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What's the Best Method for Brewing Decaf?
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jamierayo
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 109
Location: Alaska
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville DB, Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Mini E,...
Drip: Aeropress, Kalita Wave
Roaster: iRoast2, Behmor
Posted Sun Mar 31, 2013, 9:14am
Subject: What's the Best Method for Brewing Decaf?
 

I have given up on making decent decaf espresso.
Mine always has an off taste & mouthfeel which I would describe as ashy & dry, respectively.

I do know that decaf ages quickly. There are no local sources for fresh roasted beans. I have all my beans shipped, which usually takes 5-6 days. I'm going to start roasting my own soon, but I'll likely still buy the decaf until I get a good handle on roasting regular beans.

Is there a method, or methods, which works particularly well for decaf?  I would especially like to know about the chemistry involved, and what changes the beans suffer in the decaffination proccess (besides losing caffine). Keeping those changes in mind, what brewing & grinding methods can make the most of the altered beans.

Most of the beans I buy are water proccessed.

I do use the Aeropress for decaf now, with good results (standard paper filters). I haven't tried any other methods, but I'm always open to an excuse to buy more coffee equipment ;-)
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yakster
Senior Member
yakster
Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 1,040
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Factory / La Peppina...
Grinder: Vario / Kyocera
Vac Pot: Yama 8 + Pyrex Lox-in Rod
Drip: Brazen / Kalita / Chemex /...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Apr 1, 2013, 3:45pm
Subject: Re: What's the Best Method for Brewing Decaf?
 

I primarily roast my own decaf, though I recently picked up a nice ShadowPuppet decaf espresso blend from Chromatic, but I haven't had the same experience as you have with dry, ashy coffee tastes.  I have tasted some vegetal tastes with some commercial coffee (sort of like asparagus notes).

Normally, I brew a single cup for the wife in a Kalita Wave 155 filter (14 grams coffee to 225 grams water) because it's small and a simple way to brew a single cup.  I use the Clever Coffee Dripper for two cups (28 grams coffee with 500 grams water) and will also brew with the Aeropress, pull shots with my espresso machine, or brew in a Chemex or in the BraZen if there's enough demand for at least 600 ml of coffee.

Dry and ashy sounds either like the decaf has been roasted pretty dark (I prefer very light, bright coffee) or that it may have been brewed too hot.  You might try a different roaster or changing your brew temps.  A good decaf shouldn't taste ashy.

 
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 2, 2013, 12:48pm
Subject: .
 

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