Well, of course it can! There are a couple of things that really matter when it comes to developing and enjoying a good cup of coffee, and this is as true for regular coffee as it is for decaf:
- Select a good quality, high altitude grown, well developed green coffee.
- Take great care of the high grade decaf coffee in the decaffeinating process.
- Roast the decaffeinated coffee with an attention to the character of the original green bean and how the decaffeinating process affects it.
- Use the coffee within a reasonably short time of when it was roasted.
The decaf coffee that BRIDGE COFFEE CO. offers is The Colombian Supremo. It is a high quality designation and milled to European Preparation standards (three primary defects per 100 gram sample). The coffees are cupped against many other decaf coffees and chosen for their unique flavor and character.
The caffeine is removed from specialty coffee in two primary ways, water process or solvent process.
- In each case, coffee is soaked or steamed at warm temperatures to 'open up' the green bean. Water is flushed around the bean and caffeine is 'washed' away.
- Sometimes, for water process decaffeinating coffee, activated charcoal can also be utilized to absorb the caffeine and the process may be repeated.
- Water processing is how BRIDGE COFFEE CO. decaf is treated.
- Swiss Water Process or SWP.
- SWP is a company that coffee producers send their coffees to have the coffee decaffeinated specifically by them. Swiss Water has been used generically, but incorrectly.
- Or the coffee is flushed with water and a naturally occurring solvent is then used to pull the caffeine from it. The solvent process does the least to affect the flavor of the cup of coffee but trace amounts are left behind.
- Read more on the process Here.
Decaf coffee is notoriously difficult to roast. Because of the process that the coffee goes through during the decaffeinating process, the green bean is left as a shade of tan/brown color and a significant amount of moisture is removed. Most commodity-grade decaf coffees are roasted on automation and left to the numbers for roasting. Because of this, a lot of the decaf coffees are roasted very dark to mask the defects of poor quality beans and an improper roasting profile. (This is typical for most all commodity-grade coffee, including regular.)
At the hands of a small batch, craft coffee roaster, decaf coffee has all the potential to be a great tasting cup. With attention to the roast profile of the selected coffee, and giving the coffee the patience to develop in the roast, the origin and character of even a decaffeinated coffee can be celebrated. Unique qualities and tasting notes are possible, in a decaf!
The final point of enjoying decaf coffee, is to enjoy it within a relatively short period of time of when it was roasted. Think of roasted coffee as a perishable product. Once roasted, coffee is best consumed within 2-3 weeks of roasting.
- It is always better to purchase small quantities of coffee more often. Don't save coffee for a 'special occasion'. If the occasion is special, purchase it a day or two before. Would you by a bag of bread and store it for a rainy day?
- Coffee is best stored at room temperature. Do not store coffee in the freezer or refrigerator. Condensation will form around the beans every time it is exposed to air and the moisture will hasten it staling faster.
- Our coffee bags are foil lined, heat sealed, and have a one-way degassing valve. They are designed to keep the coffee safe for longer periods and they are fully recyclable. (This is an extra measure of quality control, but it is still recommended that the coffee be consumed within 2-3 weeks of the roast date.)
- BRIDGE COFFEE CO. does date each bag when it was roasted.
- Choose your standard brewing method and utilize the same quantity of coffee-to-water ratio as you would for regular coffee.
Some facts about decaf:
- Pure caffeine is also known as trimethylxanthine and is highly water soluble. (My online nickname is Trixaddict.)
- A regular 8 oz.cup of drip coffee can contain up to 115-175mg of caffeine
- A 'decaf' cup still contains 3-5mg of caffeine
- Some coffee plants have been genetically created to grow "caffeine-free"