Switch to decaf! A seasoned coffee drinker would typically steer away from the suggestion. You’ve probably heard all of the negative comments or sayings about decaf. “Decaf, it is just useless brown water”, or “Decaf only works if you throw it at people”. You’ll have to search for the Robin Williams quote on decaf coffee. I used to also avoid decaffeinated coffee – mostly because it had that metallic chemical smell and taste. What I’ve learned, however, is that decaf coffee can actually be quite good, and can be a great thing if you are a daily coffee drinker.
I found that the ground decaf tastes awful. It tends to have a chemical and metallic taste and smell. This was definitely the reason I would rarely drink decaf. The game changer for being able to drink decaf was buying Swiss Water decaffeinated coffee beans. This is the best way to get the fresh coffee taste with regular or decaf coffee. The problem is that decaf beans, especially decaf made with the Swiss Water Process, can be hard to find in stores. Most places only sell ground decaf coffee. Do not write off drinking decaf until you have tried coffee made with new decaf beans. It can be hard to tell the home brewed coffee is decaffeinated right away.
Yes! The Swiss Water Process for creating decaf coffee is done with a natural process – without chemicals. Make sure the decaf you buy states that it was decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process. Most coffee, especially pre-ground decaf coffee is processed with chemicals that smell and taste awful.
Is it Okay to Drink Decaf at Night?
One benefit of being able to drink decaf coffee is that you can drink this at night. The drinking coffee at night applies to the coffee drinkers that avoid caffeine after a certain time of the day. Just know that decaf coffee is rarely 100% decaffeinated. It will not have very much caffeine (a typical decaf coffee would have about 98% less caffeine than a regular coffee), so do not let this stop you from drinking decaf at night. No more of the sleepless nights just because you were craving a coffee after dinner. Of course drinking the decaf coffee past your time limit applies to when you brew the coffee at home, with decaf beans. Not many restaurants will have fresh decaf ground from whole beans, so the reason you avoided decaf coffee may still apply in the night coffee situation.
Another benefit of adding decaffeinated coffee to your routine is that if you make the 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee a decaf you avoid the hourly craving of caffeine – this is if you normally drink four or five regular cups of coffee a day. I wouldn’t recommend going mostly decaf right away. A gradual shift to decaf should take place over about a week or so. I’ll get to the wonderful benefit of adding decaf to your coffee habit a bit later. This is the one big reason drinking decaf can be amazing.
As a regular coffee drinker you’ll usually have your cups of coffee limit for the day because of the amount of caffeine you get in total. By adding decaf you can still keep that coffee drinking habit going all day. You know when you smell fresh coffee at night, and you have sleep issues from caffeine, you just can’t wait until the morning when you can finally have coffee. Go ahead and smell fresh ground coffee and you get that coffee craving. With decaf, the fresh decaf beans, you can enjoy the smell of your coffee and drink it too! Just note: it isn’t recommended to drink twice the amount of coffee you would usually drink. Do careful research on the intake ramifications from excessive coffee consumption.
A little known fact for most coffee drinkers is that you can’t just down a full cup of coffee, with all of that caffeine, quickly. The rush of caffeine can be too much, and not as enjoyable, when you drink a cup of coffee in a minute. The caffeine just feels better if you drink it slowly. With decaf you can drink the coffee faster because you do not have to worry about the caffeine overload. This is one of easiest ways to tell if a coffee is fully decaffeinated. This is if you have the coffee ground from fresh decaf beans. The ground decaf you can tell just by the smell and taste. Also if you are in a restaurant you can tell you are getting decaf by mistake if you see the server pour the coffee from the pot with the orange rim. Orange on the coffee pot, in most places, means it is decaf. Strangely, the indicator of if the coffee beans or ground is decaf is the GREEN color on the coffee bag or can. Always remember: Green means decaf on the coffee, and Orange means decaf on the brewed coffee.
For the coffee drinkers that prefer espresso, or flavored coffee you can relax knowing, if you decide to start drinking decaf, that you can get flavored decaf coffee beans. These can be hard to find though. Online, easy, in stores, not so easy. Some of the popular brands of espresso, such as NAME AND NAME and NAME also have decaffeinated espresso. Again, easy to find the decaf espresso in stores, nearly impossible to find as decaffeinated whole bean espresso. And, yes, Starbucks does have many varieties of decaf coffee, but the Swiss Water Process decaf Starbucks is currently not an option (Fall 2022).
This is quite easy – drink decaf between regular cups of coffee to get a bigger caffeine rush.
Now we get to one of the great and amazing things that come with adding decaf to your routine. When you have a few decafs between your regular coffee cups you’ll get to feel that great caffeine rush when you make the third or fourth cup of coffee from traditional caffeinated coffee. It is like having the first cup of coffee in the morning, but later in the day. I would say this is one of the great finds when I added decaf to my coffee drinking habit.
You can now see that switching to decaf is not as bad as it usually sounds. So, yes, decaf can taste the same as regular coffee. For me, just trying a better tasting decaffeinated coffee, with the Swiss Water Process, has been a coffee game changer. No more of that typical decaf avoidance due to the bad chemical taste and smell. Often, with the better decaf, you think less about the bad taste and more about how delicious coffee can be at any time of the day. The cost is not that much higher than coffee that is decaffeinated with chemicals. Stick to the coffee in the bean form as pre-ground coffee in cans or bags, regardless of the classification, can taste very stale a day or two after opening.
Some coffee drinkers can tell right away if the coffee is decaffeinated. The taste detection happens because most decaf coffee brands use the traditional decaffeination process. The chemicals used to turn coffee beans into decaf coffee beans give the coffee a different taste. However, as I have discovered, decaf made with the Swiss Water Process tastes the same as regular coffee. No chemical taste and no chemical smell. Decaf can taste the same as regular coffee. The reason typical decaf coffee tastes bad is because of the chemicals.
This is an easy one. It is to avoid the effects of caffeine. For many coffee drinkers, the decaf is a top choice at night since the caffeine can keep some people awake. The chemically decaffeinated coffee is certainly not consumed because of the taste.
For most, it is OK to drink decaffeinated coffee at night. Just note: Most brands of decaf coffee still can have trace amounts of caffeine, so I wouldn’t recommend having more than two cups at night if you are sensitive to caffeine.
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About Mr. WeGotCoffee
We Got Coffee is where I share all of my coffee obsessions, meal prep guides and recipes for things that pair well with coffee. I also throw in lots of humor and caffeinated wisdom. Read More...