Decaf. Decaffeinated. Non-caffeinated. Now, I know what all of you third wave, specialty coffee drinkers are thinking: Why possessed you to drink this on a Monday, of all days?
Relevant Roasters has some great looking coffees, including a Papua New Guinean roast that looks particularly interesting (Washed Process: Hazelnut, Red Fruit, Balanced), but if you scroll to the bottom of their Coffee page, you will find an interesting addition that is quite uncommon among specialty coffee roasters: Swiss Water Process Decaf Ethiopia. Sourced from Sidamo, a popular coffee producing region in southern Ethiopia, the coffee has the characteristic qualities you look for in a top-notch third wave coffee, quality origin, medium roast, etc. However, this coffee is the first decaf ever featured on Reddy to Brew; after brewing a few cups, I can't definitively say this will be the last one, either.
Relevant's website advertises this coffee with a flavor profile of 'Milk chocolate, caramel, medium body.' To be honest, before researching the Swiss Water process of decaffeination this coffee uses, I was very skeptical of the flavor profile I would receive of a coffee processed in any way outside of origin (excepting roasting). I started with a V60, hoping to extract as much nuanced flavor that I could and was surprised to pick up on light notes of cacao and eucalyptus. I brewed the second time with my Bodum press and was not as pleasantly surprised; a lack of flavor in general was accompanied by wateriness. I found best overall results with my Aeropress, getting slightly less flavor but more body in the cup.
According to swisswater.com, the patented Swiss Water decaffeination process removes 99.9% of caffeine from processed coffees. I will be testing this tonight; I'm planning on brewing another Aeropress around 6pm. I'll post again tomorrow morning to tell you how I sleep with a cup of coffee in my system.
Thanks for reading, guys. I know this post was a long one; brew on!
Shan Reddy, Daily Brew