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The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
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TopoTail
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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2007, 12:00am
Subject: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?
The Cafe Stage article by Richard Reynolds

Richard Reynolds describes the surprising results of his research into decaffeinated coffees, how he came to love them, and why you can, too.
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iEmil
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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2007, 2:27am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

Great article, interesting reading!!! Thanks :)

 
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Posted Mon Mar 26, 2007, 6:38am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

Fantastic article, Richard!

Thank you!

Wolfgang
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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2007, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

Thank you for this informative article.  I knew about chemical vs. Swiss water processes, but didn't know about the numerous and different processes.  I've wondered from time to time if caffeinated beans abruptly ceased to exist, would I be as interested in coffee as I am?  I don't believe I would.  But, who knows!
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IMAWriter
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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2007, 7:28pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

Richard...a very nice read!...and though I'm still fortunate enough to continue my caffeine, I surely grieve with you....
However, I too pull decaf shots...at night, and strictly for Cappas/Americano's.
Since you're in the Bay area, I suggest you speak with Tom Owen at Sweet Maria's...I home roast his "Donkey" decaf espresso blend...it's VERY chocolate-y in milk...not tons of fruit, but more like a hot chocolate.....it needs a serious adjustment on my Mazzer SJ...but worth it.
Why not have him roast you a lb or 3?....
Once again, thanks for sharing your time and story with us here at CG.
Best regards...
Rob Jason

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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MarkPrince
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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2007, 10:20pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

Hey folks.

I don't want to say too much because I'd like to respect his privacy on this matter, but Richard's part of this community and a very valued one, and I'd feel remiss if I didn't say something, so here goes:

Richard, the author of this article, is having some medical problems right now; the prognosis is very good from what I've been able to glean so far, but Richard has a potentially long route of recovery ahead of him. He's scheduled to go for major surgery in the near future to deal with the health issues. This is probably why we may not see him respond much to the comments to this great article on decaf coffee.

Richard's a deeply valued member of this community, and an excellent communicator on coffee issues, writing for everything from the LA Times and NY Times right on down to this tiny little website.

I hope all of you will join me in on sending best wishes for a speedy recovery to him, and also his partner Fran, who is helping Richard through this tough time.

Richard, get well soon - we definitely need a lot more of your valued insight and prose on great coffee and great experiences.

Mark

 
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IMAWriter
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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2007, 10:32am
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

MarkPrince Said:

Hey folks.

I don't want to say too much because I'd like to respect his privacy on this matter, but Richard's part of this community and a very valued one, and I'd feel remiss if I didn't say something, so here goes:

Richard, the author of this article, is having some medical problems right now; the prognosis is very good from what I've been able to glean so far, but Richard has a potentially long route of recovery ahead of him. He's scheduled to go for major surgery in the near future to deal with the health issues. This is probably why we may not see him respond much to the comments to this great article on decaf coffee.

Richard's a deeply valued member of this community, and an excellent communicator on coffee issues, writing for everything from the LA Times and NY Times right on down to this tiny little website.

I hope all of you will join me in on sending best wishes for a speedy recovery to him, and also his partner Fran, who is helping Richard through this tough time.

Richard, get well soon - we definitely need a lot more of your valued insight and prose on great coffee and great experiences.

Mark

Posted March 27, 2007 link

Thanks, Mark for the heads-up. Richard....get better soon....when you're able, you've a got a # of home-roasted decaf 'spresso comin' your way!...
RJ

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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PeaberryPicker
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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2007, 12:42pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

One of the problems with decaf espresso that I have seen in many shops where I have worked is that the grinder for decaf is almost always the worn out old regular grinder.  When the owner, (private or corporate, doesn't seem to matter) decides to upgrade, the old grinder gets relegated to the decaf duty.  Often with little to no maintenance,  the old grinder gets pushed aside and forgotten.  No, not even forgotten.  What I have heard from one Barista after another is that we don't clean/maintain/keep-up-with that grinder/airpot/dispenser because it is for decaf, and who cares about decaf.  The apathy is thick and unabashed.

    All problems and inconsistencies with decaffeinating processes aside, there still remains the problem of young twenty something Baristi who like to stay up all night and detest the very notion of decaf as a beverage choice, (a gross generalization, I know, but not that far off) and refuse to take care of the equipment used to make it.  I find myself trying to realign the prevailing philosophy at the shop to match the logic that even decaf drinkers would like their coffee to taste good.

  I find myself drinking more and more decaf as the years go by and I would be very happy to see a tree come along that grows naturally without caffeine.

Thanks for the article guys,
Peaberry
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
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Posted Wed Mar 28, 2007, 3:34pm
Subject: Re: The Decaf Drinker: Poor Stepchild or Ultimate Coffee Lover?, The Cafe Stage
 

PeaberryPicker Said:

    All problems and inconsistencies with decaffeinating processes aside, there still remains the problem of young twenty something Baristi who like to stay up all night and detest the very notion of decaf as a beverage choice, (a gross generalization, I know, but not that far off) and refuse to take care of the equipment used to make it.  I find myself trying to realign the prevailing philosophy at the shop to match the logic that even decaf drinkers would like their coffee to taste good.


Thanks for the article guys,
Peaberry

Posted March 28, 2007 link

I have great respect for pro baristas....that being said, I've met several who snort at the idea of a decaf cappa made from scratch (grinding freshly roasted decaf beans), yet at the same time having NO PROBLEM pouring copious amounts of ultra sweet flavored syrups and such into a perfectly fine(regular) double cappa....
Go figure. It's the same public...both elements...the syrup folks and the decaf folks should get the same treatment.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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fookoonetwork
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Posted Tue Apr 3, 2007, 8:49pm
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 undecaffeinated version of a coffee ever be better than its decaf 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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