Decaf brewing tips

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
dsc106

#1: Post by dsc106 »

How do you modify your normal brewing recipe for decaf? Any rules of thumb to get a better cup? (Lower heat, higher heat, longer brew time?) etc.

The more detailed the better :)

dsc106 (original poster)

#2: Post by dsc106 (original poster) »

Reviving this. Decaf is notoriously difficulty and there are not many guides out there for maximizing flavor. Supposedly James Hoffman has stated he is working on this but who knows ETA.

Any tips from those who have dialed in decaf extractions successfully?

mbbrew

#3: Post by mbbrew »

I think there are two problems with brewing decaf, one is that they tend to use lower quality greens, with a few exceptions. The second is that it shatters during grinding and produces a ton of fines. I recently got a bag of Hatch decaf that was a high quality anaerobic Colombian lightly roasted that I have been getting good cups with, but it took about half the bag to dial in (for filter). What I have found to work best is a high agitation bloom followed by a low agitation percolation phase. This allows me mitigate stalling without having to grind much coarser. I have been preferring it a Kalita 185 with the Hario Drip Assist, but a Gabi or Mellowdrip would also work. I also use a dispersion screen under the filter to keep flow even and limit clogging. I haven't tried sieving yet, but if I get another bag before they sell out, I will try that, although I imagine with the quantity of fines produced you will waste a lot of coffee this way.

BaristaBob

#4: Post by BaristaBob »

dsc106 wrote:Reviving this. Decaf is notoriously difficulty and there are not many guides out there for maximizing flavor. Supposedly James Hoffman has stated he is working on this but who knows ETA.

Any tips from those who have dialed in decaf extractions successfully?
I only drink decaf occasionally, but when my daughter visits I break it out for her (she is very sensitive to caffeine). Over the past couple of years I have found some things that work, according to her taste. With decaf I always up dose by 2 grams, so 19 to 21g in a 20g basket. I use VST baskets most of the time, but if I want to slow down the flow I switch to my EPHQ basket (fewer holes). Grind finer than you think and aim for 32 to 36g out in 25 to 30 sec.

Her favorite decafs are Counter Couture - Slow Motion, plus decafs from PT Coffee Roasters and Black and White.

Hope that help!
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

ZYC

#5: Post by ZYC »

For me, I have been using finer grind settings, higher dose 19.5g, and longer extraction time ~40s. The final shot weighs around 32g.

So far, I found the best tasting experience with Sugarcane Decaf from Black and White roaster. It is medium dark and SO (Columbia).

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keno

#6: Post by keno »

ZYC wrote:So far, I found the best tasting experience with Sugarcane Decaf from Black and White roaster. It is medium dark and SO (Columbia).
Agree with the ethyl acetate (sugarcane) process decaf recommendation. The decaf process can strip a lot of flavor away and the EA process seems to preserve more flavor. As others have also suggested updosing helps as decaf processing mutes acidity and so a higher dose with lower brew ratio (eg, 14:1 instead of 16:1) can breath some life back into decaf.