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The Best Decaf Coffee Beans in 2022 — Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and Comparisons

Decaffeinated coffee doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless. The best decaf coffee beans make delicious, rich-flavored java that tastes as good as its fully caffeinated counterpart. Decaf coffee beans may not give you that extra boost of energy, but there’s no reason to sacrifice taste if you’re avoiding caffeine.
Kicking Horse Decaf Coffee
Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast Coffee is both USDA Organic and Fairtrade certified, plus it’s made with 100% Arabica coffee beans. The Swiss water process is used to decaffeinate the beans, which ensures the beans remain free from chemicals at every turn.
Features
  • Beans originate from Central and South America
  • Swiss water process removes 99.9% of all caffeine from coffee beans
  • Rich notes of chocolate with hazelnut flavors
  • Kicking Horse decaf reviews number in the tens of thousands

Product Comparison Table

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Central and South America
  • Roast: Dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour over, or espresso

Features

  • Swiss water process decaffeination
  • Fairtrade and organic certifications
  • Flavors of chocolate along with hazelnut

Product Rating: 4.8/5

Check Price At Amazon Kicking Horse Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Latin America
  • Roast: Dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, pour over

Features

  • Roasted to order and ships the same day
  • Best decaf pods, in addition to being available in pre-ground or whole beans
  • Notes of spice, toast, and citrus

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon Decaf House Blend Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Colombia
  • Roast: Medium-dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: Drip, hand drip, French press, pour-over

Features

  • Uses artisan small-batch roasting
  • Uses Swiss water process for decaffeination
  • Caramel and cocoa flavors, slightly sweet

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon Cafe Don Pablo Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Central America
  • Roast: Medium-dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, espresso, cold brew, pour-over

Features

  • Available only in whole beans
  • Swiss water process decaffeinated
  • Dark chocolate and vanilla flavors with a smoky taste

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon San Francisco Bay Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Unknown
  • Roast: Medium-dark Roast
  • Best for Brewing: All methods

Features

  • One of the best Swiss water decaf coffee brands
  • Specialty grade, top two percent of organic Arabica raw coffee
  • Flavors of blueberry and milk chocolate

Product Rating: 4.7/5

Check Price At Amazon NO FUN JO Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Central and South America
  • Roast: Medium roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, espresso

Features

  • Volcanica sources beans from small farms
  • Uses Swiss water process for decaffeination
  • Bold, slightly sweet flavor

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon Volcanica Decaf Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Latin America
  • Roast: Medium roast
  • Best for Brewing: Drip, pour over

Features

  • Formerly known as Decaf Signature Blend No. 3
  • Uses a chemical decaffeination process
  • Only available in pre-ground, not whole beans

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon Seattle's Best Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Nicaragua
  • Roast: Medium Roast
  • Best for Brewing: All methods

Features

  • Not as acidic as other brands
  • Tested for toxins
  • Slight flavors of chocolate and caramel

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon Lifeboost Decaf Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Unknown
  • Roast: Dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over, espresso

Features

  • Fairtrade and Organic certified
  • Special artisan blends
  • Hints of plantain and caramelized sugar

Product Rating: 4.5/5

Check Price At Amazon Fresh Roasted Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Guatemala and Colombia
  • Roast: Medium roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour over

Features

  • Rainforest Alliance certified
  • Whole bean or pre-ground options
  • Flavors of cinnamon, orange, and plum

Product Rating: 4.7/5

Check Price At Amazon Bulletproof Decaf Review

Best Decaffeinated Coffee Beans: Buyer’s Guide


Decaffeinated java has a bad reputation. That may have been deserved originally, but now there are plenty of great options for decaf beans, the best of which are indistinguishable from caffeinated versions.

Whether you’re drinking decaf in the evenings to avoid being kept awake all night, or you consciously avoid caffeine, you’re in luck.

Any decaffeination process, in addition to removing caffeine, also removes some flavor, which can affect how the coffee taste. Knowing what to look for in the best decaffeinated coffee means you get more bang for your buck and a cup of joe that rivals the real thing.

When selecting decaf beans, these are some aspects to consider:

The decaffeination method

Roast preference

Blend or single origin

Taste

Cost

Why Choose Decaf?


Some java lovers simply cannot imagine coffee without caffeine, and we get it, caffeine is a big draw. However, there are valid reasons why others choose to drink decaf, including medical conditions and sensitivity to caffeine.

For more information on why people may choose decaffeinated coffee, along with how beans are decaffeinated, check out this article.

How To Choose Good Decaf Coffee Beans


The decaffeinated coffee market is expanding and offering more options than ever before. No one wants to blindly pick coffee beans and hope for the best. To help you out, here’s what you should think about when choosing decaf coffee beans.

Method of Decaffeination

There are two basic methods of removing caffeine from coffee beans. The Swiss water process uses water and extracts from the coffee beans themselves to repeatedly soak the beans and remove caffeine. The other method uses solvents, chemicals are relied on to decaffeinate the beans. 

It should be noted that there is currently no way to grow naturally decaffeinated plants, so even decaf coffee may still contain trace amounts of caffeine. Maybe one day there will be a natural no-caffeine coffee, but we’re not there just yet.

Preferred Roast

Decaffeinated coffee beans come in a variety of different roasts, just like caffeinated beans. As a general java rule, the darker the roast, the more intense the flavor. There are four main roast categories:

  • Light roast – Mild flavors, usually no oil on beans
  • Medium roast – Stronger, but still smooth flavors, no oil on the outside of beans
  • Medium-dark roast – Rich flavors, some oil appearing on beans
  • Dark roast – Strong flavor with some bitterness, oily beans

Single-Origin or Blended

Coffee generally falls into one of two categories: single-origin or blended. Single-origin means that coffee beans come from one single location or region, often one farm. Blended beans are sourced from multiple farms and locations. For example, a blend might use beans from Colombia and Nicaragua. There’s no right or wrong preference with this, it’s simply a matter of taste.

Flavors and Aroma

Again, this is a highly individual preference with no right or better choice. You like what you like! Coffee flavors and aromas encompass virtually everything you can imagine. Flavors may be sweet, sharp, fruity, bitter or everything in between. Aromas may be flowery, smoky, or nutty.

Decaf coffee sometimes tastes weaker than its caffeinated counterpart as the process of removing caffeine may also remove or weaken stronger flavors and aromas. When coffee plants are grown with traditional methods, the beans often take on some flavors from the area. This is why your cup of joe may have a faint taste of fruit or spice, even if nothing has been added to it.

Price

It always seems to come down to the price of something, doesn’t it? The reality is that most of us have budgets we must stick to, and that includes java. Fortunately, there are many reasonably priced decaf options, and if you’re brewing java at home, you’re already spending less than you would in a coffee shop. Whether you’re on a shoestring budget, or you’re looking to splurge on some pricey coffee beans, there are some great choices out there.

Top Ten Decaf Coffee Beans


There are many decaf options out there, but you don’t want to just close your eyes and pick one. We’ve researched the best options for decaffeinated coffee beans, taking into account popularity, prices, and decaf coffee bean reviews from buyers.

Kicking Horse Decaf Coffee

~ Best Swiss Water Process Decaf Coffee


Our Rating: 4.8/5

FEATURES:

  • Swiss water process decaffeination
  • Fairtrade and organic certifications
  • Flavors of chocolate along with hazelnut

Kicking Horse Decaf Coffee has over 19,000 reviews on Amazon, and the vast majority are positive. Kicking Horse prides itself on using sustainability, starting with small farms that rely on traditional coffee growing methods. These beans are both organic and Fairtrade certified.

Kicking Horse uses the Swiss water decaffeination process to remove 99.9% of the caffeine. Only water and green coffee extract from the beans themselves aid the process.

Originating from Central and South America, the beans have rich chocolate and hazelnut flavor notes and a chocolate aroma. These decaf coffee whole beans work best when ground to your preferred level for French press, drip, pour-over, or espresso.

There have been a few complaints about the flavor being too strong, although that’s often considered a plus with decaf!

Pros

  • Fairtrade certified
  • Swiss water process for decaffeination
  • Dark roast with rich flavor

    Cons

    • The larger size bag may not stay fresh as long
    • The flavor may be too strong for some
    • Flavor
    • Freshness
    • Price

    Peet’s Coffee Decaf House Blend Dark Roast

    ~ Best Decaf Dark Roast Coffee Beans


    Our Rating: 4.6/5

    FEATURES:

    • Roasted to order and ships the same day
    • Best decaf pods, in addition to being available in pre-ground or whole beans
    • Notes of spice, toast, and citrus

    Peet’s Decaf Coffee proves that quality decaffeinated coffee doesn’t have to break the bank. Only 100% Arabica beans originating from Latin America are used in this original house blend, dark roast.

    Peet’s Dark Roast Decaf is available as whole beans or pre-ground, and it’s particularly well-suited to French press or pour-over java. Its flavor profile includes hints of toast, spice, and citrus flavors.

    The company strives for freshness by only roasting to order. Orders are roasted and shipped on the same day, typically a Wednesday. Each bag is sealed immediately after roasting so the flavors stay locked in.

    This coffee has a lower price point than some other brands. However, some customers have complained that Peet’s decaf beans don’t seem to maintain their freshness for as long as they prefer, and its flavors are not particularly strong.

    Pros

    • Peet’s decaf house blend is roasted and shipped on the same day
    • More affordable than other decaf brands
    • Good customer service

      Cons

      • Peet’s decaf dark roast may not maintain freshness for long
      • Doesn’t have a particularly strong flavor
      • Flavor
      • Freshness
      • Price

      Café Don Pablo Colombian Decaf

      ~ Best Choice for Low Acid


      Our Rating: 4.6/5

      FEATURES:

      • Uses artisan small-batch roasting
      • Uses Swiss water process for decaffeination
      • Caramel and cocoa flavors, slightly sweet

      Much of Don Pablo’s coffee originates from Colombia, and this is also true of Don Pablo’s decaf coffee. Sold as whole beans that you’ll grind yourself, these decaf coffee beans can be used for brewing most kinds of java, but they’re particularly well-suited for French press, cold brew, or drip coffee.

      The Arabica beans are decaffeinated through the Swiss water process, and the brand boasts clean flavors. Small-batch artisan roasting creates consistent, rich flavors. This medium-dark Don Pablo decaf also has a lower acid level, allowing almost everyone to fully enjoy the java.

      With a sweet, rich flavor profile, Don Pablo’s decaf coffee will give you hints of citrus, caramel, and cocoa. There does appear to be some inconsistency from one bag to another, though.

      Pros

      • Low acid for those who might not otherwise enjoy coffee
      • Uses Swiss water process for decaffeinating

        Cons

        • Some inconsistency from one bag to another
        • Larger bags may not maintain freshness
        • Flavor
        • Freshness
        • Price

        San Francisco Bay Coffee Decaf

        ~ Best Decaf Espresso Beans


        Our Rating: 4.6/5

        FEATURES:

        • Available only in whole beans
        • Swiss water process decaffeinated
        • Dark chocolate and vanilla flavors with a smoky taste

        San Francisco Bay’s decaffeinated coffee is a dark espresso roast available in whole beans. These are some of the best decaf coffee beans for espresso. Or grind your beans to your preferred level for French press, cold brew, or pour-over java.

        Only Central American Arabica beans are used, and the Swiss water process is used to decaffeinate SF Bay decaf coffee. Rich and full of flavor, expect hints of dark chocolate, vanilla beans, and smoky spice.

        This is one of a few types of decaffeinated beans that have been specifically roasted for espresso, plus most users love the flavor associated with this reasonably priced coffee.

        Being designed for espresso makes it one of the best whole bean decaf coffees. However, there have been some inconsistencies with freshness, with one bag lasting longer than another.

        Pros

        • One of the best decaf espresso coffee beans
        • Users love its flavor

          Cons

          • Some inconsistencies with freshness
          • Flavor
          • Freshness
          • Price

          NO FUN JO Decaf Coffee

          ~ Best Specialty Grade


          Our Rating: 4.7/5

          FEATURES:

          • One of the best Swiss water decaf coffee brands
          • Specialty grade, top two percent of organic Arabica raw coffee
          • Flavors of blueberry and milk chocolate

          No Fun Jo decaffeinated coffee is a regular on many best-of-the-bean coffee lists (and not just decaf either). It’s for good reason, too. This company sources its beans globally but uses only Arabica strains. This particular brew has a specialty grade designation, meaning that it’s in the top two percent of organic raw Arabica beans.

          Jo decaf coffee is certified both organic and Fairtrade, and the beans are decaffeinated using the Swiss water process. A medium-dark roast, these beans brew java with flavors of chocolate and blueberry. These flavors are not added, they’re just natural flavors from the area where these coffee plants grow.

          Because Jo Coffee decaf coffee is a medium-dark roast, it’s not quite as strong as darker roasts, so this roast may be too light for some java lovers.

          Pros

          • Fairtrade and Organic certified
          • Specialty grade beans
          • Highly recommended by bean lovers worldwide

            Cons

            • The roast may be too light for some coffee drinkers
            • Flavor
            • Freshness
            • Price

            Our Rating: 4.6/5

            FEATURES:

            • Volcanica sources beans from small farms
            • Uses Swiss water process for decaffeination
            • Bold, slightly sweet flavor

            Available in both whole beans and ground coffee, Volcanica’s House Blend Decaf is a blend of beans from South and Central America. These beans are sourced from various small farms that may not be certified as organic.

            Washed processing is used to remove those fruit layers around the coffee bean. The Swiss water process is used to decaffeinate these beans without chemicals.

            As a medium roast, this coffee is not as strong as other roasts, however, you will notice a rich body with sweet, bold flavors. Volcanica coffee is not a budget option and it’s somewhat more expensive than other brands of decaf.

            Pros

            • Uses the Swiss water process to decaffeinate
            • Smooth taste with plenty of body
            • Volcanica coffee gets rave reviews

              Cons

              • More expensive than other decaf brands
              • Flavor
              • Freshness
              • Price

              Our Rating: 4.6/5

              FEATURES:

              • Formerly known as Decaf Signature Blend No. 3 
              • Uses a chemical decaffeination process
              • Only available in pre-ground, not whole beans

              Formerly known as Decaf Signature Blend No. 3, Seattle’s Best Coffee Decaf Portside Blend is available pre-ground only. One of the best decaf coffee grounds, it’s made from Arabica beans from Latin America and delivers a well-rounded, smooth flavor.

              This is also one of the most affordable decaffeinated coffees we’ve found, which is obviously a plus, but many people prefer grinding their own beans. Also, Seattle’s Best Coffee uses a chemical process to decaffeinate beans.

              While this process has been deemed safe, some people prefer the Swiss water process, which is more natural.

              Pros

              • More affordable than many brands
              • Uses Arabica beans

                Cons

                • Seattle’s Best decaf uses a chemical method to decaffeinate
                • Flavor
                • Freshness
                • Price

                Our Rating: 4.6/5

                FEATURES:

                • Not as acidic as other brands
                • Tested for toxins
                • Slight flavors of chocolate and caramel

                Available in either ground or whole beans, Lifeboost Coffee’s medium roast comes from beans grown in the mountains of Nicaragua. It is among the most expensive decaffeinated coffees on the market, but for many, it’s worth the extra spend.

                These single-origin Arabica beans are hand-picked, washed in spring water, and left to dry in the sunlight. The Swiss water process keeps the beans as free from chemicals as possible.

                Lifeboost’s decaf coffee has a low to medium acidity level but offers some intense flavors. You’ll taste chocolate, caramel, and a hint of fruity flavor.

                We love that Lifeboost decaf coffee is third-party tested for any toxins in its beans, so you can feel confident knowing that this java is as free from chemicals or toxins as it gets.

                Pros

                • Grown in the mountains and shade
                • Tested for mycotoxins

                  Cons

                  • This is a premium product and it comes with a premium price tag to match
                  • Flavor
                  • Freshness
                  • Price

                  Fresh Roasted Coffee Swiss Water Decaf

                  ~ Best Fair Trade Choice


                  Our Rating: 4.5/5

                  FEATURES:

                  • Fairtrade and Organic certified
                  • Special artisan blend
                  • Hints of plantain and caramelized sugar

                  Fresh Roasted’s Black Knight decaf is both organic and Fairtrade certified, two plus points for the company, Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC. 

                  This dark roast uses an artisan blend of single-origin beans with a strong, bold flavor. Flavor notes include plantain and caramelized sugar.

                  The Arabica beans are sustainably sourced and an environmentally friendly roaster keeps the carbon footprint to a minimum. Choose pre-ground or whole beans as you prefer.

                  Reasonably priced, these beans won’t break your budget. However, there have been some complaints that this blend is a little too acidic for some.

                  Pros

                  • Fairtrade and Organic certified
                  • Available in whole bean or ground

                    Cons

                    • Some Fresh Roasted coffee reviews say it’s too acidic
                    • Flavor
                    • Freshness
                    • Price

                    Bulletproof Decaf Coffee

                    ~ Best Medium Roast


                    Our Rating: 4.7/5

                    FEATURES:

                    • Rainforest Alliance certified
                    • Whole bean or pre-ground options
                    • Flavors of cinnamon, orange, and plum

                    Bulletproof Decaf describes itself as a clean coffee that’s also Rainforest Alliance certified, so it relies on sustainable farming. Only Arabica beans grown in Guatemala and Colombia are used for this coffee, and the caffeine is removed through the Swiss water process.

                    Available in both pre-ground and whole bean, this medium roast isn’t super strong, but it’s still delicious. You’ll catch cinnamon, plum, even orange flavors in this java, and it finishes with cocoa hazelnut notes.

                    It does have a higher price point than some other brands of decaffeinated coffee, but this company tests its beans for toxins. You’re getting the healthiest version of this coffee available. Bulletproof coffee reviews are largely positive.

                    Pros

                    • Rainforest Alliance certified
                    • Uses Swiss water process in decaffeination
                    • Tests for toxins

                      Cons

                      • Higher price point than other decaf brands
                      • Flavor
                      • Freshness
                      • Price

                      Conclusion


                       

                      Although most people prefer the caffeine jolt a cup of java delivers, some people prefer to avoid caffeine. Whether that’s by choice or necessity, it’s good to know there are plenty of delicious decaffeinated options.

                      Before making your decision about which decaf coffee beans to buy, it’s a good idea to consider all your options. The method of decaffeination, price point, type of roast, and even the origin of beans are all worth thinking about.

                      Fortunately, decaffeinated coffee has come a long way from the early days when decaf barely qualified as java. You certainly shouldn’t sacrifice taste or aroma in order to avoid caffeine. 

                      As this list of the best decaf coffee shows, there are many great options!

                      Best Decaf Coffee Beans FAQs


                      Is There a Good-Tasting Decaf Coffee?

                      Yes! There are many varieties of decaffeinated coffee that taste delicious. Decaf does not have to taste weak or watery. Check out of round-up of the best of the best decaf coffee beans above.

                      Are Decaf Coffee Beans Bad for You?

                      No, decaf coffee is not bad for you. Some people prefer to avoid decaf coffee beans that have been stripped of their caffeine through the solvent method, even though it has been deemed perfectly safe. For these people, beans decaffeinated through the Swiss water method are a better choice.

                      Plus with decaf coffee, you still get most of the health benefits that fully caffeinated java can offer, including the antioxidants. You just won’t get the energy boost that comes from caffeine.

                      What Brand of Coffee Is Naturally Decaffeinated?

                      Unfortunately, there is no coffee plant that is naturally lacking caffeine. Research keeps going, but we’re not there yet. Coffee is grown, beans are harvested, and then they are decaffeinated.

                      The last step in the process is what most people mean when they refer to naturally decaffeinated coffee. One method of decaffeination, the Swiss water method, is a natural process and no chemicals are used. We recommend Kicking Horse.

                      Is Decaf Espresso Really Decaf?

                      Yes, decaf espresso is really decaf. In the United States, decaf coffee has at least 97% of the caffeine removed, and that includes the beans that go into making your decaf espresso. So feel free to indulge with impunity!

                      Can Whole Bean Coffee Be Decaf?

                      Of course it can! Coffee beans can be decaffeinated without damage. Some of these beans will be sold as whole beans while some will be packaged as ground coffee. The decaffeination process happens when the beans are whole.

                      Will Decaf Coffee Keep Me Awake?

                      Decaffeinated coffee may contain very small amounts of caffeine, so if you’re extremely sensitive to caffeine, you might have trouble sleeping. However, most people are unaffected by the trace amounts of caffeine present.

                      Other Coffee Bean Categories