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Thread: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

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    DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ciao Coffee Snobs!

    OK, we all know how infinitely brilliant espresso is. Its capable of vastly more complex flavour expressions than the supposed pinnacle of fine beverages, wine. But, unless u want to go down the spit-in-the bucket road, ;D, we CSs have to live with a high-caffiene diet.

    A great decaf espresso blend would be a holy grail, or in any case, great to have at night. However, Ive scoured the internet it seems that its pretty hard to get decaf green beans in Oz, most sellers only have one decaf variety. Also, detailed information about decaf espresso on the internet is fairly limited, other than explanations of all the decafination processes. Sweet Marias talks about substituting the base bean for the espresso (i.e. usually 50% Brazilian or other round, full-bodied bean) for a decaf. This sounds like a great idea.

    If someone is into decaf espresso and want to share their knowledge, or If anyone knows good places to buy decaf greens, Id be very interested to hear from u.

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Hi Richy, I dont know what youve been looking at but I know where to get some very nice swiss water decaf columbian green beans on line and at a reasonable price too, I can pm you the link if you like... Ray.

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Yeah, Ive already got some SW Columbians from my local roastery. As a single origin espresso it tastes a bit acrid and thin bodied.

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Ok Richy... I find my columbian sw quite ok.....

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    i roasted up a SWP columbian a few weeks ago in my popper, rested it for 7 days and had it as an espresso. to my surprise, it was great! nice and smooth, medium bodied and had a decent head of crema.

    are you roasting yourself richy?

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Hey Daily Bean. (OZI OZI OZI - World Cup champions *;D)

    Yeah I home roast everything. Took it to about 2nd crack, but it had a strange, acrid flavour - not acrid as in acidic flavours, but... almost chemical that I never get with caffinated beans. Either its a dud bean batch or Swiss Water Process imbues beans with a peculiar "funny flavour" that one just has to get used to. Its fine with a splash of with milk tho. But, even the most botched of shots taste ok with milk :P.

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Hi Ricky...
    i bought some *de-caf Colombian beans from 5 Senses the other week, they are the citric acid de-caf which is, i think, not the SW method.
    did a small roast of just into 2nd rack, was nice but not exciting...
    but, did a big batch *the other day and am tickled purple with the results.
    the slow roast did wonders *;)
    I posted the roast profile in "home roasting", with a pic.
    contrary to most people, i took the roast more than a minute into 2nd crack, after stalling it just after 1st...
    the result is a wondrously smooth, chocolatey, lingeringly flavoured coffee, that i have either as espresso, or as lunga, or as a milk based one (sometimes with a bit of Carnation milk, how European...).
    I coarsen the grind just a touch compared to other espresso grinds, and tamp hard, particularly around the edges; the crema is great.
    I really am a de-caf convert!

    good luck,
    L

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    richy, ahh ic. perhaps give them another go with a different roasting profile. correction to previous post, i did my roast in a convection oven for that one - nice and slow. i recently did one in the popper which im getting confused with.

    i think ive had a similar experience to you with a SWP decaf peru - bought roasted. nasty tasting and that nearly made me give up on decafs... this was before i tried roasting the bean myself...

    lizzie, ive been meaning to try something similar, though have not managed to get my hands on any. sounds like youre enjoying it very much !

    p.s. im glad the cricket world cup is finally over...

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    HAHA, yeah we can get some sleep now that the World Cups over ;).

    Ill play around with the roast profile like u suggested Dailybean. Maybe I misread the occurence of the 2nd crack and stopped the roast too early. Decaf roasting is a different beast to normal beans Ive read.

    Hi Lizzie, good to hear from u. Thats remarkable that simply by increasing the roast time a bit and slowing down the roast made such a massive difference to your beans. When did your first batch hit 2nd crack? Your description of "complex and sweet with a cinnamon note in deep chocolate" certainly sounds enticing ::).

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    heres the link to the roast-post-with-pic....

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1177511060/0#0


    being *fairly new at the "home roasting" game i expected *the roast to be more difficult, and my previous experience with shop bought de-caf were not scintillating, so i was resigned to having a fairly *average, flat tasting, cup of coffee at night.
    but, really, these beans have been a revelation, and they are getting better by the day (now 7 days post roast).
    do i sound "over the top"? :-[ * well, i am excited.... :P
    because of caffeine-effects my coffee intake was limited to "mornings only"... this bean makes the afternoon coffee possible again, and allows me to round off the day in style, with wonderful aroma, flavour and body, espresso,short black or mach, or a choice of milkies. *that is just soooo good!
    we will make sure there is a few kg in a stash around the place...

    Dailybean: 5 Senses sell them at a great *price, PM/email *them for details. perhaps worth considering, *even with freight ?? ....

    Ricky: i was surprised at how long and gentle the "cracks" were... that is why it kept *going for longer than initially planned.
    also, we slowed the cooling down; when we had our tour of 5 Senses, Dean mentioned that in fast cooling can, in some *cases damage the structure of the sugars in the beans. so, just for the heck of trying it out, i cooled in 5-6 minutes to *hand-warm. *
    the slow cooling let the 2nd crack continue for about 10-15 seconds after the beans were poured out of the roasting bin.

    Whatever i did, it worked... now cross everything that it is repeatable!! :D

    L

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Yeah Ive also heard that fast cooling can be bad for the beans. Theres a cafe chain in Brisbane who roast their own beans and keep them in a humidity-controlled, cool room. But they said they never put the beans straight in there because it is bad for the beans to be put directly into cool conditions.

    Looks like youve found the Holy Grail Lizzie ;) - great beans minus the caffeine.


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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    I raised the slow cooling issue quite a while back after advice from Hazel.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1152343660/131#131

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    I too have been looking out for more variety in my decaf. Everyone seems to have Colombian SWP and not much else. I ordered the 2 decafs 5 senses sell in green beans and they sent me a roasted sample of their decaf for comparison.
    I havent had a chance to roast yet but I tried the sample they sent and I am thrilled! I have just finished a ristretto and the lingering flavour is just magic. None of the acrid aftertaste I usually get from other decaf; I am actually delaying having breakfast so that I can savour the aftertaste a bit longer.
    The roast is quite dark and oily so I will try taking my decaf a bit further ( and slow it down as Lizzie has suggested)

    Gavin

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    yay!!! another convert *;D ;D ;D

    from which de-caf was the roasted sample, Gavin?


    L

    PS i did another "Colombian" roast; hmmmm... see here:
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1177511060/6#6

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Lizzie

    It is their decaf from the specialty range. They dont say what beans or process was used but it doesnt look like a swp

    Gavin

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    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Lizzie, thats very interesting -- one minute from second crack for the decaf colombians. I find that just on second crack is too much -- they are already very dark and exhibiting an oily surface.

    For that reason Ive done just one batch. I might give it another go.

    --Robusto

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Robusto, i checked yesterdays beans again, and they are dry, mid to dark brown and smell nut/chocolate coffee. they are definitely smaller post-roast than last weeks batch so i assume that fc was not as effective becaue of the longer ramp up time but...

    i also checked last weeks batch "under the light": they are now much less "puffed up" than straight after they were roasted (see pic in roast profile for comparison), and there is some oil on most of the beans.
    their aroma is richly chocolate/sweet spice/coffee.

    for comparison i put both roasts on one plate: yesterdays on the left, last weeks on the right.

    ;)and how is this : my husband, who doesnt drink a lot of "real" coffee, commented last night,
    when i was grinding the de-caf for my nightly treat:" wow, you can really smell the chocolate in that one!!".... ;D ;D


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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Hi Robusto / Lizzie

    I roast 450gm batches each week of Colombian SW Decaf for a friend (he drinks unleaded) and i find that if i roast to just on 2nd crack then the beans are alway dry and a chocolate colour but not overly dark.
    It generally takes 2 - 3 days for any oils to be released from the bean.

    I did take the beans about 1 min into 2nd crack but found that the result was exremely dark and oily. I find that roasting decaf requires more visual skill as the beans are darker to start with and depending on the quality of light in the garage / time of day etc. you can dont notice too much of a change in bean colour from between 1st crack and just into 2nd crack.

    I dont drink the stuff but am told it is very nice and a much nicer flavour than what can be bought from coffee supplies around the traps. I grind it up for my friend in both a espresso and plunger grind.
    He has commented that he finds it difficult to find decaf coffee types of different flavours, you can by flavoured coffees in full strengh but when it comes to decaf its generally a colombian bean.

    Mal

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    I have a blended decaf which is a fantastic coffee in its own right..

    Its a Blend of Colombian, Guantamanlan and Brazil, Swiss Water Process. It is best roasted just on the start of 2nd crack.. any further and you lose the sweetness and bitterness comes into play.

    Marc

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Hey Marcstolk, where did you get the decaf blend from? Did u buy them green or roasted?

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    ok, de-caffers....me thinks it is time to clear up some confusion.
    ( and just to make sure that i got it right, i rang 5 Senses for confirmation...)

    the 5 Senses-supplied Colombian de-caf which i am roasting and enjoying so much is NOT a Swiss Water decaf!!!
    it is a Citric Acid decaf, totally different process, totally different bean, and clearly different roast tolerances.

    5 Senses also sells a SW decaf, but it is a blend of 3 different beans and does NOT have the Colombian in it ... (sorry, they did tell me, but i forgot the blend...)

    from the responses on the forum i gather that beans treated the ""Swiss Water de-caf" way are not tolerant to going much past SC.....
    whereas in my (agreed, ::) still limited!!) experience the Colombian citric acid de-caf still does not present as "really dark brown espresso roast" more than a minute into rolling SC, and, by the way, produces very little smoke.

    does this help??

    :D

    L

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    I think its time for a roast off!
    I currently have 4 green decafs: 2 from 5 senses, colombian swp and an ethiopian sidamo decaf.
    It seems I have been too conservative in my roasting so this weekend I will do some sample roasts of varying, darker degrees on each bean and see what the results are like.
    I still cant believe quite how nice the 5 senses decaf is. I had it again this morning and didnt feel like I was missing out on anything; even after making my wifes 2 full strength caps.

    Gavin

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    looking forward to the results, Gavin!! ;)

    L

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie link=1177763728/15#20 date=1178090240
    the 5 Senses-supplied Colombian de-caf which i am roasting and enjoying so much is NOT a Swiss Water decaf!!!
    it is a Citric Acid decaf, totally different process, totally different bean, and clearly different roast tolerances.

    from the responses on the forum i gather that beans treated the ""Swiss Water de-caf" way are not tolerant to going much past SC.....
    whereas in my (agreed, ::) still limited!!) experience the Colombian citric acid de-caf still does not present as "really dark brown espresso roast" more than a minute into rolling SC, and, by the way, produces very little smoke.

    does this help??

    :D

    L
    Well having spent a few hours with Lizzie this morning (thanks Lizzie), I must say Im VERY impressed by Lizzies roasting of this bean...... superb full bodied espresso...... one of the better ones Ive tasted (including non-decaf beans).

    The beans look great... with a little oil - but in the cup the taste is superb - much better then any other decaf Ive tasted (I normally steer clear of decaf beans as I find them disappointing - lacking in body and mouth feel).

    Id certainly recommend trying this bean if you have the opportunity.

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    DingDing.... another de-caf convert!!! ;D ;D

    Thanks JavaB, you make me blush... but, seriously, this de-caf is so easy to roast even a relative newby like myself ends up with a beautifully rounded cup of "guiltfree" PM coffee...


    tadada dadada dadada De-Caaaaf!!!
    :) :D ;D ;)

    L

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Yeah Lizzie ;) I agree, decafs awesome. Its great to be able to drink coffee so late, relaxes you before bed...haha, how paradoxical - coffee for relaxation! Admittedly itll never be as good on average as a normal bean (though Lizzies sure sounds pretty good), but its an important trick in the barista/coffee lovers bag to produce great espresso when caffeine must be avoided, for whatever reason.

    I just had a ristretto of my SW Columbians (at 11pm ;D) a blend of half dark roast and half lighter roast. Mmmm, pretty good 8-). Id love to get hold of some beans other than Columbian though, particularly a Brazilian or another good espresso-blend-base-bean. We should ask Andy if he can get some for the next bean polls.

    Now that ive had a strong coffee, its time for bed, HAHA.


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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    So I did 3 roasts of the 5senses decaf on Saturday. This is a pic of the 3 roasts plus a comparison of the 5senses sample roast:
    Top left: 230C for 21 min
    Top right: 235C for 21 min
    Bottom left: 240 for 20.5 min
    Bottom right: 5senses roast
    I tasted them this morning and despite the poor extraction I am very happy. The 240C roast has a rich flavour that really lingers. The other 2 have a less intense flavour. The best part, for me, is that there is no acidic aftertaste so it makes a pleasant change from the swp colombian that I have. I have done longer roast of the other 3 decafs I have and they will be tasted tomorrow.

    Gavin


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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fulcrum link=1177763728/15#26 date=1178538675
    I tasted them this morning and despite the poor extraction I am very happy. The 240C roast has a rich flavour that really lingers. The other 2 have a less intense flavour. The best part, for me, is that there is no acidic aftertaste so it makes a pleasant change from the swp colombian that I have. I have done longer roast of the other 3 decafs I have and they will be tasted tomorrow.

    Gavin
    I also find the swp guatamalin fairly acidic, Its a fine line between roasting longer to try and reduce this and burning the beans. I dont think they will take anthing more then 30seconds from the first snaps of second crack without tasting a wee bit charred.

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    good looking roasts there, Fulcrum....

    were these beans( control and roasts) the 5Senses 3 bean decaf blend or the SO Colombian Citric Acid decaf?

    L

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    LIzzie

    These were the SO colombian.
    I did longer roasts on all my SWP decafs and although the longer roasts improved them, the aftertaste is still there.
    The sidamo decaf was good but had lost most of the sidamo character. The 3 bean swp decaf from 5 senses had a nice flavour with the least aftertaste of the three. THe Colombian decaf was better than my previous roasts but not good enough to have me drink it too often.

    Gavin

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    my roasts look like very much like your 240 degree batch...and Mondays (3rd batch) roast came up brilliantly, to the point that i even have it during the day instead of one of my full strengths.
    the roast was again stalled after FC (started at about 14min), SC starting around 19min and pulled after 60 sec into SC....then another 15 sec of SC while being slowly poured and stirred and finished off with a 6-7 min cooling to hand warm,.
    one thing i have noticed with the Colombian is that it needs a shorter extraction than usual... i pull the shot at the very latest at 20 sec, more often around 18sec.
    any longer and a (over-extracted?) bitterness creeps in under the chocolate.

    lets hope yours get to dizzy heights of decaf taste with a bit of rest... :)

    L

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    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    just to see how it went, i roasted a batch of the colombian citric acid decaf just to the first snaps of SC.(and about CS10)
    rested now for 7 days, and it still tastes *like a calico bag, with a dry aftertaste in my throat.
    it smells like calico too, both in the zip-lock bag as well as coming out of the grinder, not the deep roast choc/vanilla aroma i got from the deeper roasts. :o

    temperature ranges were the same, roasting times also about the same, only difference is the length of the roast.
    i can now understand why people dont ike decaf... :(

    back to the original roast profile, at least 20 sec into SC (and about CS11)!

    L

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    decafs are difficult to roast. I have found with the Guatamalan that got polled that you really need to be on the money with the roast. Ive found this one best at the first snaps of second crack. anything pulled before or after this point is bound for the sink. It will either have an unpleasant acidity if too light or burnt ashy taste if too long.

    I wouldnt worry too much about resting the decaf if the Gautamalan is anything to go by. Ive found it best in the first few days. (ie start drinking after one day) and best used up within 10. after that its pretty much stale.

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    Re: DECAF - any decaf lovers/experts out there?

    I think most decafs dont last any longer than 10 days....



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