IS your decaf swiss water, sparkling water, indirect solvent, direct solvent?

I want to know what the opinions are out there. We use a direct solvent decaf. We have found that this is the best cup result for our needs.

What do you all think?

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DIdi you try multiple solvent process decafs or just one?

Davide Birse said:
We used to use a solvent decaff which we found left it with a realy sharp tang on the pallete, and left the impression of something just missing. And unfortunatly our customers noticed that too. Last year we switched to swiss water, becuase of the gentler and more natural process of decafination under the reccomendation of our roaster. We trialed a single estate Java and a single estate Sumatra both were a huge improvement, with a much better and fuller taste. The unanimous vote we got was to go for the Sumatra, its smoother taste was a real winner.

I can't speak for everyone, but our customers could tell the difference between solvent and Swiss mountain water.
I read that Decaf stales quite a bit faster - not sure if anyone can back this up...?

The best decaf I have had to date was a Mountain Water Process (MWP) I roasted from Sweet Maria's. I have had some good Euro Process, but as a general sweeping statement - it tends to have a bit of a chemical taste. Swiss Water = meh for me. Never been as bad as the bad EP's, Never as good as either EP or MWP, when they're good. From my experience so far I would choose MWP over SWP 100 to 1

What would indirect solvent be called? Assuming direct solvent is the usual EP.

Haven't tried a water process for espresso, and that's what you guys are doing for all your decaf - yes? We use an EP decaf espresso and when I try it from time to time, I am quite surprised at how good it can be.

I'm curious to know what all other processes you have tried and what your thoughts were on them? (assuming ya'll are still doing decaf americanos)
We use either direct solvent, or SW, depending on the coffees I'm blending. Personally, I do not like the result from the Swiss Water process. It lacks the overall complexity. smooth, ... yet boring.
We go through about 1 pound of decaf espresso for about every 100 - 120 pounds of our normal espresso. At that rate, it really isn't a great concern to me.
Thanks for the lead on Sterling Series. (I don't think they're family, but you never know?) I've attended SCAA seminar sessions on the chemistry of decaffination, and knowing about the two major processes doesn't make it taste much better to me. But as was said, this is a saleable item in the industry. So if it's part of the business plan to offer decaf, then searching out the best makes sense. I suppose the most recurring ad theme for decaf has to be, "Tastes so good you won't know the difference...", or something like that. (I've always felt that ignorance was truly bliss!) I've sample roasted various decaf pre-blends, but have never found one I cared for. Well, outside of roasting my own, that's not true....... Years ago, before I obsessed myself silly over coffee, I "temporarily" decided that Folgers Dark Decaf, (I think that's the name?), was the best tasting, served as drip of course. Come to think of it, ignorance must be bliss, because I really liked that Folgers; nothing close to the wierd tastes I've incurred test-roasting and brewing various beans here. I still have about 89 grams of some "Donkey Blend" or whatever from Sweet Maria's. That goes back a ways. Maybe, with allot of false hope in my palate, I'll roast off the remainder today. If I'm consistent with how long it's been in inventory.... I'll let it outgas for another year before I brew it??!!! And maybe, that ad line will still apply........ "Tastes so good you won't know the difference..." The taste challenge seems to be for drip brewed where it stands reasonably naked in the cup. Once it's extracted as an espresso shot, and then married to a milk, sauce, syrup and sugar drink, things get sorta' mixed up and that ad line gets blurred, but no less true. As much as I love coffee, I too have to watch it. But like an addict, even though I know I'll be watching "test patterns until 3' in the morning", I sometimes go right ahead and have that late night coffee drink. (I can stop any time I want!)

Bj Davis said:
We started roasting the Sterling Series decafs from Cafe Imports, Mountain Water Process. They roast a little easier than the Swiss Water and we found that the flavor is still there. This is from their web site:
"Quality beans produce a superb decaf -
Café Imports uses only top-grade
beans to make Sterling Series Green
Coffee. Our hand-selected beans are
gently decaffeinated using mountain
water processing. So full of flavor and
aroma, the Sterling Series erases the
line between regular and decaf. "

I can't take caffeine after about 3PM so sometimes I will drink a cup of decaf, and if I didn't know it was decaf I wouldn't be able to tell.
By the way, we used to use Methalene Chloride, used in the decaf process, to strip paints off of chemically etched nameplates. It's about as nasty a chemical as you can imagine. All my employees wore the usual armament you'd expect to see in a film about bio-warfare production. So you can image how I responded when industry pro's told me that the MC is introduced to the process, but guaranteed to exit without leaving any noticeable traces. That's like saying the killer cleaned up right after the ax attack and put everything back in its place! I don't buy it.
I wonder if there is any scientific evidence to back up the claim that all MC is removed without a trace. Anyone know of any?
I have to agree with Mr. Curtis that Mountain Water Process out of Mexico is the best tasting decaf I have ever had. They do allot of private label work for many green coffee brokers out there as well. Royal Coffees' "Royal Select Decaf" is Mountain Water Process. It is also a 100% water process but it isn't rinsed as much and it is not polished. I've found that MWP is much easier to roast because the color and behavior is much truer to conventional coffee.

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