditional coffee but has less amounts of acidity, has been found to help lower anxiety or restlessness, and can be healthier for those with a family history of heart disease. So if you are feeling like you might need a change to your consumption habits, have a read about what makes our Water Process Decaf Coffee a great choice for you.

How It works

Our decaf coffee is water processed, unlike lower quality decaf coffees that use harsh solvents to remove the caffeine from their coffee. We only roast beans that have been decaffeinated using a water process, where the green coffee beans are soaked in hot water until the caffeine can be safely extracted through carbon filtration. This process is repeated a number of times to further reduce the caffeine content, resulting in a clean, great-tasting coffee - that just happens to be decaf. 

We go the extra mile to source decaf coffees that have been grown without the use of chemical-based fertilizers, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. Our decaf coffee is also shade-grown which helps prevent  deforestation, decreases soil erosion, protects bird habitats, aides in carbon sequestration, and improves pollination. 

Also, our decaf meets the fair trade labor and sustainability standards. Fair trade protects coffee farmers from the volatility of fluctuating global prices by offering a guaranteed minimum price, and a portion of the purchase goes towards local community development projects. Organically grown coffee is offered as an additional price incentive.

Roasted To Perfection

After years of roasting & cupping decaf coffees, we have settled on a roast that is not too light and not too dark, but somewhere in between that we describe as a medium-dark roast. In technical roasting terms, we take this roast to the end of the first crack, but pull it right before it reaches the second crack. We think that it’s smooth enough to drink black, but bold enough to stand-up to milk & sugar. Common words that come up when cupping our decaf are full-bodied, nutty, smooth, chocolatey, flavorful, & slightly fruity. 

Just like our caffeinated coffees, our decaf beans are sourced from some of the best coffee-growing regions in the world. We only roast decaf arabica beans that are organic & fair-trade. Some of our favorite decaf coffees come from Columbia, Guatemala, Panama & Mexico. We’ve found that these regions consistently produce coffees that are smooth & flavorful. 

Is decaf coffee 100% caffeine-free?

In general, decaf coffee contains trace amounts of caffeine, though the brewing method, grind, and coffee to water ratio will have an effect on the levels of caffeine. A typical 8 oz cup of decaf coffee contains about 2 mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of regular coffee has around 95 mg of caffeine. 

We do not offer a pre-bagged half-caffeinated coffee, but a lot of our customers make their own "half-caf" by combining our decaf with one of our other tasty caffeinated coffees. Mix our decaf with our Medium Roast for a smooth cup of coffee and try it with our Dark Roast for a bolder cup.

Beyond a great cup of coffee, our decaf is also great for espresso. We use it in all of our cafes for decaf espresso drinks that are full of flavor and free from caffeine. 

Get The Goods

Bicycle Coffee Co. decaf coffee can be purchased directly from our website with free shipping. It can also be found at our Oakland Cafes & Farmers Markets and many San Francisco Bay Area grocery stores, along with all of our other coffee styles.

Our decaf comes in two sizes: 12 oz bag & 2.5 lb bag. We only ship whole-bean coffee because we feel that high-quality coffee tastes best when ground right before it’s brewed. Check out our review of home grinders if you are in need of your own coffee crusher.