Decaffeinated coffees often get a bad rap, and for a while, we were those people that saw decaf coffee as lesser than the real deal, but we have realized now, after searching long and hard for quality decaf beans, that this is far from the truth. A high-quality decaf coffee, when roasted correctly, can actually taste like regular coffee!
To start a discussion on coffee processing, I have to start with the ten steps to take coffee from seed to a cup. When I first learned there were ten steps, I thought, "Grow, roast, grind, brew. What else could there be?" As discussed on National Coffee Association's website they are as follows:
I find it interesting how people connect to coffee. Some people just love coffees from a particular country. Some people ask me for a good coffee at a certain roast level. I've heard a lot of requests for specific varietals of beans. But seldom do I get a request for a certain processing method. However, I believe the processing method has as much if not more impact on the flavor of coffee than any of the items listed above. I'm writing this post to talk about my favorite processing method and hope to show you another factor to pay attention to when picking coffee.
Years ago, I thought I knew decaf. I knew that it was made with chemicals that I was happier staying in the dark on the details. I knew that it was a crappy version of coffee. I agreed with David Letterman when he said, "Decaf coffee, it's just useless warm brown water."