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The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
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bigjoedo
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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2007, 11:09am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

Richard,

        I was forced to switch to Decaf beans due to health issues also. I can make excellent espresso drinks with decaf beans. I roast my own in Digital Hottop, the decaf beans must be watched closer than regular beans and roast at different rates than regular greens. I agree with Richard, there are a lot less Decaf beans to choose from, most Green sellers have the same varieties as all the others. Sweet Marias has a larger selection of different decaf beans. Great article.

                                                                                         Joe
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IMAWriter
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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2007, 11:54am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

bigjoedo Said:

Richard,

        I was forced to switch to Decaf beans due to health issues also. I can make excellent espresso drinks with decaf beans. I roast my own in Digital Hottop, the decaf beans must be watched closer than regular beans and roast at different rates than regular greens. I agree with Richard, there are a lot less Decaf beans to choose from, most Green sellers have the same varieties as all the others. Sweet Marias has a larger selection of different decaf beans. Great article.

                                                                                         Joe

Posted April 4, 2007 link

As good as the WP decafs are...and I'm sure the other methods as well...I don't enjoy a straight up decaf espresso shot as mmuch as 'high test"...I'm sure part of it is mental...hey, this whole "coffee thang" is, as Yogi Berra would say..."100% half mental"...haha
I do enjoy my decaf Americanos/cappa's.....and I sleep better at night.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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fookoonetwork
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Posted Fri Apr 6, 2007, 12:53am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

If one has to choose decaf for medical reasons or one doesn't want to be subjected to the caffeine late at night - that is more than understandable.   A couple of years ago at the SCAA c-Member get-together Tim Castle gave a presentation about decaf coffee and how only the true coffee fanatic would choose it.  Subsequently, I was able to question him and flatly asked him: will the decaffeinated version of a coffee ever have better flavors than its undecaf sibling?  His answer: no.  

This is akin to the comparison between a non-alcoholic wine and one made in the traditional manner with alcohol.  There is no non-alcoholic wine that is world class and be in the same class as a world class wine with alcohol.  Same to do about non-alcoholic beer.  Flavor is where flavor is and the apex of coffee is not to be found in decaf.
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dolcimelo
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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2007, 7:52pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

fookoonetwork Said:

This is akin to the comparison between a non-alcoholic wine and one made in the traditional manner with alcohol.  There is no non-alcoholic wine that is world class and be in the same class as a world class wine with alcohol.  Same to do about non-alcoholic beer.  Flavor is where flavor is and the apex of coffee is not to be found in decaf.

Posted April 3, 2007 link

But stop focusing on the caffeine and focus on the process. As far as I know, there is no evidence that caffeine contributes anything to the flavour of good coffee. Alcohol is another matter. While I don't believe that most people drink decaf for the flavour, true coffee lovers surely don't drink coffee for the caffeine. If a decaf coffee tree came along and provided equal quality to caffeinated varieties, I wouldn't hesitate to use it. There is no shortage of caffeine in our diets as it is.

Matt
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IMAWriter
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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2007, 8:53pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

This is just a general comment...here's hoping will hear again soon from our OP/author of a fine article...
wishing you the best, Richard!

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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MarkPrince
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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2007, 12:34am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

IMAWriter Said:

This is just a general comment...here's hoping will hear again soon from our OP/author of a fine article...
wishing you the best, Richard!

Posted April 15, 2007 link

Again, I hope I'm not stepping over bounds with this. But great news from Fran, Richard's partner, about his operation:

"Richard did well today. We arrived at 6. Surgery started at 7:30 and ended at 1:30. I heard from the surgeon by phone at 2:15. I spent those 45 minutes tied up in knots.  

(snip personal stuff about the operation - other than it was a success, I'd like to keep it private).

I was allowed to see Richard at 4:30, and he was wide awake. He looked good. When I introduced myself to the nurse (I'm Fran, Richard's wife), Richard said, "I've never seen this person before in my life." ; -)

More later."

Great news!

Mark

 
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
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Posted Mon Apr 16, 2007, 6:30am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

MarkPrince Said:

Again, I hope I'm not stepping over bounds with this. But great news from Fran, Richard's partner, about his operation:

"Richard did well today. We arrived at 6. Surgery started at 7:30 and ended at 1:30. I heard from the surgeon by phone at 2:15. I spent those 45 minutes tied up in knots.  

(snip personal stuff about the operation - other than it was a success, I'd like to keep it private).

I was allowed to see Richard at 4:30, and he was wide awake. He looked good. When I introduced myself to the nurse (I'm Fran, Richard's wife), Richard said, "I've never seen this person before in my life." ; -)

More later."

Great news!

Mark

Posted April 16, 2007 link

Awesome, Mark!....just great!
Thanks for the update....must be the decaf...haha

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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fookoonetwork
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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2007, 9:16am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

dolcimelo Said:

But stop focusing on the caffeine and focus on the process. As far as I know, there is no evidence that caffeine contributes anything to the flavour of good coffee. Alcohol is another matter. While I don't believe that most people drink decaf for the flavour, true coffee lovers surely don't drink coffee for the caffeine. If a decaf coffee tree came along and provided equal quality to caffeinated varieties, I wouldn't hesitate to use it. There is no shortage of caffeine in our diets as it is.

Matt

Posted April 15, 2007 link

I believe that you are missing my point that the best flavor in coffee is not to be found in decaf coffee - true coffee drinkers drink coffee for the flavor, not the caffeine.  Or another implication is that the process of decaffeination strips more than caffeine from the beans and that no amount of alteration after the decaf process of adding some of the missing components actually is able to recover those flavors.  One hope for the decaf drinker is to await the emergence of a true decaf coffee from the green bean stage.   Until that occurs, all you have to do is find a world class coffee whose decaf brothern is equivalent or better than the caffeinated version and at a reasonable price.  Good luck, please let us know when you find one.
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kennethw
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Posted Wed May 16, 2007, 9:22pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

Fantastic article. I've been drinking decaf lately just because it seems a healthier choice, but knowing more about the chemicals involved and not having a (known) specific medical need for decaf, I think I'll just get back onto the caffeine train while I can. ;)

Here's a (decaf) shot to Richard's health.
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petuniaii
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Posted Tue May 22, 2007, 2:56pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

fookoonetwork Said:

If one has to choose decaf for medical reasons or one doesn't want to be subjected to the caffeine late at night - that is more than understandable.   A couple of years ago at the SCAA c-Member get-together Tim Castle gave a presentation about decaf coffee and how only the true coffee fanatic would choose it.  Subsequently, I was able to question him and flatly asked him: will the undecaffeinated version of a coffee ever be better than its decaf sibling?  His answer: no.  

Posted April 3, 2007 link

Of course not - which is why the forced decaf drinker (i.e., Richard, or myself for that matter) deserves to be thrown a bone now and again.  I drink coffee because I love it, not for the buzz - sometimes in SPITE of the buzz, in fact, even when it's decaf!  A decaf drinker has more obstacles to overcome on the way to that perfect cup.  It's like having tickets to the ballet that are in the nosebleed section, obstructed view, seated between rowdy kids and people who forgot their cough drops, and you forgot your opera glasses and/or hearing aid... dude, to be willing to endure all that, you must REALLY love ballet.  I would've loved to hear Tim Castle's talk.  Anyway, loved the article, and I plan on trying all of the decafs in Richard's list as I get going on my quest.  Glad surgery went well, hope he's recovering speedily!

Something else in the article got me thinking, about some of the words often used to describe decaf (flat, bland, dead, etc.), and there was the bit about some decafs being "tamer or quieter tasting than the regulars."  However, my own (extremely limited) experience with decaf espresso has been, at the lower end, something I would call really sour-tasting.  It just occurred to me that maybe I'm not using the right word to describe it, or that maybe something else is going onto make it taste that way.  Sorry if I'm asking too broad a question here, but... what does an average decaf shot taste like to you?
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