The 11 Best Decaf Coffee Brands 2020 

Caffeine. It’s great when you need it, but sometimes it’s just jittery and undesired. But, does that mean you need to cut coffee completely out of your life?

Nope!

The best decaf coffee beans won’t be stimulating but will still retain the complex flavors found in your favorite regular coffee.

So let’s jump in below and see what’s the best decaf coffee for you! Here’s our top pick in case you’re in a rush:

Top Pick
Costa Rica Tarrazu Decaf Coffee

Swiss Water decaffeinated, this medium roasted coffee makes a bright and balanced brew with fruity notes, accompanied with a light chocolate finish.

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Alternative Best Decaf Coffee Brands At A Glance

Best Ethiopian Decaf Coffee
Ethiopian Sidamo By Fresh Roasted Coffee

99.9% caffeination free via the use of glacial water and no additives. Resulting in a bright, crisp, and well-balanced brew with hints of berry.

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The More Premium Choice
100% Kona Private Reserve Decaf - Hawaii Coffee Company

Pure Kona direct from The Big Island, Hawaii. Swiss Water decaffeinated, retaining its brightness while being 99.9% decaffeinated.

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Best Served Black
Lion Gold Roast Decaf

Deep and nuanced flavors result in a bright brew. Expect notes of citrus from this light-medium roast.

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Best Sumatran Decaf Coffee
Organic Sumatra Swiss Water Decaf

Earthy, bold, and creamy. Uniquely processed via wet hulling, these beans are fair trade, shade-grown, and purchased directly from small holdings in Sumatra. Use coupon SIP10 for 10% off too!

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Most Dark
Organic Black Knight Decaf

Decadently dark, with notes of caramel and plantains. If you enjoy your brew super dark, this one deserves a deeper look! Use coupon SIP10 for 10%.

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Best Flavored
Hawaii Coffee Company's Vanilla Macadamia Nut Decaffeinated

Lightly roasted and infused with the flavor of vanilla and macadamia nut, this one needs no introduction if you've got a sweet tooth!

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Best Value Dark Roast
2LB Don Pablo Colombian Decaf Coffee - Swiss Water Process - Medium-Dark Roast
$19.99 ($0.62 / Ounce)

Dark, rich, and intense but without the usual caffeine kick!

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11/27/2020 07:47 pm GMT
Best Blend
Velton Coffee's Three Ravens Blend Decaf

With flavor notes usually reserved for darker roasts combined with fruity undertones, Three Ravens is a complex and rich decaf which makes a great brew any time of the day!

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The 9 Best Decaf Coffees 2020

1. Volcanica Coffee – Costa Rica Decaf Tarrazu

Volcanica Coffee prides itself on growing high-quality beans in various volcanic regions in the world, and this is no exception.

The beans are grown in the Tarrazu valley in Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse regions on earth and are decaffeinated using the Swiss water process for optimal flavor. 

Top Pick
Costa Rica Tarrazu Decaf Coffee

Swiss Water decaffeinated, this medium roasted coffee makes a bright and balanced brew with fruity notes, accompanied with a light chocolate finish.

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The consequence?

Single origin and certified organic decaf beans that have had the time to mature slowly, developing a set of complex flavors unique to Costa Rica.

It’s also washed during processing, which emphasizes its fruity flavors when brewed. When it comes down to taste, this decaf reminds me of biting into a crisp and juicy apple, with a very light chocolate finish. All in all, It’s medium roast results in a light and bright cup of coffee.

Being Swiss Water processed, these coffee beans are 100% solvent-free and contain only 0.01% caffeine. Consequently, sipping on a brew from these won’t give you a mental boost but will still taste deeply satisfying regardless of the extraction method.

Overall, If you’re looking for a brew that retains its natural acidity with fruity notes, this pick from Volcanica Coffee is the best decaf coffee for you.

2. Fresh Roasted Coffee – Ethiopian Sidamo Organic Decaf 

Coffee from the Sidamo region of Ethiopia is known for its crisp acidity and complex fruity flavors, often being specialty grade, and these Ethiopian beans are no different.

Best Ethiopian Decaf Coffee
Ethiopian Sidamo By Fresh Roasted Coffee

99.9% caffeination free via the use of glacial water and no additives. Resulting in a bright, crisp, and well-balanced brew with hints of berry.

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Interestingly, Fresh Roasted uses a unique variation of the Swiss Water process to decaffeinate this brew, called the royal select water method, which uses glacial water (compared to regular). 

Try this decaf coffee if you enjoy dark cherry notes and oranges with a slight tinge of earthy flavor. The beans are fair trade certified, in addition to being organic. Delivering a perfect tasting decaf coffee while being good for the environment and the farmers who harvest the beans.

Overall, If you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake but enjoy a sweet and complex, and medium roasted brew, I’d recommend giving this single origin organic decaf a go.

3. Hawaii Coffee Company 100% Kona Decaf

Cultivated on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, Kona Coffee from Hawaii is famous for a reason. Hawaii Coffee Company has a rich history stretching back to the 1800s. And for good reason, these 100% Kona beans direct from The Big Island don’t disappoint!

The More Premium Choice
100% Kona Private Reserve Decaf - Hawaii Coffee Company

Pure Kona direct from The Big Island, Hawaii. Swiss Water decaffeinated, retaining its brightness while being 99.9% decaffeinated.

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The fertile volcanic soil and high altitude combine to produce a sweet and unique brew with chocolate and citrus notes.

With the same flavors as regular coffee preserved via the Swiss Water Process, these beans are perfectly extracted via manual brewing methods to savor the acidity and fruity notes.

In short, people who want an exotic cup of coffee without a caffeine kick will enjoy these decaf coffee beans.

4. Hawaii Coffee Company’s Lion Gold Roast Decaf Coffee 

As we noted earlier, Hawaii Coffee Company has long been a staple in the state’s coffee industry, and its subsidiary Lion Coffee set the standard way back in 1864.

Best Served Black
Lion Gold Roast Decaf

Deep and nuanced flavors result in a bright brew. Expect notes of citrus from this light-medium roast.

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The light roast gives this decaf a sweet and mellow taste with bright flavors. Its tasting notes are tarty and citrusy, which can be akin to eating key lime pie, yum!

With such nuanced flavors, drinking it as a black coffee is highly recommended, as adding sugar and milk will only mask the natural but complex taste of this decaf blend.

All that acidity and flavor is balanced well with the Arabica beans used in this blend. The coffee is decaffeinated via the Swiss water process, and as a result, the flavor isn’t compromised when converted into decaffeinated coffee.

5. Fresh Roasted Coffee Sumatra Swiss Water Process

Coffees from Sumatra tend to give first-time sippers a unique experience due to the way it’s processed. This fair trade decaffeinated coffee from Fresh Roasted Coffee is no exception.

Best Sumatran Decaf Coffee
Organic Sumatra Swiss Water Decaf

Earthy, bold, and creamy. Uniquely processed via wet hulling, these beans are fair trade, shade-grown, and purchased directly from small holdings in Sumatra. Use coupon SIP10 for 10% off too!

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Indonesia is home to a unique coffee process called wet hulling

The consequence? A reduction in the brightness of the coffee while giving way to savory and earthy notes in your coffee. The medium roast profile provides this decaf with a balanced taste with notes of dark chocolate and earthy tones.

The natural decaffeination lets the flavors in this decaf to live up to its full potential. It is also certified organic and fair trade, so it’s a win-win situation for you and the farmers.

Its intensity might take some getting used to, but this medium roasted Sumatran is an excellent choice for those who want to experience a unique decaf coffee with a strong body.

It’s a medium roast decaf coffee that is fair trade certified sourced and natural as they come. Overall, If you enjoy a brew with a full body and earthy flavor, this one will probably be for you.

6. Fresh Roasted Coffee – Black Knight Decaf Coffee

Usually enjoy your regular coffee super dark and choclatey? The Black Knight is going to be right up your street.

Most Dark
Organic Black Knight Decaf

Decadently dark, with notes of caramel and plantains. If you enjoy your brew super dark, this one deserves a deeper look! Use coupon SIP10 for 10%.

SEE PRICE NOW Learn More

It’s a dark roasted, full-bodied brew, with notes of caramelized sugar and dark chocolate. The ethically sourced and roasted beans are certified organic and fair trade, so you’ll know this coffee is good for the environment and its growers.

All in all, this decaf dark roast coffee brings the same flavors and textures compared to the caffeine-fuelled version. A caramel laced dream with lashings of chocolate… Don’t wake me up!

7. Vanilla Macadamia Nut Decaf By Lion

If you want a Hawaiian experience without leaving your home, this flavored coffee from Lion will tingle your senses.

Best Flavored
Hawaii Coffee Company's Vanilla Macadamia Nut Decaffeinated

Lightly roasted and infused with the flavor of vanilla and macadamia nut, this one needs no introduction if you've got a sweet tooth!

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Flavored coffees are a decent substitute if you’re the type to add sugar to your brew. It can also provide unique flavors that combine well with the natural flavor of the beans.

This blend is made from 100% Arabica beans, which gives a taste, while the vanilla and macadamia nut flavors are sure to satisfy your dessert cravings. The light roast profile ensures that the coffee’s taste is balanced with vanilla and macadamia’s sweetness.

For dessert lovers out there who want to satisfy their sweet tooth, this is the best decaf coffee for you…But be ready to go nuts for it..In a good way!

8. Cafe Don Pablo’s Colombian Decaf

Cafe Don Pablo is a family-owned business that is vertically integrated, so they grow and roast their own beans.

Best Value Dark Roast
2LB Don Pablo Colombian Decaf Coffee - Swiss Water Process - Medium-Dark Roast
$19.99 ($0.62 / Ounce)

Dark, rich, and intense but without the usual caffeine kick!

SEE NOW ON AMAZON Learn More
11/27/2020 07:47 pm GMT

Known as Colombian Supremo, these beans translate as jumbo in size!

Usually, this isn’t a signal for quality. But, these are an exception to the rule. Being shade-grown and roasted on demand, you’ll always be getting a fresh batch of coffee beans with superior flavor whenever you buy a bag of this decaffeinated coffee.

The medium-dark roast tends to lean towards dark chocolate and caramel flavor but with a clean aftertaste. It is also naturally decaffeinated with nothing but H20, which means you’ll taste the full flavor from each coffee bean every time you brew!

Like most of our pricks Cafe Don Pablo is decaffeinated via the Swiss process. However, unlike larger roasters, Cafe Don Pablo prides itself on a small batch roasting process: 50% science and 50% art. The result? Consistent quality per batch with flavors that ignite your tastebuds.

9. Velton Coffee’s Three Ravens Blend Decaf

Velton is a Seattle based coffee company that has been roasting arabica beans since 2007; catering to independent cafes ever since.

Three Ravens is a unique decaf blend, providing all the intricate and full-bodied flavors of Colombian coffee without the mental boost.

Best Blend
Velton Coffee's Three Ravens Blend Decaf

With flavor notes usually reserved for darker roasts combined with fruity undertones, Three Ravens is a complex and rich decaf which makes a great brew any time of the day!

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This blend is made via a combination of the Swiss water method and a natural compound called ethyl acetate to remove its caffeine.

The medium roast blend is unique in that it has a surplus of flavor usually reserved for darker roasts but combined with notes typical of a medium roast – this ranges from exotic fruit, chocolate, and caramel!

10. Kicking Horse Decaffeinated Coffee 

Kicking Horse is roasted deep in the Rocky Mountains, and it’s the perfect brew for those of us on the darker side of decaf coffee. It’s decadent, dark, and rich with tasting notes of dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut.

Kicking Horse coffee ticks all the right boxes when it comes to sustainability and if you’ve got a sensitive stomach, as it’s low in acid.

It’s also versatile enough to be drunk black or with cream and sugar if you’d like. All in all, a dream for chocolate lovers!

11. No Fun Jo Coffee Decaf

No Fun Jo decaf is an organic decaffeinated coffee that’s made from speciality grade arabica beans.

Certified organic arabica coffee and naturally decaffeinated.

Being a medium-dark roasted decaf, it has a fuller body than other options on this list, with tasting blueberry notes combined with chocolate.  And yes, if you’re wondering, fun Jo decaf is as yummy as it sounds!

The Best Decaffeinated Coffee 2020 Buyers Guide

The best decaf coffee I prefer might be different than yours and visa versa. You probably know that coffee is subjective in flavor.

A coffee’s variety, origin, process, and roast profile can significantly impact the best tasting decaf coffee for you.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of things we can probably all agree on. If you’re going to drink a decaf coffee, you don’t want the caffeine jolt your regular cup of coffee gives you. It’s probable that you also prefer the most natural way possible to minimize the caffeine in decaf.

Consequently, most people favor the Swiss water processed decaffeination process. This allows you to savor the most taste from your beans using spring water and the power osmosis. But, there are other methods too, each with their pros and cons.

Before we discuss all these use cases, let’s quickly outline what decaffeinated coffee exactly is quickly.

What is Decaf Coffee?

Caffeine naturally occurs in many crops like tea and chocolate, but it is predominantly found in the coffee plant, more specifically the inside the cherries of coffee plants (aka beans).

To put it simply, decaf is made from green coffee beans, which undergo water processing or use solvents to remove the majority of the caffeine.

In the US, coffee is considered decaf if 97% or more of the caffeine content has been extracted from the whole bean. A typical cup of coffee can have between 115 mg – 175 mg of caffeine, while decaf averages around 3 mg of caffeine. Don’t worry about the 3 milligrams because they have little to no effect on your body.

The Advantages Of Drinking Decaffeinated Coffee

There are many reasons for preferring decaf coffee to regular coffee. Want to enjoy a brew late at night? Enjoy the taste of coffee but don’t need the stimulation?

One thing to consider is your tolerance for caffeine too. Most people have a standard tolerance for caffeine, which means we can consume around 400 mg a day without any serious adverse side effects.

Others are lucky (or unlucky depending on how you see it) as they are hyposensitive, accounting for 10% of the population. These types of coffee drinkers can sit back and keeping sipping brews without any adverse effects.

Switching to a decaf roast might appeal most to those who are the opposite – hypersensitive to caffeine. This means consuming even just one cup can have a detrimental effect on their body.

Coffee’s Loaded With Antioxidants

Another alluring quality with drinking decaf coffee is that it has all the same antioxidants you can get from a regular coffee. 

Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, and we will be looking at two particular ones that are more concentrated in your cup of Joe.

These compounds are called polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acid.

Polyphenols are compounds found in food crops and are prolific in coffee. Science suggests that these antioxidants offer health benefits such as aiding brain function, lowering blood sugar levels, and protecting against certain cancers, heart diseases, and blood clots.

Hydrocinnamic acids have a variety of applications, especially within food. They can preserve aromas in certain foods and be used as a sweetener. These applications can also affect your coffee, as it can aid in yielding a fragrant and sweeter cup. Thankfully, these acids naturally occur in coffee beans and are not lost during the decaf process.

According to other studies, decaf coffee yields similar health benefits with regular coffee. It can still increase your alertness and boost physical performance, which is why many people enjoy coffee as a pre-workout supplement.

Now that we have answered the why in drinking decaf let’s now examine how decaf coffees are made.

What’s The Best Decaffeination Method? 

You might have already made your pick of the best decaf coffee for you, and you’re now wondering how they make your coffee caffeine-free?

There are multiple decaf options to put it short when it comes down to the way caffeine is removed from the beans and turned ‘caffeine free’.

Most people have tried ground coffee, which has been decaffeinated using solvents and has a flavor akin to instant coffee, thus never going back to coffee decaf because it tasted horrible.

We don’t blame you, but there are other, better methods which no longer taste like an instant coffee but rather very similar to your regular high-quality brew.

The three methods listed below are the most popular ways to remove caffeine from your coffee beans. There are other specialized methods, which we discussed below in summary and in-depth via our article discussing coffee decaffeination.

Swiss Water Processed

The most flavourful decaf coffees are Swiss water processed. It utilizes the process of osmosis to extract caffeine from whole bean coffee using a solvent-free solution.

To start this method’s cycle, they need to create a green coffee extract (GCE) first. First green coffee beans are soaked in hot water. This dissolves the caffeine as well as the sugars and acids in the coffee. The coffee solution is then passed through charcoal filters, which removes the caffeine while leaving the other elements intact.

Fresh green coffee beans are now added into a mixture of water and the GCE. The green beans’ caffeine molecules are now dissolved in the GCE while leaving the other coffee compounds in the green bean intact. The GCE goes through the charcoal filters once again. The process is repeated until they are satisfied 99.9% of the coffee beans’ caffeine content has been removed.

Water Decaf made with this method preserves the most flavor out of the three most popular methods. A lot of specialty coffee roasters prefer this method in decaffeinating their beans.

This method is also 100% chemical-free, which is viable for organically certified coffee.

Carbon Dioxide

The carbon dioxide method is very similar to the Swiss process, except the GCE is exchanged with liquid carbon dioxide. The liquid carbon dioxide is highly pressurized and removes the caffeine from quality beans without the use of other solvents.

Direct Addition of a Solvent

This coffee bean decaf process was the first commercially viable ways of caffeine removal. 

Ludwig Roselius, a German merchant, first discovered how to decaffeinate coffee. He had observed that seawater drenched coffee lost most of its caffeine while remaining flavorful. He later found a coffee company called Kaffee HAG and first used benzene to remove the caffeine until it was discovered to be a carcinogen.

As time went on, scientists discovered safer chemicals that served the same purpose. Today, the most common ones are called methylene chloride, ethyl acetate, and either compound is used for safe caffeine removal. 

The green beans are first steamed then soaked in the solvent. This process extracts the caffeine from the beans, which is then combined with the solvent. The beans are rinsed with water and then dried, ready to be roasted.

The used solvent is then filtered out to remove the caffeine and other byproducts to reuse the solution for a new batch of decaf coffee.

This approach isn’t favored by most as it can alter the taste, with some even associating it with instant coffee flavor rather than your favorite single origin beans.

Indirect Addition of a Solvent

This process also uses the two solvents we mentioned above. The difference is, these chemicals never directly touch the coffee beans.

This method was first mentioned in 1941, and significant steps have been taken to use more natural compounds in this decaffeination process.

The Final Verdict

The best decaf on this list for us is the Costa Rican Tarrazu beans by Volcanica Coffee.

Top Pick
Costa Rica Tarrazu Decaf Coffee

Swiss Water decaffeinated, this medium roasted coffee makes a bright and balanced brew with fruity notes, accompanied with a light chocolate finish.

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It is a must-try for those who love citrus-like flavors without a caffeine boost. Its fruity notes and bright aftertaste will make you drool for more.

The Swiss process ensures the beans retain their flavors during caffeine removal, and It’s medium roast profile is perfect for manual brewing.

If you’re looking for the best decaf coffee that leans towards a less acidic cup, Hawaii Coffee Company’s Decaf Kona Coffee is a worthy alternative.

The More Premium Choice
100% Kona Private Reserve Decaf - Hawaii Coffee Company

Pure Kona direct from The Big Island, Hawaii. Swiss Water decaffeinated, retaining its brightness while being 99.9% decaffeinated.

SEE PRICE NOW Learn More

Whichever you choose in our selection, don’t be afraid to go out and try the other decaf coffee beans we mentioned. You might find a new favorite or two if you keep trying out different coffees.

Until then, stay caffeinated folks!

Philip Daniel Felongco

Philip Felongco

Ex-Barista and now coffee writer

A life long coffee drinker, Philip has been looking for new ways to enjoy coffee since he started in the coffee industry in 2017. His favorite coffee is a light roast Rwandan single origin. If he’s not binging on food shows or trying out new coffee recipes, you can catch him here at Sip Coffee!