- What is a decaf coffee?
- How to decaffeinate coffee
- Health benefits of decaf coffee
- #1 Sanka Instant Decaf Coffee
- #2 Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Decaf Coffee
- #3 Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Decaf Coffee
- #4 Hills Bros French Vanilla Instant Decaf Coffee
- #5 Starbucks VIA Decaf Italian Roast
- #6 Four Sigmatic Organic Mushroom Coffee Mix
- #7 Café Bustelo Instant Decaf Coffee
- #8 Maxwell House Colombian Instant Decaf Coffee
- #9 Folgers Instant Decaf Crystals
- #10 Douwe Egberts Pure Decaf Instant Coffee
Coffee will always be coffee no matter how much caffeine it contains. But do you know that you can still enjoy the best instant decaf coffee despite the minimal caffeine it is made of?
If you want coffee but do not want the negative effects of caffeine, decaf is a perfect choice. Is caffeinated coffee superior to decaffeinated ones?
What is a decaf coffee?
Caffeine is an active ingredient in coffee. It is a type of stimulant commonly found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and other energy drinks (2).
Caffeine is a naturally occurring substance in coffee beans. It is a good antioxidant for the body.
Decaf is short for decaffeinated. Decaffeination of coffee is simply the removal of about 97% of caffeine in coffee beans. The process leaves a minute amount of 3% or less caffeine in the beans (3).
How to decaffeinate coffee
There are 4 ways on how to decaffeinate coffee beans. Decaffeination occurs while the coffee beans are still green and not yet roasted (4).
In this method, caffeine is removed by immersing the beans (after soaking in boiling water for hours) directly in solvents (such as ethyl acetate or methyl chloride). The process does not remove other organic substances in the beans so the taste and aroma of the coffee are least altered.
Using this method, the beans are steamed for about 30 minutes. Then, the beans are repeatedly rinsed with a solvent (either ethyl acetate or methyl chloride) for almost 10 hours to remove the caffeine.
Afterward, the caffeine-loaded solvent is drained while the beans are again steamed to discard the remaining caffeine.
Swiss Water Process
The Swiss Water Process, also called SWP, is a chemical-free decaffeination method developed in Switzerland in 1933. In this method, only water and osmosis are used to decaffeinate the beans.
Decaffeinated coffees that used this method are labeled “Swiss Water Decaf” and don’t lose the flavor of the beans. This process is used mainly for organic coffee beans.
Carbon Dioxide Process
The Carbon Dioxide (CO2) process, also called the Liquid Carbon Dioxide Method, is the most recent process in decaffeination. In this operation, only pure water is used.
The decaffeination process takes place inside a stainless steel extraction vessel where the beans (soaked in water) are subjected to liquid CO2 at a pressure of 1,000psi.
The high-pressure CO2 acts as a solvent drawing the caffeine from the beans. The process does not take out the larger molecule flavor of the beans maintaining the aroma of the coffee.
Health benefits of decaf coffee
More recent studies show that coffee is good for your health when taken in moderation. And decafs are not an exemption.
Solvents used in decaffeination of coffee beans were proven not a health risk.
Furthermore, studies showed that decaf coffees are still loaded with antioxidants and contain nutrients (although in small quantity) just like a regular coffee (5).
Antioxidants (like hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols) are still present in decaf coffees. These antioxidants reduce the oxidative damage which may aid in preventing the risk of having Type II diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
#1 Sanka Instant Decaf Coffee
- Has a longer shelf life of 450 days
- You can save more when you buy in bulk
- A blend of Arabica and Robusta beans
- Perfect for persons who travel frequently
- Not as flavorful as other brands but the aroma is quite enticing
Sanka is one of those brands that cater to single-serve envelopes and price cheaper than most brands. Sanka Instant Decaf Coffee is 100% pure coffee that comes mild and smooth to the taste.
If you are consuming more than 4 cups of coffee a day, Sanka is your choice. Sanka is one of America’s oldest brands of decaffeinated coffee made by Maxwell House.
A pack comes with 100 packets of one-cup serving. If you are wondering if Sanka coffee is still available in jars, the answer is definitely yes.
The jarred variety of Sanka Naturally Decaffeinated Coffee makes 180 cups.
#2 Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Decaf Coffee
- Organic/Fair Trade decaf coffee, the pride of Germany
- Made from pure Arabica beans
- Certified Kosher and Organic
- Comes in lightweight jar ideal for carrying on luggage for trips
- 60 servings per jar
- Packed with more antioxidants
- Pricey compared to other brands
The Mount Hagen Organic Decaf Coffee is a certified brand (the world’s first certified organic coffee brand) and freeze-dried without added chemicals. This organic decaf instant coffee is a German innovation guided with strict quality roasting process preserving the flavor.
The good thing about Fair Trade coffee beans is that you are assured no fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are used to grow the coffee plants. The taste is proven superior compared with other brands that are not organic but is more expensive.
If you consume just a couple of cups every day, the Mount Hagen Organic Decaf Coffee might be more economical in savoring a great-tasting coffee.
#3 Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Decaf Coffee
- Comes in 7 oz sealed canister
- Each canister is lightweight perfect for trips
- 100% pure coffee
- Flash freeze-dried and sealed immediately
- 99.70% caffeine-free which
- Indirect-solvent process of decaffeination
- Strong decaf coffee enthusiasts may not like the mild taste
The Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Decaf Coffee is probably one of the best Nescafe decaf instant coffees to hit the shelves. The decaf is light-medium roast and just perfect for those who want a not-so-strong coffee.
The blend only needs hot water for a quick cup of coffee and not necessarily boiling water. This way, you don’t spend much just to prepare your morning joe.
The quick packaging method of Nestle locks the signature smooth and well-balanced flavor more coffee lovers prefer.
#4 Hills Bros French Vanilla Instant Decaf Coffee
- With sweet taste everybody loves
- Also ideal for children 7 years old and above
- Cappuccino-style decaf coffee
- With vanilla flavor
- Black coffee lovers may not like the sweet taste
- Not advisable for diabetics in large quantity
Kudos to Hills Bros for their sweet and creamy cappuccino by introducing the Hills Bros French Vanilla Instant Decaf Coffee! Coffee lovers have now the choice for a sweet coffee treat without the caffeine.
The Vanilla Instant Decaf comes in a 16 oz container with 17 servings. This Decaf Cappuccino is frothy and luscious even if you don’t add milk. Perfect for the whole family!
#5 Starbucks VIA Decaf Italian Roast
- Dark roasted giving a strong taste
- Full-bodied and bold flavor
- Contains micro-ground coffee
- Can be carried on the pocket or purse
- Made in the USA (Seattle, WA)
- Single-serve packet
- The strong taste may be too much for mild-roasted drinkers
If you are lusting for an Italian-style decaf coffee, the Starbucks VIA Decaf Coffee is the one to go! This classic brew from Starbucks comes in 12 packets of 0.11 oz (3.3 grams) each.
That’s 12 servings per pack!
If you are used in sipping a morning joe in Starbucks’ physical store, you may find the VIA Decaf Coffee as an inexpensive alternative. The ethically-sourced coffee beans used in this product is 100% Arabica coffee.
Maybe it’s time you sip a cup of Starbucks anywhere you go.
#6 Four Sigmatic Organic Mushroom Coffee Mix
- No mushroom taste, just pure coffee aroma
- Mixture of other antioxidants
- With added organic Rhodiola root and Lion’s Mane Extract
- A good memory booster
- Compatible with well-known diets
- Purely Arabica beans
- Not completely decaffeinated
If you want a decaf coffee packed with more antioxidants, you may want to taste the therapeutic Four Sigmatic Organic Mushroom Instant Decaf Coffee.
This concentrated coffee is mixed with Lion’s Mane & Chaga mushroom powder and other kinds of herbs. These herbs, when added to decaffeinated coffee contribute to the well-being of drinkers.
The coffee comes in 10 packs of 0.09 0z (2.5 grams) perfect to start the morning detoxification. The mix doesn’t have the after taste of mushroom and the other ingredients.
#7 Café Bustelo Instant Decaf Coffee
- It’s an espresso in an instant
- Favorite Latino coffee for generations
- Freeze-dried to capture all the flavors of coffee
- Full-bodied flavor
- Not as strong as other coffee
The Café Bustelo Instant Decaf Coffee is not just your ordinary decaf. It has a rich espresso-style brew that melts in your mouth. The single-serve packet is a terrific way of having your decaf anywhere you go and not only at home.
The decaf can be easily prepared because no brewing is needed, just add hot water and you’re ready to go! Furthermore, the aroma of a freeze-dried coffee is largely noticeable even if you sip right after dinner.
The Bustelo Instant Decaf comes in 12 boxes of 6 single-serve packets 0.09 oz each (2.6 grams).
#8 Maxwell House Colombian Instant Decaf Coffee
- Full-bodied flavor
- Latino-style decaf
- Naturally decaffeinated
- 100% Colombian coffee
- Low acidity level
- Taste milder which is not advisable for strong coffee lovers
Maxwell House coffees are some of the most affordable brands and the Maxwell House Instant Decaf Coffee is no exception. You can afford to sip coffee every day without breaking the bank and without sacrificing your desired taste.
This Latino-style blend is freeze-dried then packs at the same time to lock the aroma and flavor you always love. Maxwell House has been in the business of creating the best coffee in town and a true household name for more than a hundred years.
The product comes in 8 oz (226 grams) boxes with a pack of 8. This Maxwell masterpiece is 99.70% decaffeinated.
#9 Folgers Instant Decaf Crystals
- Easily dissolves in milk or water for a quick shot
- Medium-roast with a mild taste
- Full-bodied flavor
- Comes in a reusable jar
- The container jar is poorly designed; dispensing coffee from it isn’t easy
It had been easy for Folgers to sell their products as the brand is one of the most recognizable in the world. This includes the Folgers Classic Decaf Instant Coffee (it’s also very affordable, mind you).
This Folgers Classic comes in crystal form so it is easy to prepare even if the water is not sizzling hot anymore. Speaking of aroma and taste, the Folgers Decaf Instant is superb!
The brew is medium roast with a mild taste. If you want to make it a stronger taste but not bitter, adding a few crystals might work.
The glass has an easy-to-open flip-top and makes about 120 servings.
#10 Douwe Egberts Pure Decaf Instant Coffee
- Non-issue with sleep
- No increase in heart rate when consumed in moderation
- Medium and well-balanced flavor
- With a delicious and smooth taste
- More pricey compared to other brands
- Not advisable to mix with milk
If you prefer medium roast decaf than any other type, the Douwe Egberts Pure Decaf Instant Coffee will satisfy your coffee cravings. This instant decaf is freeze-dried using the latest in technology.
This Netherland-made decaf coffee has a unique aroma which some enthusiasts claimed to taste “heavenly”. They might be right; Douwe Egberts had been making coffee since 1753.
The Douwe comes in a 3.5 oz (100 grams) glass container which is very much worth to be recycled as a container for small things. The brew comes in granules but easily dissolves in hot water.
Here’s the best part of this review; we are just glad to recommend to you two of the best instant decaf coffees from our list.
Firstly, we are completely captivated by the dark roast of Starbucks VIA Decaf Italian Instant Coffee. The price is quite affordable while the taste is mesmerizing.
Secondly, Netherland’s Douwe Egberts Pure Decaf Instant Coffee is our runner-up. Although it is more expensive than the other decaf, the price just can’t stop us to savor some of the world’s best tasting coffee.