The Best Decaf Coffees In 2023

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

For an instant jolt of energy, many find that a brimming cup of coffee is all that's needed to wake the senses. But surprisingly enough, not everybody wants the caffeine coursing through their body. Decaf coffee can offer the best of both worlds, mimicking the dark brew in flavor and appearance without the heart-racing elements known to aggravate anxiety and restlessness (via Healthline). This doesn't change the fact that coffee-lovers remain seriously divided on decaffeinated coffee. As Vox notes, decaf is viewed as an inferior imposter pretending to be something that it's not. 

But is decaf all that bad? Despite the negative press surrounding it, there are perks to drinking the stuff, such as managing stress and improving one's sleep. Who wouldn't like to catch some extra z's these days? And with more roasters branching out with caffeine-free offerings that are convincingly close to the real thing, it seems decaf is finally getting its due. 

Whether you're looking to axe caffeine completely or are seeking an alternate beverage for nighttime sipping, you're in luck. Check out our list of the best decaf coffees in 2023 for buzz-worthy beverages sans the buzz but still with plenty of flavor. 

How we chose decaf coffees

The reasons for drinking decaf are pretty self-explanatory — decaf imbibers want to avoid consuming caffeine. But shouldn't that be the bare minimum when hunting for the best decaf coffees out there? Our search essentially boiled down to the basics that drive most coffee purchases: budget, convenience, and flavor. We also considered the format (whole bean or ground) and the brewing methods most consumers would use. A French press enthusiast, for example, will have a different set of guidelines in mind compared to those consumers who are using a standard drip coffee maker or an espresso machine.

As far as research goes, we delved into the sourcing and processing of the coffee beans, as well as roasters' commitment to environmentally sustainable initiatives. Roasters in particular who used natural methods of extracting caffeine, like the chemical-free Swiss water process (via Financial Times), scored extra points. 

Although artisanal roasters tended to display more transparency, we gave both commercial and independent brands equal attention. After all, as this list will show, high-quality decaf exists at a variety of price points. Finally, any decaf that stood up to the taste test from real customers proved to be a win in our books. If it looked like regular coffee and it tasted like regular coffee, then honestly, what's the difference?

Best overall decaf coffee

For a decaf coffee to be the best, it needs to resemble the real thing without all of java's jitter-inducing side effects. We found that, in terms of overall quality and taste, Kicking Horse Coffee's Swiss Water Decaf knocked it out of the park. This dark roast is produced using the Swiss water process and bears fair trade, kosher, and USDA Organic certifications, as per Kicking Horse Coffee. 

Featuring a sultry blend of chocolatey and nutty flavors, this is a solid choice for everyday sipping and can be prepared in a variety of ways that will deliver a delicious cup every time. Fans of dark roasts will enjoy the deep, rich flavor, but even medium roast drinkers will find something to appreciate with its full-bodied mouthfeel. 

Best Views Reviews, which gave this coffee an impressive 9 out of 10, notes that this coffee can get pretty pricey even for artisanal coffee roasters. Meanwhile, its smokier taste can be polarizing. Yet we think the positives far outweigh the negatives because, at the end of the day, it tastes exactly like regular coffee. 

Purchase Kicking Horse Coffee's Swiss Water Decaf on Amazon starting at $30.

Best medium roast decaf coffee

Between sourcing its beans from women-owned farms in South America to using organic packaging, Trailhead Coffee Roasters embodies Portland with all of its environmentally-sensitive, outdoorsy flair. The care shown towards its standard coffee applies equally to Trailhead's decaf offerings. Its Decaf Colombia Medium Roast is crafted using the Colombian sugarcane process, where beans are soaked in a fermented sugarcane solution to erode away the caffeine (per Sagebrush Coffee). 

Trailhead's Decaf Colombia Medium Roast is what every medium roast should be — mellow and toasty, but with a slight sweetness that never overstays its welcome, thanks to tasting notes of creme brulee, caramel, and pie crust. It's sold in bags weighing 12 ounces, 2 pounds, and 5 pounds. If you buy at least three of them you'll receive free shipping on your order, too. 

The goal in creating this decaf, according to the roasters' website, was to make a caffeine-free brew that was drinkable in its own right. We think they've succeeded. Medium roasts are easily the most popular out there and, with the deluge of positive feedback on Trailhead's Facebook page, it's clear there is demand for a decaf option. As a solid decaf you can sip from morning to night, this one won't disappoint.

Purchase Trailhead Coffee Roasters' Decaf Colombia Medium Roast from Trailhead's website starting at $16.50.

Best dark roast decaf coffee

It's tough to get dark roast coffee right, isn't it? Depending on how it's made you either get burnt black sludge or a gritty layer of grounds at the bottom of the cup. No wonder some can't stand the taste of this polarizing roast. Should you find yourself in that camp, we think this dark roast from Peet's Coffee might change your mind. Only Peet's stops its dark French roast from going over the edge by roasting the beans in brief bursts (via Target). 

Thanks to sultry cupping notes of chocolate, caramel, and smoke, this decaf offers no shortage of bite despite its lack of buzz. Reviewers on Target find it gives regular coffee a run for its money. One individual praised its "great taste and freshness," whereas another commented that they "would never know it's decaf." Others say they regularly use it as a base for cappuccinos or espresso

For the ground version, Peet's suggests using it for drip or pour-over beverages, as it will work the best with the coffee's consistency. If French press is your preferred method, you'll want to snag whole beans to grind to a coarser finish. Either way, it's a rich dark roast with a lot of bite. 

Buy Peet's Decaf French Dark Roast Ground Coffee from Target for $10.89.

Best instant decaf coffee

Instant coffee can be a game-changer if you do a lot of camping, or even if you simply don't have the room to fit a proper coffee station somewhere in your home. Otherwise, we will admit that it doesn't have the greatest reputation. At best, instant coffee can taste bland and at worst, it tastes like nothing at all (oof, sorry, but it has to be said). We're happy to report that neither of these issues apply to the Medium Roast Colombian Decaffeinated Instant Coffee from Waka Coffee & Tea, which founder David Kovalevski established out of necessity as a New Yorker tight on apartment space (via Waka Coffee & Tea). 

Home Grounds was left with a positive impression of Waka's decaf instant coffee. Not only did it immediately dissolve upon stirring the stuff into a cup, but it had none of the watered-down qualities normally associated with other instant brands. In fact, the texture was eerily similar to decaf brewed from standard grounds. One of the highlights of this instant brand's offering are the organic arabica coffee beans, which are higher quality than other brands' robusta beans (per The Roasterie).

Waka Coffee has mastered an instant decaf that's not only decent but addictive, and that alone makes it warrants a spot here. One Amazon reviewer's said it best: "Mind you, I normally hate instant coffee......BUT.....this is the best instant coffee ever. "

Purchase Waka Medium Roast Colombian Decaffeinated Instant Coffee on Amazon beginning at $11.99.

Best organic decaf coffee

Fair trade, kosher, and certified organic by the USDA, Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC ticks all the boxes for ethically-produced beans no matter the caffeine level, as shown by its Organic Sumatra Swiss Water Decaf. Produced through the Swiss water process, the beans are shade-grown on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. There, the Gayo people tend the farms repurposing coffee pulp as fertilizer and feeding livestock with the leaves of surrounding trees, according to Fresh Roasted Coffee. In other words, the roasters' entire operation is organic from head to toe.

Infused with hints of spice and caramel with toasted nuts for additional depth, this medium roast a huge hit among decaf coffee-lovers. As one reviewer on Amazon put it, "I was extremely impressed by how rich the layers of flavors are. I'm not a hardcore coffee expert, but this tastes exactly like regular coffee to me — I'm talking about the decent one you can get from a barista, not the one from a gas station [convenience] store."

If your top priority is finding a decaf sans the additives, pesticides, and synthetics prevalent in some other brands, then this is certainly a good pick. Between Fresh Roast Coffee's transparency and its comparatively rigorous standards, it's hard to find a better organic option for your next cup of decaf. 

You can buy Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC's Organic Sumatra Swiss Water Decaf on Amazon starting at $16.99.

Best-tasting decaf coffee

Since there's no caffeine in decaf, the least it can do is taste delicious. No Fun Jo Decaf from Jo Coffee is an Amazon bestseller and holds a 9.2 out of 10 rating on Best Views Reviews. We think that the superior taste likely has something to do with it. Described as "complex" and full-bodied on Jo Coffee's website, this is a medium-dark roast that contains cupping notes of milk chocolate and sweet blueberry. Additionally, it's sold in a variety of sizes and formats — namely, ground, whole bean, and K-cups — giving consumers plenty of options when deciding to get their caffeine-free fix on. 

Fruit and chocolate are common undertones found in many coffee roasts, but Jo Coffee knocks it out of the park with this decaf version. A self-proclaimed "coffee aficionado" who was prepared to hate it ate their words in an Amazon review, raving that "It's so fragrant and the flavor pops beautifully. Even black, it's very 'sippable' and not overly bitter. I'm thinking of adding it to my evening snack rotation, especially as we descend into the dark depths of winter."

Ideally everything we drink should be tasty, but decaf has an extra responsibility to please since there's no buzz or perk promised. Jo Coffee delivers on a good-tasting decaf that might have you reaching for it over the caffeinated stuff. 

Buy Jo Coffee No Fun Jo Decaf on Amazon starting at $13.99.

Best ground decaf coffee

For the busy bees among us, Starbucks' Decaf Caffe Verona Dark Roast is a solid ground option that's a breeze to brew. It features finely-ground arabica beans infused with delectable hints of cocoa and caramelized sugar, with a texture tailored to whichever brewing method you prefer. And on that note, the instructions couldn't get any easier. Per Target, the directions on the bag state to use two tablespoons of coffee grounds for every six fluid ounces of filtered water. Yep, that's it.

The Caffe Verona Dark Roast is one of those Starbucks mainstay blends, but even without the caffeine it's still a rich, decadent drink that's easy to prepare. Reviewers on Target gave it the thumbs up for convenience and bold taste, as well as a consistency that's particularly fitting for beverages like pour-overs or homemade lattes. Take a cue from one individual who uses it to whip up cold brew decaf for a before-bedtime treat. "I brew it on the counter for 24 hours and it turns out perfect!"

High-quality, convenient, and quick to make, this ground decaf is a must for hectic mornings, as the work of brewing practically does itself. Find it in 12-ounce bags at grocery stores and retailers like Target, Amazon, and, of course, your local Starbucks. 

Buy the Starbucks Decaf Caffe Verona Dark Roast at Target starting at $9.99.

Best whole bean decaf coffee

Coffee lovers routinely sing the praises of buying whole bean, and it isn't hard to see why. Whole bean coffee tends to stay fresher longer, while the aroma that greets you from the bag is nothing short of a religious awakening. Counter Culture Coffee's Slow Motion Decaf is one of the buzziest decafs around, due in part to its sustainability and small-batch ethos. 

The decaf is super fresh, for one, because Counter Culture doesn't produce it in bulk quantities like other roasters. As a result, customers will never bring home a stale batch (via Counter Culture Coffee). The beans are sold in multiple sizes, including 2-pound and 5-pound bags, allowing consumers to always keep a well-stocked pantry. 

Despite bearing a heftier cost as an artisanal blend, Counter Culture has more than earned its keep as a high-quality roaster. Dragons and Flowers, who called the smell of Slow Motion Decaf "an out-of-body experience," put the beans to the test via pour-over and French press techniques, with much success using both methods. Although they found the grind to possess a prickly texture, it held up to both brewing methods beautifully, underlining its multi-functional appeal. 

Purchase Counter Culture Coffee's Slow Motion Decaf on Amazon starting at $18.50.

Best flavored decaf coffee

Splashing some cream into your cup isn't the only way to shake up a drip decaf. New England Coffee offers over a dozen flavored blends such as French Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, and Blueberry Cobbler, but the best of the bunch is Hazelnut Creme. Described as "rich" and "mellow" medium roast by New England Coffee, the decaf is comprised of pure arabica coffee beans that are sourced from Central and South America. The beans undergo a rigorous process to strip almost 100% of the caffeine. 

Flavored coffees have a tendency to taste synthetic, but Amazon reviews across the board praise Hazelnut Creme's natural flavor and ability to taste strong while not totally overpowering one's palate. Some decaf drinkers like to stir in sweeteners, but New England Coffee's Hazelnut Creme is apparently so flavorful that many agree there's no need to add anything extra. "This is really a smooth coffee with a nice Hazelnut flavor," one Amazon reviewer wrote. "The Creme taste is light and not overpowering, and takes away any bitterness." 

Although the packaging shows that artificial flavorings are indeed used, the roasters' Frequently Asked Questions page notes that there are no additives that would cause any dietary concerns, such as fat or cholesterol. Enjoy this light decaf as a post-dinner treat or afternoon pick-me-up, if you can snag a bag before it sells out. 

You can buy New England Coffee's Decaffeinated Hazelnut Creme Coffee on Amazon starting at $7.98.

Best decaf coffee pods

Coffee pods, made popular by the now ubiquitous Keurig machine, come in handy when a single cup of joe is all you need. The Original Donut Shop Coffee is already a staple in most offices and homes, so it comes as no surprise the brand's Decaf Coffee K-Cups are equally good. Like the original, it's a medium roast blend featuring "extra bold" taste and eco-friendly packaging. 

The K-Cups are sold in packs of 12, 24, 72, and 96, and per Coffee For Less, are shelf-stable for at least eight months, although it can last as long as a year before taking them out for a spin in your coffee maker. Coffee Review gave The Original Donut Shop K-Cups a score of 89 out of 100, crediting the high marks to its fullness and tolerable acidity, as well as the presence of dark chocolate and black currant in the brew's cupping notes. 

For many, the most significant consideration regarding coffee pods are whether they're environmentally sound. Single-use options have rightfully come under fire for being wasteful, and plastic K-Cups typically can't be recycled once they've been used. The Original Donut Shop earns points for storing its grounds in polypropylene, or #5 plastic containers, which Keurig says are recyclable in most parts of the U.S.

Purchase The Original Donut Shop Decaf Coffee K-Cup Pods at Target starting at $15.99.

Best budget decaf coffee

For a daily habit like drinking decaf, it's nice to get a good deal on it if you can. For those needing to stick to a tighter budget, we found Seattle's Best Decaf Portside Blend gives the biggest bang for your buck, as a single 12-ounce bag costs as low as $7 depending on the store. Pre-ground for your convenience, all it takes is 2 tablespoons of coffee with 6 ounces of water to achieve a deceptively deep brew (via Walmart). 

In the most literal sense, you are getting what you pay for. This decaf is chemically-treated to nix the caffeine, so it's certainly not the purest of decaf coffees available on the market, and the price reflects that. Still, Seattle's Best will deliver a dependable decaf at an affordable rate, and will typically stay that way no matter what retailer is selling it. 

Since it's based off Seattle's Best's fan-favorite Portside Blend medium roast, those avoiding caffeine will be delighted to know the decaf equivalent is just as consistent. Many reviewers report that it resembles the real thing in taste and appearance, except it won't keep you awake into the wee hours of the night. What more could you possibly ask for?

Buy Seattle's Best Portside Blend Decaf Coffee at Walmart starting at $15.99.