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  • Decaf coffee
  • Premier Icon finbar
    Free Member

    I’m back in the office today and just had a decaf coffee (Taylors of Harrogate preground stuff, made using an Aeropress). Never had one before but this is all there was in the cupboard.

    WTF – it tasted like poison. I’m not being a drama queen or a snob, it was absolutely rancid. I had to pour it away and I’m now wondering if the Aeropress (a communal one) was actually contaminated somehow. Or is it really that bad?

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    It depends on the decaf really. Our local roaster does decaf beans and they’re actually pretty good, but I’ve had a lot of very bad decaf, particularly pre-ground stuff. Long covid wrecked my ability to consume caffeine, so I don’t have a lot of choice atm 🙁

    Premier Icon pocpoc
    Full Member

    How long had it been open for?
    Don’t you know (from fellow STWers) that if you don’t use it all within 30 minutes of being roast and ground then you might as well be drinking someone elses urine from your own shoes 😉

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    I normally have a bag of taylors for the “i need to fool mysrlf third coffee of the morning.”

    Its not going to win any prizes but its drinkable ie I’ve had worse real coffee. Is it a year old perchance?

    Premier Icon Kahurangi
    Full Member

    Lavazza makes a much better aeropress (using the standard paper filters) than most (coarse) ground coffee, which is likely intended for caffetieres.

    Lavazza decaf is nearly as good.

    We’re dead happy with this and don’t bother buying other coffee beans or grinds unless it’s a gift!

    HTH

    Premier Icon finbar
    Free Member

    I don’t know how long the pack has been opened for, but – allegedly – it doesn’t expire until May 2022.

    The Aeropress looks clean enough but I think that must be at fault. It really was undrinkable. (It did have one of those reusable metal filters too, and I’ve only ever used paper ones, but I presume that doesn’t explain it).

    God. Bleurgh. I’ve now found some Clipper’s instant non-decaf in a different cupboard which is much better (I did say I wasn’t a snob 😀 ) .

    Premier Icon finbar
    Free Member

    Long covid wrecked my ability to consume caffeine, so I don’t have a lot of choice atm 🙁

    What’s the story there?

    Premier Icon peaslaker
    Free Member

    The Taylors is disgusting. It’s not you.

    +1 for Lavazza.

    Sainsbury Columbian Decaf good also.

    Premier Icon finbar
    Free Member

    The Taylors is disgusting. It’s not you.

    😀 I may try Lavazza and report back. But really I don’t mind being caffeinated…

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Full Member

    +1 for Sainsbury Columbian Decaf

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Lavazzo or the one from 200° – Mellow Slinky?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Sounds like it was mouldy or something. Decaf ground coffee isn’t that great, but it’s still drinkable.

    Premier Icon stripeysocks
    Free Member

    +1 for Lavazza decaf (shop around if you end up using a lot, see if you can find the £3/pack special offers)

    Premier Icon Kahurangi
    Full Member

    Buy your own stash of coffee and filters if the communal Aeropress is that crusty. In fact, get your own Aeropress Go.

    Premier Icon monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    The decaf beans we have in our machine in our shop are almost just as good as the triple cirtified top quality beans in the other hopper.
    It’s prob the coffee you had was old…..

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    What’s the story there?

    Basically your sympathetic nervous system is hugely over-activated, so you’re permanently on edge. On top of that I went through a phase when standing up triggered surges of noradrenaline, probably because my blood pressure wasn’t adjusting properly to postural changes. But mostly you’re already jittery enough without adding caffeine to the mix.

    Oddly I miss the flavour more than the buzz. Even really good decaf doesn’t taste quite the same ime.

    Premier Icon Squirrel
    Full Member

    Decadent Decaf Dark Roast is the best I’ve found and they will grind it as you want.

    Premier Icon ahsat
    Full Member

    I get the decaf from Rave (as recommended on here) and it’s 1000x better than the Taylor’s.

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Free Member

    If you buy beans then I like Extract over Rave

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    I have a proper coffee problem when working. Only snag is I now seem to have developed a proper needing a piss every 20 mins when mainlining coffee problem. Will decaf (or a blend of beans in the grinder) help do you reckon. I’m a grumpy useless arse without it so might not be worth the risk.

    Premier Icon reeksy
    Free Member

    If you’re looking for an alternative to Aeropress i thoroughly recommend this:
    Delter Coffee Press

    I’ve got an Aeropress at one office and a Delter at another office. The Delter makes really nice coffee. Similar concept but better.

    Premier Icon batfink
    Full Member

    I drink plenty of decaf, and at most coffee shops it’s as good as the regular stuff. Just bought some decaf beans for home actually (new grinder!) – will report back.

    My local roaster also does a half-caff blend which I want to try.

    Once you grind coffee, it goes stale pretty quickly. If you’re buying pre-ground coffee, it’s usually vacuum-packed, and as soon as you break that seal it starts going stale, particularly if you don’t put it in an air-tight container. An open bag of pre-ground that’s been in the back of the cupboard for a while just isn’t going to be anything like good.

    Also: With pre-ground you obviously can’t adjust grind size as the coffee ages, and so not only are the grounds probably fairly dried out, they are certainly the wrong grind size for their age. Don’t know how sensitive aeropresses are to grind size tho.

    I know this kind of thing is usually be met with “coffee snob” derision from some on here… but the understanding the difference between something being “poison/undrinkable” and “wow, that’s really good” is surely just sensible?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I’m a grumpy useless arse without it

    Honestly that sounds like you have a drug dependency. I’d address that if I were you.

    I love my coffee but I only have one latte a day and I can manage without it. If I thought I couldn’t, I’d take a break.

    but the understanding the difference between something being “poison/undrinkable” and “wow, that’s really good” is surely just sensible?

    Even cheap coffee shouldn’t taste like poison though.

    Premier Icon Kahurangi
    Full Member

    Will decaf (or a blend of beans in the grinder) help do you reckon.

    May I recommend Sir a catheter?

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Even cheap coffee shouldn’t taste like poison though.

    I think the point was that anything that isn’t stored properly to stop it going off will taste awful, rather than it being a “cheap/expensive” issue

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I have a proper coffee problem when working. Only snag is I now seem to have developed a proper needing a piss every 20 mins when mainlining coffee problem. Will decaf (or a blend of beans in the grinder) help do you reckon. I’m a grumpy useless arse without it so might not be worth the risk.

    Try easing off it, or just go cold turkey for a week. It’s miserable and the headaches are almost migraine levels, but it’s nicer the other side not feeling like you need to drink nothing but tea/coffee all day just to stay awake.

    I’m down to one nice coffee in the morning. Then if I fancy something “coffee flavoured” I either have decaf ground stuff from lidl, or some of that posh instant stuff which barely seems to have the caffeine content of tea. Neither taste like “coffee” but are hot/wet/brown/bitter.

    Premier Icon pcosmic
    Free Member

    Catheter?

    It’s spelt cafetiere.

    Premier Icon liam1974
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    Theres No difference in taste between Decaff and caffeinated IMHO, just a lack of caffeine. Although there is a difference between good coffee and bad coffee and I would say Taylor’s is the latter.

    Premier Icon kelvin
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    If you buy beans then I like Extract over Rave

    Which Rave did you try? The Extract sugar cane stuff is really good, but I find all the Rave options better. Presto isn’t bad for a cheaper option. Tin of Illy always in the cupboard as the back up plan…

    Premier Icon chewkw
    Free Member

    WTF – it tasted like poison.

    It is … 🤣

    You are better off drinking tea instead. I tasted some “fair trade” decaf a few times at my office but it was vile. Tasted like fake coffee. I ended up going to Gregg to buy some normal coffee.

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    Theres No difference in taste between Decaff and caffeinated IMHO, just a lack of caffeine

    ” There are several ways to decaffeinate coffee but the most prevalent is to soak them in a solvent – usually methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. … The beans are first soaked in water and then covered in a solution containing either of these solvents. The caffeine is then drawn out by the solvent.”

    ” The solvents take away not just caffeine, but many other chemicals in the coffee beans–including some that give coffee its unique flavor and scent. … If the solvent were used without water, it might remove all the caffeine. But it would also extract a whole lot more chemicals, making decaf coffee taste even worse”

    methylene chloride or ethyl acetate ? Hmmm, bet those taste nice. Yum
    So real coffee, or butchered coffee, using some nasty chemicals.

    Think I’ll stick to the coffee that hasn’t been soaked in some rather nasty chemicals.

    methylene chloride
    ” Even though DCM is the least toxic of the simple chlorohydrocarbons, it has serious health risks. Its high volatility makes it an acute inhalation hazard.[20][21] It can also be absorbed through the skin.[1][22] Symptoms of acute overexposure to dichloromethane via inhalation include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, numbness, weakness, and irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. More severe consequences can include suffocation, loss of consciousness, coma, and death.
    Ethyl acetate –
    “In the field of entomology, ethyl acetate is an effective asphyxiant for use in insect collecting and study. In a killing jar charged with ethyl acetate, the vapors will kill the collected insect quickly without destroying it”

    Premier Icon batfink
    Full Member

    Most decent decaf coffee (the sort you will buy from independent roasters) are “swiss water” decatenated or similar. It just uses water/heat/filters to decaffeinate rather than the chemicals above.

    So the above argument is one against cheap/shit coffee, rather than decaf in general.

    Edit: when I think of “cheap shit coffee” I tend to think of Lavazza, and even they use CO2 rather than dichloromethane or ethyl acetate. Taylors coffee is also “Decaffeinated using a natural water method”.

    so: yeah, nah

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    So the above argument is one against cheap/shit coffee, rather than decaf in general.

    Good point. Always check if the company selling it has bought beans from a company which decaffeinates it using water.

    Although I must say that the process is a little weird and a bit tricky to get your head around.

    Works something like this.
    Add the green beans to hot water, which sucks all flavour and caffeine out of them.
    They then discard these beans and use a fresh batch, but add it to this same water, which removes the caffeine but not the flavour, which it would do originally if the water was fresh.

    Not entirely sure why the ‘liquid’ doesn’t absorb everything as it does in the first batch though. I would have thought the liquid would have extracted all the flavour chemicals, not just the caffeine. I think it seems like this liquid or brine type solution is laden to the point it cannot absorb anything other than caffeine, and hence the majority of the flavour remains in the bean. Which is then roasted.

    If im following this process correctly 😕
    found something 😕
    ” The result being that the decaffeinated liquid returned to that first batch will still contain oils and flavors from the other batch. This practice will blend the flavors of the coffees, muting the more subtle notes of each batch.”

    Still tastes horrid. But hey ho, its caffeine free.

    Premier Icon batfink
    Full Member

    Still tastes horrid

    Just made myself a cup of decaf – tasted delicious. Certainly no worse that the caffeinated cup I had this morning. All variables were identical: Same grinder/machine/dose/temp etc. Beans were from the same roaster, just their standard espresso blend and then their decaf equivalent. Even roasted within a few days of each other. Had to grind a fair-bit finer though – the beans were noticeably darker, I suspect to give them a longer shelf life.

    That’s as close to a decent experiment as you’re going to get on STW – but you’re welcome to pop round and do a blind tasting if you like.

    So anyway – a shit cup of coffee is a shit cup of coffee – probably very little to do with whether its caffeinated or not.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Just popped to the village Post Office/Tesco Express and they were selling off Lavazza Decaff for £2.38 – seemed rude not to really.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Think I’ll stick to the coffee that hasn’t been soaked in some rather nasty chemicals.

    You’ll shit yourself when you find out what they use on the Covid swabs…..🙄

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Picolax?

    Premier Icon batfink
    Full Member

    This deserved more credit

    Catheter?

    It’s spelt cafetiere.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Picolax?

    🤣

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Although I must say that the process is a little weird and a bit tricky to get your head around.

    Maybe dont condemn it as a process if you don’t understand it?

    Essentially you make coffee in water, the put the “coffee” and the lean solvent together (the solvent can’t dissolve into the water but the caffeine is more soluble in the solvent than water), caffeine transfers into the solvent, decaf coffee returns to the beans where it’s soaked up again and the beans dried. The rich solvent is then boiled to leave caffeine solid which is sold to energy drink makers and pharmaceutical companies and the lean solvent returns to the process.

    By carefully selecting the solvent you pick one that only dissolves caffeine. You can also tweek the process by extracting any other compounds from the recovered caffeine amd returning them to the lean solvent, so the equilibrium prevents them being extracted from the aqueous phase.

    If you’re going to quote the safety data for the solvents, you should probably compare them agains the ones for caffeine too 🤣

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