First off, the thing about K-cups is that they’re convenient. Very convenient indeed for those who don’t have patience and/or time for preparing coffee the regular way. Whatever the brewing method!
But does quick preparation equal to great taste? With these best decaf K-cups, I don’t see why not. And decaf because not every coffee lover always wants to drink a caffeinated brew or beverage.
However, decaffeinated coffee goes through the process of decaffeination, right? And this particular process oftentimes takes away all the flavor, thus the taste of the rich, delicious coffee beans.
In that case, you find yourself searching for the best decaf coffee. And this hunt is very much like a cat chasing its own tail. So how about I tell you that you don’t need to forage anymore. I’ve got the best decaffeinated coffee for you right here in this article. And what’s even better is that this coffee comes in K-cups!
Table of Content
- What You Need to Know About Decaffeinating Coffee
- What to Keep In Mind When Choosing Decaf K-Cups
- Review of the Best Decaf K-Cups
- 1. Green Moutain Coffee Decaf Breakfast Blend
- 2. The Original Donut Shop Decaf K-Cup Pods
- 3. McCafe Decaf Premium Medium Roast K-Cup
- 4. Starbucks Decaf House Blend Coffee K-Cups
- 5. Victor Allen Decaf Donut Shop Blend
- 6. Solimo Amazon Brand Decaf Light Roast Coffee Pods
- 7. Dunkin’ Donuts Decaf Medium Roast Coffee
- 8. Peet’s Coffee Decaf House Blend Dark Roast Coffee Pods
- 9. Tully’s Coffee French Roast Decaf Dark Roast Coffee K-Cup
- 10. SF Bay Coffee Decaf French Roast
- 11. Eight O’Clock Coffee Original Decaf K-Cups
- 12. Illy Decaffeinated Classico Medium Roast Coffee
- Commonly Asked Questions
- Final Verdict
What You Need to Know About Decaffeinating Coffee
If you’re going to buy decaf coffee, in whatever form, you should know how that coffee is decaffeinated. So before getting into any other details, let me tell you all about the different decaffeination processes.
There are 4 different types of methods for decaffeinating coffee. And each of these methods extracts caffeine from untouched i.e. unroasted coffee beans.
1. The majority of commercial coffee goes through decaffeination that eliminates caffeine with the help of the solvent carbon dioxide. Coffee beans get soaked in water. Obviously, hot water is used for the soaking part. And then these beans are placed in a stainless steel built tank charged with the pressurized form of carbon dioxide.
This carbon dioxide pressure clings to the content of caffeine in the beans. And leaves behind only the rich, delicious flavor agents of the coffee. After that, the beans are pumped out and then into another tank where they depressurize. And this is when pressurized carbon dioxide separates itself from all the caffeine.
2. Another common decaffeination method includes soaking the coffee beans in hot water for a very long time. But this particular process tends to remove the flavors of the coffee. Coffee beans, after soaking, are transferred to a tank and then soaked, not in hot water, but in a chemical solvent. And it’s this solvent that eliminates the caffeine.
Following which the coffee beans are moved back to the previous tank to reabsorb the oils and flavors. The name of this method is known as the Indirect Solvent Technique.
3. Then comes the Direct Solvent Technique. The process includes steaming coffee beans for 30 minutes to open the pores. The beans are then soaked in a chemical solvent over and over again for nearly half a day. After that, the beans are steamed once more for removing any leftover solvent.
4. The last method is the popular Swiss Water Decaffeination Technique. It begins by soaking coffee beans in hot water for removing more than just the content of caffeine. This hot water soaking also removes the flavors. Then, surprisingly, these decaffeinated, flavorless coffee beans are thrown away.
Then the water passes via a charcoal filter for eliminating the caffeine. This flavored water then leaches caffeine from another batch of fresh coffee beans. Since the molecules of the water are fully bonded already to the previous batch’s flavor agents, they bond with only the caffeine content in this case.
So what you have here are both decaffeinated and flavorful coffee beans. Also, this particular technique, as you can see, uses no chemical solvents. And it’s an environment-friendly method for decaffeinating coffee as well.
What to Keep In Mind When Choosing Decaf K-Cups
Level of Roast
You know by now that decaffeination occurs before the roasting process. Both processes, just by the way, are likely to destroy the flavor of coffee because the beans are subjected to heat in both cases. So it’s very important to consider a factor like the level of roast if you want to buy the best decaf coffee.
That said, does a lighter roast equal to more flavor? The answer is YES. Light roasts preserve more natural flavors of the coffee beans simply because they’re not roasted for a long time.
On the other hand, the longer you roast, the darker the roast level becomes. And the darker the roast level, the more robust and deeper the flavor. So, instead of a dark roast, why not buy a medium roast? The latter may not taste like the former, but at least it has more natural, delicious flavors to offer.
In terms of taste, the best decaffeinated coffee in K-cups has pleasant hints of fruits, chocolate, and citrus. There’s no reason to believe that decaf coffee has to taste the same throughout the whole spectrum.Enter your text here...
Every manufacturer adds its own distinctive flavors for satisfying the taste buds and cravings of genuine coffee lovers. Even if the coffee is decaffeinated.
So if you have picky taste buds, then don’t stray away from the classic flavors. Otherwise, there are plenty of experimental flavors that coffee roasters offer these days.
Compatibility of K-Cup with Brewer
Let me assure you that I have shortlisted only those single-serve K-cup pods that are 100% compatible with all Keurig brewing systems. Even the 2.0 ones. So, at least in my reviews section, you don’t have to worry about brewer compatibility.
But if you’re looking elsewhere, then don’t forget to keep this particular factor in mind. Because not every K-cup out there works with 2.0 Keurig machines.
Method of Decaffeination
Breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that decaffeinated coffee is a guilt-ridden coffee experience. But then there are a few decaffeination methods that use chemical solvents. So if you want your coffee to contain no harmful or chemical agents, then choose the Swiss Water Decaffeination method. It’s also an environment-friendly technique.
Quantity of K-Cups In A Single Pack
Is budget your priority? Either way, it’s always a better idea to buy K-cups in packs. For example, a pack of 24 single-serve K-cup pods is more affordable in comparison to buying those 24 K-cups individually. Then there are larger packages as well, such as 48, 80, 100, 120, etc.
Review of the Best Decaf K-Cups
1. Green Moutain Coffee Decaf Breakfast Blend
This Breakfast Blend decaf falls in the category of classic New England breakfast cup. The coffee provides your taste buds with a crisp flavor indicative of Central American coffee beans. Along with the depth that defines Indonesian coffee beans. So the blend, no doubt, is bright and wakeful.
It’s light-roast decaf coffee that Kosher certified. And a single pack contains 24 single-serve Keurig-compatible K-cups. But it’s the smooth taste with zero bitterness that stands out the most.
2. The Original Donut Shop Decaf K-Cup Pods
Medium roast decaffeinated coffee that isn’t too bitter nor too harsh. So if you’re caffeine-conscious while also being sensitive to too much bitterness, then here’s your ultimate solution.
It’s an extra-bold version just so you know, plus decaf. And unlike some other decaf coffee brands, that offer an inconsistent percentage of caffeine, this one has a very low amount of caffeine. Almost an unnoticeable percentage, which is great news, isn’t it?
Along the same lines, you should also know that Koobies Coffee has reviewed the best half-caff K-cups as well that give you the best of both worlds.
Moving on, the current decaf pods are designed especially for the optimal extraction that occurs in Keurig brewers.
3. McCafe Decaf Premium Medium Roast K-Cup
Presenting the premium medium roast version of decaffeinated coffee by none other than McCafe. The delicious taste and rich aroma that is packed in these K-cup pods are certainly worth lusting for.
The smooth and balanced flavor of the coffee is the thing that even committed coffee lovers appreciate the most. And why wouldn’t that happen when 100-percent Arabica beans are involved!
4. Starbucks Decaf House Blend Coffee K-Cups
Every one of the 48 K-cups is loaded with the balanced flavors of Starbucks. You’re also likely to savor the cocoa and nutty goodness of this medium roast blend.
With great power comes great responsibility; it’s the Peter Parker (Spiderman) principle. That can be applied to the coffee giant Starbucks as well. So you should expect the brand to deliver not just great taste but great quality too. And, in this case, with a smaller content of caffeine.
5. Victor Allen Decaf Donut Shop Blend
As many as 80 medium roast single-serve coffee pods. All of which are Kosher certified, GMO-free, and gluten-free.
On top of that, this Decaf Donut Shop Blend is utterly delicious. It’s full-flavored and you can prepare it in just a matter of a few minutes. And if you’re really hard-pressed for time, you should consider switching to instant coffee.
Even the more recent Keurig 2.0 brewers work with these K-cups. And since the coffee beans are genuine Arabica, no worries about the smoothness of the flavor, taste, and quality either.
6. Solimo Amazon Brand Decaf Light Roast Coffee Pods
The Breakfast Blend by Solimo here consists of coffee from Africa and Latin America. It’s a light roast version of decaffeinated coffee with medium acidity and medium body. And a nutty aroma that harmonizes perfectly well with the flavor and taste of the coffee.
Thumbs up for the delicate flavor ideal for those who don’t want to expose their taste buds to a blast of flavor first thing in the morning. Speaking of which, there’s enough flavor packed in here but without the unpleasant bite of a stronger blend.
7. Dunkin’ Donuts Decaf Medium Roast Coffee
If you ask me, there’s nothing insignificant about the delicious flavor of these Dunkin’s Donut K-cup pods. They contain a punch of the flavor that comes from the original blend. But without the caffeine, of course.
No doubt, the coffee is smooth and delicious with a very pleasant mellow finish. The full-bodied flavor and smooth, rich taste is difficult to not get addicted to. So don’t say that I didn’t warn you!
8. Peet’s Coffee Decaf House Blend Dark Roast Coffee Pods
If you prefer dark roast coffee while also eliminating the high amounts of coffee, then kindly turn your attention to Peet’s Coffee. Their Decaf House Blend here is a true gem.
The beans are carefully selected from Latin America. In simple words, the coffee is uniquely rich with a very pleasant crisp finish and spiciness.
The bright and balanced taste of the dark body comes from manual deep roasting that’s performed in limited batches. So most of the delicious, rich aroma and flavors are preserved. So there’s more to Peet’s Coffee than just complexity and body; something that’s not easy to come by in a decaf blend.
9. Tully’s Coffee French Roast Decaf Dark Roast Coffee K-Cup
This French Roast Decaf coffee is all about telling a smoky and decadent tale. The extra bold flavor is something you’re more likely to find yourself going back to.
The finish of this dark roast coffee is very sophisticated and also highlights its sweet side. So you’re bound to devour your K-cup with a rich, chocolatey pastry.
Tully’s Coffee is Kosher certified. But the extra bold taste, in this case, is the best for those who can’t get enough of it but at the same time cannot tolerate caffeine.
10. SF Bay Coffee Decaf French Roast
Are you in for some natural water processed decaffeinated dark roast coffee packed in Keurig 2.0-compatible compostable coffee pods? If your answer is nudging toward yes, then San Francisco Bay coffee is just for you.
This Decaf French Roast, without the shadow of a doubt, is full-bodied and bold. But the best part is not just the decaffeination and its natural water processing. But also the fact that commercially compostable, eco-friendly K-cups are used.
So you can devour your daily coffee without feeling guilty about two things. One is harming the environment. And the other is consuming too much caffeine.
11. Eight O’Clock Coffee Original Decaf K-Cups
There’s no chance you’re likely to not appreciate the goodness of this medium roast. It delivers a blanched flavor and great taste. Much like the brand’s sought-after Original blend, but without the caffeine content of course.
Premium Arabica coffee beans always provide a delightful coffee experience. But this is hardly the case with decaffeinated coffee, unless the brand is the current one. There’s nothing to not appreciate here. Moreover, the pleasant, smooth taste comes without any bitterness at all.
12. Illy Decaffeinated Classico Medium Roast Coffee
Now it’s time for you to savor the extraordinary taste of Illy. Their decaffeinated Classico medium roast K-cups are compatible with each and every brewing system manufactured by Keurig.
As for the flavor here, it’s full-bodied, rich, and smooth. The decaffeinated blend, no doubt, features the same rich and balanced taste of its caffeinated version but with caffeine as little as 0.05-percent.
Commonly Asked Questions
Is Decaffeinated Coffee Good or Bad for Health?
If you’re concerned about health risks, then one thing is for certain that decaf coffee is not bad. As long as the decaf coffee brand you choose doesn’t use chemicals or harmful agents for decaffeinating their coffee, there is nothing to worry about.Enter your text here...
In fact, decaffeinated coffee is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. But the level of antioxidants in decaffeinated coffee is 15-percent lower in comparison to its caffeinated version. So even decaf coffee helps in preventing conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Even the level of nutrients in decaffeinated coffee is lower. But you can make up for it by drinking more cups, ideally 2-3 cups, of decaf coffee per day.
Does Decaffeinated Coffee Have Any Caffeine?
The answer is yes, but the content of caffeine is a bare minimum. To be more specific, only 7 milligrams of caffeine in an 8-ounce cup.
As for caffeinated coffee, the amount is over 10x more. A regular 8-ounce cup of regular coffee offers around 95 milligrams of caffeine or higher.
Is Decaffeinated Coffee A Healthier Alternative to Regular Coffee?
With less acid reflux and a 48-percent lower chance of developing rectal cancer, decaf coffee is a healthier alternative. But that’s only if you consume 2-3 cups of decaffeinated coffee per day.
Speaking of less acid reflux, you might want to drink cold brew coffee as this too is comparatively easier on the tummy.
What Decaf Coffee Is Swiss Water Processed?
The Swiss Water Decaffeination company is located in Canada. It’s the only facility for decaffeinating coffee that’s Kosher certified and Organic certified.
As for answering your question, Kauai coffee, all of it, grown and harvested in Kaui is sent to the Swiss Water facility in Canada for decaffeination that’s chemical-free.
Is Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Healthy?
Since this particular method of decaffeination uses no chemicals, most of the healthy antioxidants and delicious flavors are retained. So there’s no denying that Swiss Water decaf coffee is a healthier option.
In fact, it’s also the only Earth-friendly process of decaffeination.
Which Decaffeinated Coffee Contains Least Caffeine?
Coffee beans that are decaffeinated using pure water, that is without any chemical solvents, prepare coffee with the least amount of caffeine. Almost 99.9-percent caffeine-free. And the only method that employs the use of just pure water with no chemicals is the Swiss Water technique.
So the answer to your question is all Swiss Water Processed Decaf coffee.
Choosing decaffeinated coffee means knowing all about how the coffee is decaffeinated in the first place. Only when you understand the different methods do you get to know more about the flavors and level of caffeine in the coffee.
As for K-cups, they offer nothing but convenience. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy decaf K-cup coffee pods. And if you’re an eco-friendly consumer, then go for K-cups built using plant-based materials that are fully commercially compostable.