Decaf Your Coffee Post-Brew With Decafino

By decaf, decafino, kickstarter, Wire

Decaf coffee is having a bit of a moment right now. No longer just an also-ran on many coffee roasters’ line-up sheets, decaf is taking front and center for many coffee companies, some even going so far as to only trade in the decaffeinated realm. And despite the rantings of handful of haters, most of whom don’t ever drink the stuff, decaf coffee is good now (if you feel yourself “well actually”-ing this, you are one of those haters. You should work on yourself). But for those disbelievers, a new product may permanently alter their perceptions on what decaf coffee can be. Called Decafino, these new pouches can remove caffeine post-brew, and the results are pretty damn tasty.

Now on Kickstarter, Decafino is the product of three years of research. The result is a teabag-like pouch you dunk in your coffee post-brew, and after three to four minutes, your coffee is caffeine free. The pouch works through a “physical process called adsorption,” whereby the caffeine molecules bind to the little grey flecks contained within, which according to the Kickstarter, “contains only natural minerals, food-grade ingredients, and biodegradable materials,” making it fully compostable.

The big question is: how does it taste? Having been given a few Decafino pouches to sample ahead of the Kickstarter, I can say that the results were shockingly good. To test Decafino’s mettle, I split a Kalita Wave pour-over between two mugs, decaffing one and using the other as a flavor constant. The decaffed cup was strikingly similar to that of its caffeinated counterpart. Now that’s a decaffing customers can get behind!

According to the Kickstarter, Decafino works just as well on teas, sodas, and espresso drinks that include milk and sugar.

Only two days into the campaign, as of press time Decafino has raised $1,700 of its $25,000 goal with a little less than a month remaining. Interested parties can still take advantage of the Early Bird Special and get 20 pouches for $25, should the Kickstarter make.

There’s a lot of great decaf coffee out there these days. But even still, there’s a strain of decaf hate that remains surprisingly resilient. Decafino may be the answer to that. It may just be the last nail in the coffin all those Death-Before-Decaffers keep clamoring for.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Top image via Decafino

The post Decaf Your Coffee Post-Brew With Decafino appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

There’s A Decaf-Only Micro-Roaster Boom Happening Right Now

By boston stoker, caffenation, Carol Blanchet, decaf, Dewired Coffee, Eric Blanchet, Industry, intelligentsia, Jamie Morganstern, Kait Brown, micro-roasters, Peter Andrews, Playground Roasters, Rob Berghmans, Sara Serino, Savorista Coffee, Staff Picks, Talking Crow Coffee Roasters

Are you a mod or a rocker? Eat lunch with the jocks or the burnouts? Team Edward or Team Jacob? Rest assured, one milieu in this modern era no longer demands that you choose socio-culturally defining sides: coffee. That is, whether you drink it with or without caffeine.

You see, in the last few years there has been a burgeoning of specialty coffee micro-roasteries that specialize in decaf. They use green beans decaffeinated by natural methods, and as much as their caff counterparts, prioritize flavor while maintaining the same high standards in sourcing and processing. Although the bigwigs in third wave include decafs in their collections (Intelligentsia offers a whopping four online), for this newest generation of roasteries, decaf is a starting point rather than an afterthought. The result is delicious, complex, and varied coffee that could well disarm the death-before-decaf set and lift the Lenten gloom of those who abstain for medical reasons. Some of these roasters were once regular regular coffee drinkers themselves, still are, and/or simply do not dichotomize the joy of a cup’s contents into caff and non-caff camps.

This capacity for coexistence is patently encapsulated in a tagline on the Talking Crow Coffee Roasters website: “He drinks regular—she needs decaf.” Those pronouns’ antecedents are Eric and Carol Blanchet, who established their Sultan, Washington-based roastery in late 2018. Their “predominately decaf” business, as Carol describes it, ideally carries three regular roasts alongside seven decafs. “We roast both so that we can compare our decaf with the regular to be sure we are spot-on with our roast profiles.

“We have a large family (eight children) and we home educate, which makes for crazy-busy days,” Carol explains via email. “A few months after our last child was born, I suffered with extreme adrenal fatigue, which required, among other things, that I give up caffeine. That was really hard because I love coffee and really depended on it to function throughout the day.”

In similar want of salubrious substitution, Kait Brown last year founded Savorista Coffee in Dayton, Ohio. “I first fell in love with coffee as a teenage barista for Boston Stoker,” she recalls. But as an adult, a stressful period compounded by work pressures and her father’s cancer compelled Brown to quit caffeine because it was exacerbating sleeplessness. Eventually, she went seeking drinkable decaf.

“In Colombia, at a blind cupping of decaf and caffeinated coffees, I tasted an incredible coffee. It was one of my two favorites on the table, the flavor notes were really complex and it had a lot of brightness,” she relays by email. “I was shocked to learn that this coffee was a decaf! I realized incredible decaf was possible.”

That Colombian was Savorista’s first coffee. Nowadays, Brown is launching a remarkably berry-toned Ethiopian decaf and “actively looking for more coffees to add to our portfolio, but this has been very challenging,” she says. “I’m not looking for coffee that is ‘good for a decaf.’ I’m looking for coffee that is incredible, full stop, and just happens to be a decaf.”

Some decaf roasteries were born to fulfill not the founders’ desires, but rather their loved ones. Peter Andrews began Sydney’s Playground Roasters in 2016, “when my special lady gone and got herself pregnant, again,” he writes. “It occurred to me that no one was really putting a strong focus on decaf for the coffee enthusiasts amongst us.”

People who connect most with his decaf blend, which is available in cafes around the city, comprise “the growing world of healthy-lifers, the sugar-free movement,” Andrews finds, and “typical cafe-loving mums who so want to have a great coffee, but feel like they just have to go without until they ween the little one.” Though decaf is something he himself has only “occasionally in the afternoon or evening,” he admires the loyalists—included among them are his wife, presently expecting their third child.

“When a customer orders decaf, they are genuinely ordering a coffee for flavor alone—no buzz attached! You could put a case forward that the decaf drinker is the true coffee purist, searching for flavor and flavor alone, while the rest of us are just addicts needing a hit!” he says.

What is more, not all decaf projects are a response to doctor’s orders or an antidote to the jitters.

“We were visiting family in Maine and giving coffee we had roasted as a gift,” Jamie Morganstern recollects of a winter holiday in 2017, when he and his partner, Sara Serino, conceptualized Dewired Coffee. “The days are short in Maine that time of year so we were drinking a lot of decaf, especially when the sun went down. Everyone loved this ritual!”

Today their Berkeley, California-based business offers, on average, three types of decaf. They themselves drink it regularly, but when Morganstern blames buns in the oven, he is not referring to pregnancy. “Sara is always a huge baker, so we’ve pretty much gotten accustomed to having a cup [of decaf] in the evening with a plate of cookies or a slice of pie,” Morganstern says via email.

Though their nights sound traditionally more momcore than millennial-chic, Morganstern is 33 and Serino is 32. They substantiate industry claims that decaf is having a renaissance and young people are its patrons.

“Decaf coffee is also shedding its stigma of being a drink that only the older generation enjoys,” Andrea Piccolo, a senior brand manager at leading specialty decaffeination plant Swiss Water, tells Sprudge. “With millennials leading decaf consumption, the demand is surely to continue its upward growth.”

Still, others attribute decaf’s slow evolution thus far to the specialty scene’s relative infancy.

“Most caffeine-troubled people are not so young and outside of the interest span of these young baristas and roasters,” theorizes Rob Berghmans, who 16 years ago revolutionized Antwerp’s coffee scene with his espresso bar and roastery, Caffènation. “Me myself, I am not addicted,” he says with a laugh.

Yet even Berghmans, ever upfront about the nature of the psychotropic he peddles—his company’s slogan is “One drug, one nation, one Caffènation”—says they have “always been roasting decaf” and are lately enjoying the popularity of their new Caldono.

Another playing-both-sides perspective comes courtesy of long-time San Francisco Sprudge contributor Noah Sanders. In “Searching For The Dark Art Of Decaf,” Sanders reveals how during the early aughts he and fellow baristas sometimes punished “the very worst type of customers” by secretly serving them decaf.

Questioned in 2019 about his own relationship with the substance, he admits: “When I was a barista, I drank six cups of coffee a day until an acupuncturist told me it was undoubtedly the cause of the mildly crippling panic attacks I’d been experiencing. I drank some decaf after that.” These days, he notes: “I try—and fail—to give up caffeine every six months or so and decaf is the lifeline I then cling to, but then only paired with a large-ish amount of steamed milk.”

Now, disguise with dairy no more. At any time, sun up or sun down, you can have your coffee and drink it too. Thanks to these emergent micro-roasteries, contemporary decaf little resembles Grandpa’s Sanka (though what a cute corporate portmanteau that name turns out to be: from the French for sans caffeine). This is certainly NYMD (not your mother’s decaf). As specialty coffee grows up, the black-or-white big-gulp attitudes of yesterday are getting displaced by the nuanced fluidity of personal preference.

We say bring it on. Or more simply put, decaf gives us life.

Karina Hof is a Sprudge staff writer based in Amsterdam. Read more Karina Hof on Sprudge.

The post There’s A Decaf-Only Micro-Roaster Boom Happening Right Now appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News

Jim Gaffigan’s Decaf Hot Take Is Un-American

By CBS News, comedy, decaf, Jim Gaffigan, Quality Time, Wire

Jim Gaffigan is a comedian. He tells jokes, many of which are funny. But there are just some things that shouldn’t be joked about. One of those things is coffee, specifically decaf. But in noted curse word enthusiast Gaffigan’s shock-comedy fashion, on his recent visit to CBS News to promote his new Amazon Prime comedy special Quality Time, he decried decaf coffee as un-American. And this time he has gone too far.

In the video, Gaffigan, better known as “that guy from the ‘meow’ scene in Super Troopers,” turns up the ad hominem attacks on decaf coffee drinkers, calling them “decaf weirdos” and “coffee traitors” and refers to the beverage itself at “dirt liquid.” Gaffe Again even states that “decafers” are the “real problem” plaguing America right now.

But I’ll tell you who the real problems with America are. It’s those looking to turn a quick buck by dividing the country with their inflammatory rhetoric. It’s your Tuckers Carlson and your Seans Hannity, and yes, your Jims Gaffigan. These are the real scourges of our democracy.

And I’ll tell you something else: there is no love more pure than that of a decaf drinker for coffee. They do it solely for the taste itself, not for any jittery jolt side effects. If there were more people in this country with that sort of capacity for love, America would be a less divided place. And you wanna know a little secret? Without decaffeinated coffee, there would be no extracted caffeine with which to load up your Monster energy drinks, and for better or worse, Monster is perhaps the most true expression of America as it currently stands. I don’t think it’s an over-exaggeration in the slightest to say that decaf coffee is like Jesus Christ, dying so that lesser beings may live.

And Gaffigan, a devout Catholic, has the gall to take shots at the lord and savior of the caffeinated? Have you no decency, sir?

If there is one respect in which Gaffigan is correct about decaf being un-American, it is that the majority of decaf is not produced in America, but in Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Colombia. But ole Lady Liberty, the original Keeper of the Flame, says to give us your tired, your pour, your huddled masses yearning to be caffeine free. That’s some pure, uncut America right there, brother, welcoming in those who aren’t from here with open arms.

Gaffigan, the physical manifestation of cream and sugar, wants you to believe otherwise.

But I say enough is enough. It’s time we stand up for our decaffeinated brethren and recognize them for who they truly are: the truest Americans of us all. Stick to Hot Pocket hot takes, Jim.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Top image via CBS News

The post Jim Gaffigan’s Decaf Hot Take Is Un-American appeared first on Sprudge.

Source: Coffee News