• UK Coffee Barista Reviewed | 10 Best Decaf Coffees 2021 1
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UK Coffee Barista Reviewed | 10 Best Decaf Coffees 2021

Decaf tends not to enjoy as cool an image as regular coffee, which sadly may have been bolstered by a few weak or bitter decaf lattes or americanos along the way. But much like with plant-based "mylks" or gluten-free pastries, times are changing. In this article, we rank the top 10 best decaf whole beans, grounds, pods and instant coffees in the UK!


Whether it's a medical or a lifestyle choice, many of us are choosing to reduce our caffeine intake, or even cut it out altogether. Luckily, this handy buying guide is here to help you to find a top-notch everyday decaf without having to go to your local coffee shop to get your fix. 

This post's specialists

Celeste Wong
  • Last updated: 26-11-2021
Table of Contents

With Specialist Advice From Coffee Barista Celeste Wong

With Specialist Advice From Coffee Barista Celeste Wong

An actress & Top Coffee Barista. Born in Dunedin, New Zealand, Celeste has held top positions in leading artisan cafes all over the world for over a decade. Since migrating to the UK, she has been listed as one of London’s top five Baristas in The Financial Times and noted for her excellence in a plethora of other publications.


Keep up-to-date with The Girl in the Cafe and all things coffee on her Instagram and YouTube channel, and you might discover some hidden gems along the way!


  • Disclaimer: Celeste does not endorse, nor is she affiliated with any of the brands in our top 10 list. The products recommended have been independently selected by our team at mybest UK.

Compare the Best Decaf Coffees

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:


  1. Union - Decaf Blend Cafetière Grind for £5.50
  2. Decadent Decaf - Signature Espresso Ground Coffee for £8.99
  3. Cafédirect - Fairtrade Decaffeinated Machu Picchu for £3.75
  4. Clipper - Fairtrade Decaf Arabica Coffee for £3.20
  5. Raw Bean - Definitely Decaf Ground Coffee for £4.00

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of decaf coffees available and understand how our ranking was determined.

Image
1
Union Decaf Blend Cafetière Grind 1

Union

2
Decadent Decaf Signature Espresso Ground Coffee 1

Decadent Decaf

3
Cafédirect Fairtrade Decaffeinated Machu Picchu 1

Cafédirect

4
Clipper Fairtrade Decaf Arabica Coffee 1

Clipper

5
Raw Bean Definitely Decaf Ground Coffee 1

Raw Bean

6
Suma Fairtrade Organic Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Beans 1

Suma

7
AROMISTICO Swiss Water Medium Roast Decaf 1

AROMISTICO

8
CRU Kafe Organic Decaf Coffee Capsules  1

CRU Kafe

9
Rounton Coffee Roasters Sparkling Water Decaf Coffee Beans 1

Rounton Coffee Roasters

10
Taylors of Harrogate Decaffé Ground Coffee 1

Taylors of Harrogate

Name

Decaf Blend Cafetière Grind

Signature Espresso Ground Coffee

Fairtrade Decaffeinated Machu Picchu

Fairtrade Decaf Arabica Coffee

Definitely Decaf Ground Coffee

Fairtrade Organic Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Beans

Swiss Water Medium Roast Decaf

Organic Decaf Coffee Capsules

Sparkling Water Decaf Coffee Beans

Decaffé Ground Coffee

Features

Speciality Decaf Coffee From a British Roasting Company

An Award Winning Decaf for Cafetières

Great Value Ethical Coffee at a Low Price

Organic Instant Decaf Coffee

A Smooth and Creamy Single Origin Decaf

Organic and Fairtrade Whole Beans for Cafetières and Filter Coffee

Full Bodied Blend With Notes of Cocoa and Spice

Soil Association Certified Coffee in 100% Recyclable Nespresso Pods

Chemical Free Beans From Peru That Taste Great in an Aeropress

Smooth and Malty Arabica Blend With a Hint of Caramel

Price£5.50£8.99£3.75£3.20£4.00£27.21£6.28£22.50£16.50£3.75
TypeGroundGroundGroundInstantGroundWhole beansGroundCapsulesBeansGround
RegionRwanda, SumatraIndonesia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, RwandaPeru-Columbia-Honduras, Central America, VietnamPeruPeru-
Single OriginNoNoYesNoYesNoYesYesYesNo
Bean TypeArabicaArabicaArabicaArabica--80% arabica, 20% robusta-ArabicaArabica
Water Decaffeinated Similar, CO2 processYes-YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
OrganicNoNoNoYesNoYesNo YesNoNo
FairtradeBetter- Union Direct TradeNoYesYes-YesNoYesNoNo
Link

How to Choose a Decaf Coffee in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. Consider Whether You Prefer the Fresh Taste of Beans or Instant Convenience
  2. Choose Coffee From Indonesia, Africa and Latin America for Complex Flavour Profiles
  3. Opt for a Single Origin for Flavour or a Blend for a Balanced Espresso
  4. Look For 100% Arabica Beans For the Highest Quality Coffee Without Caffeine
  5. For a Healthier Cup, Opt For a Chemical-Free Decaf
  6. Look Into the Transparency of the Roaster 

1. Consider How You Prepare Your Coffee? Beans Provide a Fresher Cup, Instant Is Convenient on Busy Mornings

1. Consider How You Prepare Your Coffee? Beans Provide a Fresher Cup, Instant Is Convenient on Busy Mornings

Choose Whole Beans if You Want to Avoid Fast Oxidisation and to Enjoy the Freshest Cup Possible

If you see yourself as a bit of a coffee aficionado, it's likely you'll want your decaf coffee as whole beans. This is the best way to get the absolute freshest cup of java possible, but you will need a grinder to create that precious dust we all love.


There are many ways to grind whole beans - with a handheld grinder, an electric grinder or with a pestle and mortar if you're desperate! As long as you can achieve a uniform grind that suits the coffee device you're using, you're all good my friend.

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

This is the principle for coffee in general. As soon as coffee beans are roasted, they start to oxidise and lose their 'freshness'. So once the coffee bean is ground it means that it oxidises faster and there is more surface area exposed. Coffee can go stale faster if it is ground in advance and left for too long.

Ground Coffee Has the Perfect Grind Size for Coffee Machines and Cafetières, and Stays at Its Best for 1-2 Weeks After Opening

Ground decaf coffee, depending on which one you go for, is an excellent alternative to buying whole beans. Vaccum-sealed containers are amazing at keeping the freshness in, and as long as you use a clip or container to protect the coffee once opened, it will stay at its best for up to 2 weeks. Just make sure to store it at room temperature.


A great option for real coffee lovers, who would prefer to skip the hassle of a grinder, ground decaf coffee can recreate that coffee shop taste. Another bonus of buying decaf ready-ground is that it will have been produced using a specialist grinder to achieve the perfect grind for your coffee machine, moka pot or cafetiere.


Why not take a look at some of our top-ranked cafetires and french-presses?

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

It is important to have a good grinder for your coffee. If your grounds are uniform it should help your coffee extract more evenly. If you go through a lot of coffee daily, then having your coffee pre-ground does make sense and can save you some time, especially as it won't be sitting around for long!

If You Own a Coffee Pod Machine, Capsules Are Convenient and Will Guarantee a Uniform Taste

Coffee capsules have become extremely popular over the last few years, mainly due to their consistent taste. As they are individually sealed you always get the same flavour, whether you prefer a latte, americano or espresso. As soon as you open a bag of ground coffee, its aromas and oils slowly start to disintegrate, unlike coffee capsules which are always fresh.


Coffee capsules may be popular, but they are also controversial. They are sometimes seen as spelling the death of barista artistry, or producing excess waste as some capsules cannot be recycled easily.


Coffee capsules may be seen as a slight step up from buying ground coffee, but can fall short of the expectations set by grinding your own beans. If you decide that capsules are right for you, make sure to choose ones that can be recycled with your household waste to help protect the environment.


Check out mybest UK's top-ranked Coffee Pod Machines!

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

Capsules are a very convenient way to get your caffeine hit - although often capsule doses are quite small. A difference of 5 grams and 15-20 grams for an espresso used in a cafe, so you may want to have two! Be aware of their environmental impact too - try to choose capsules that are recyclable or compostable.

Instant Decaf Coffee Is Perfect For Those Who Are in a Rush and Need a Quick and Easy Fix

When it comes to instant decaf coffee, it's not as respected as the ground stuff or the whole bean but is an excellent choice in many situations. Want an easy work coffee without bringing lots of equipment in? Busy and need something quick but satisfying? Instant decaf might just be the one.


Instant decaf coffee doesn't have to be second-rate, providing you choose the right one. In fact, many people like its comforting, malty flavour that goes well with both milk and plant-based alternatives. Just as there's a perfect time for a barista level brew, instant decaf coffee definitely has its place too!

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

I know people who love to drink coffee all day every day; it can be part of a ritual, taking some time out of your day to relax. However, some people are more affected than others when it comes to caffeine and it can sometimes affect sleep as it can stay in your system for 12 hours, so decaf is a great alternative for a quick afternoon moment.

2. Go For Decaf Coffee From Indonesia, Africa and Latin America if You Are Looking to Sample Complex Flavour Profiles

2. Go For Decaf Coffee From Indonesia, Africa and Latin America if You Are Looking to Sample Complex Flavour Profiles

If You Like Coffee That Tastes Nutty and Sweet, Choose Beans Grown in Latin America

Most of the coffees worldwide are produced in Latin America, due to its ideal growing environment of moderate sunshine and rain, high temperatures and porous soil. 


Coffees grown in low altitudes like brazil produce nutty, sweet and less acidic coffees, whereas higher altitude coffees, such as in Columbia are full-bodied with medium acidity and caramel sweetness.

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

Decaffeinated coffee won't necessarily taste as complex as well processed and roasted speciality coffee, but if the coffee is good quality and the decaffeinating process is gentle and done well, then there's no reason why you can't still find decaf coffees relatively complex. In my experience coffee that has been decaffeinated with a Swiss Water System still tastes really good!

Coffees From Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda Are Best for Those Who Like Floral and Fruity Notes

Some of the best coffees in the world come from African countries like Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda. Characteristically fruity, floral and complex, this coffee boasts high levels of acidity and a clean flavour.


A good decaf coffee blend is extremely likely to include coffee from African regions. And if it does, that's pretty much a seal of approval in itself!

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

If you get a chance, do try some coffees side by side, from different origins from around the world. That will be a better way to taste different characteristics more easily - you will start to develop your own senses. Coffees from Ethiopia and Kenya are some of my favourites and often a flavour many people note of an Ethiopian coffee is blueberries.

Indonesian Coffee Provides a Smooth Flavour and Is Less Acidic Making It a Better Option for Those With More Sensitive Stomachs

With rich, fertile soil and a tropical climate, this region is known for having ideal coffee growing conditions. Coffees from Indonesia and the Pacific are known for having smooth flavours and medium acidity, often with earthy elements. 


It's also worth noting that coffee with a lower acidity is less likely to upset a sensitive stomach making it a great choice for those who suffer from acid reflux and similar issues. 

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

In the past Indonesian and Pacific speciality coffees haven't been that readily available in the UK but are now becoming increasingly popular and accessible which is great if you're interested in broadening your coffee palate.

3. Choose Single Origin to Get the Most Flavour From Your Filter Coffee, or a Blend for a Balanced Espresso

3. Choose Single Origin to Get the Most Flavour From Your Filter Coffee, or a Blend for a Balanced Espresso

Contrary to popular belief, single-origin coffee is not always better than a blend. They both have pros and cons and provide slightly different coffee-drinking experiences.


Single-origin simply means that the coffee has come from just one farm or region. These are perfect for showing off that region's characteristics. Their exotic flavours are loved for their purity, but might taste a little too bold for everyday drinking.


A blend is made from beans from different regions around the world that are specifically chosen to balance out and complement each other. For example, a blend of coffees from Latin America, Africa and the Pacific would likely create the most ideal day to day decaf.

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

Personally, I would, as a general rule, stick to single origins for filter coffees - however, if the blend is not too complex (i.e. only 2-3 different origins) and it isn't roasted too darkly then I would drink it as a filter coffee - it can make the flavour more three dimensional. 


Because all these different coffee origins lend it's self to different flavours, blending them together can make for a really interesting espresso. Espresso beans are often roasted slightly longer and when extracted in a machine, the coffee undergoes higher temperatures and pressure. So it can afford to have some really bold coffee origins as well as some softer tasting coffees to balance the shot.

4. For the Highest Quality Coffee Without Caffeine, Look For 100% Arabica Beans

4. For the Highest Quality Coffee Without Caffeine, Look For 100% Arabica Beans

Robusta beans are grown throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, India and Indonesia and contain around 25% more caffeine than arabica beans. However, robusta has lower acidity levels than arabica, making it taste much less sweet. Due to its simpler make up robusta can produce flavours of burnt wood or rubber, making it the less desirable bean.


Despite the lower caffeine content, arabica is considered to be superior, making up around 70% of the share of coffee drinking. Arabica tends to have a sweeter, softer taste with tones of chocolate, fruit and berries. This combined with a higher acidity creates that winey taste we know and love.


The highest quality coffee will always be made with 100% arabica, which will be generally be reflected by the price. Cheaper, lower quality coffees will usually be made with a blend of arabica and robusta, or sometimes just robusta beans.

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

If you've read any of the other coffee articles, you'll know that Arabica beans are generally higher quality than robusta beans. So if I had a choice, I would definitely choose 100% Arabica wherever possible. Not only for taste but there is such an amazing variety of Arabica speciality coffee beans available now, it's much easier to find.

5. Opt For a Chemical-Free Decaf That’s Processed Using Water for a Healthier Cup With More Flavour

5. Opt For a Chemical-Free Decaf That’s Processed Using Water for a Healthier Cup With More Flavour

The Swiss water process uses water, temperature and time to create totally chemical-free decaffeinated coffee. Using small batches of green coffee and water local to the area, the time and temperature is monitored until the coffee is 99.9% caffeine-free, naturally.


This process and other similar natural water processes have become the most popular methods in creating decaf coffee without solvents or chemicals. It also preserves the coffee's subtle flavour characteristics for a complex and gorgeous decaf!

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

As previously mentioned the water decaffeination process is by far the most optimal process because it minimises the flavour and goodness that's taken out of the beans and is better for you!

6. Consider Your Stance on the Ethical Sourcing of Your Coffee and Look Into the Transparency of the Roaster

6. Consider Your Stance on the Ethical Sourcing of Your Coffee and Look Into the Transparency of the Roaster

More and more of us are becoming concerned with how ethical our purchases are. For example, organic decaf coffee can mean it's environmentally friendly but doesn't guarantee a high standard and a large amount of high-grade speciality decaf coffees are not organically certified


Often, both regular and decaf coffee will boast fairtrade or UTZ certification, but in truth, these schemes often provide such a low baseline price for the producers that it's debatable how fair they really are. In short, fairtrade and organic labels are not a sign of quality.


If possible, opt for a decaf that's fully traceable, or one in which the coffee company has worked directly with the farms. Union Direct Trade is a brilliant example of a scheme that strives for good working conditions and prices for farmers, ensuring livelihoods and sustainability.

Celeste Wong
Coffee and Lifestyle Blogger
Celeste Wong

Most speciality coffee roasters are transparent about where and how they source their coffee - free trade and organic coffee aren't always the best. Many coffee farms can't afford to have the "Organic" certification, but it doesn't mean that their coffee isn't at that high standard


Also, there are some coffee farms that now work closely with coffee roasters who ensure that they get paid the highest possible for the best crops and can help with the funding of machinery and sanitation too. So look out for companies who help the supply chain to bring you the best quality coffee possible.

10 Best Decaf Coffees in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.

1

UnionDecaf Blend Cafetière Grind

£5.50

TypeGround
RegionRwanda, Sumatra
Single OriginNo
Bean TypeArabica
Water Decaffeinated Similar, CO2 process
OrganicNo
FairtradeBetter- Union Direct Trade
2

Decadent DecafSignature Espresso Ground Coffee

£8.99

TypeGround
RegionIndonesia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Rwanda
Single OriginNo
Bean TypeArabica
Water Decaffeinated Yes
OrganicNo
FairtradeNo
3

CafédirectFairtrade Decaffeinated Machu Picchu

£3.75

TypeGround
RegionPeru
Single OriginYes
Bean TypeArabica
Water Decaffeinated -
OrganicNo
FairtradeYes
4

ClipperFairtrade Decaf Arabica Coffee

£3.20

TypeInstant
Region-
Single OriginNo
Bean TypeArabica
Water Decaffeinated Yes
OrganicYes
FairtradeYes
5

Raw BeanDefinitely Decaf Ground Coffee

£4.00

TypeGround
RegionColumbia
Single OriginYes
Bean Type-
Water Decaffeinated Yes
OrganicNo
Fairtrade-
6

SumaFairtrade Organic Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Beans

£27.21

TypeWhole beans
Region-
Single OriginNo
Bean Type-
Water Decaffeinated Yes
OrganicYes
FairtradeYes
7

AROMISTICOSwiss Water Medium Roast Decaf

£6.28

TypeGround
RegionHonduras, Central America, Vietnam
Single OriginYes
Bean Type80% arabica, 20% robusta
Water Decaffeinated Yes
OrganicNo
FairtradeNo
8

CRU KafeOrganic Decaf Coffee Capsules

£22.50

TypeCapsules
RegionPeru
Single OriginYes
Bean Type-
Water Decaffeinated Yes
OrganicYes
FairtradeYes
9

Rounton Coffee RoastersSparkling Water Decaf Coffee Beans

£16.50

TypeBeans
RegionPeru
Single OriginYes
Bean TypeArabica
Water DecafinatedYes
OrganicNo
FairtradeNo
10
TypeGround
Region-
Single OriginNo
Bean TypeArabica
Water Decaffeinated Yes
OrganicNo
FairtradeNo

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Written and researched by Melanie McPhail

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    Vegetarians deserve spag bol too! Luckily, big brands like Quorn, Vivera and Heck have all come up with tasty, textured, meat-free alternatives to beef mince so you can cook up the perfect cottage pie, chilli or moussaka. But which plant-based mince is the best tasting? This article guides you through what good veggie mince is made from and compares the top-rated buys across Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and Amazon Fresh. We'll help you decide between chilled and frozen products, look into how much protein each contains and even flag up soya-free alternatives in case you have an allergy. Thanks to our ranking, you'll be able to review which veggie mince is best for your recipes and diet, so you can whip up a meat-free feast in the kitchen that will leave you, your family or guests licking your plates clean!
    Food and drinks
  • 10 Best Kimchi UK 2021| Loving Foods, YUMCHI and More
    10 Best Kimchi UK 2021| Loving Foods, YUMCHI and More
    South Koreans consume a whopping 1.85 million tons of kimchi per year, and since the raw food craze has taken off around the globe, they're not the only ones. Recently, kimchi has become extremely popular here in the UK too, to the extent that it's now a staple ingredient found in health stores and supermarkets. So whether you like it as is, with your noodles, mixed into fried rice or for making Korean pancakes with, we've got something for you.With a delectable flavour and zesty bite, kimchi is not only tasty enough to enjoy straight from the jar but it's full of good bacteria to boost the immune system too. Cue our guide — which we have paired with the top 10 best kimchis available on Amazon, eBay, Asda, Waitrose and Japan Centre — to help you find your favourite combination of sourness, spice and umami. Yum!
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  • 10 Best Instant Noodles and Ramen UK 2021| Indo Mie, Nongshim and More
    10 Best Instant Noodles and Ramen UK 2021| Indo Mie, Nongshim and More
    Sure, it’s lovely to go to a fancy restaurant and order some authentic, freshly-made noodles. But if you are on a strict budget, there’s nothing better than a cup or bowl of steaming instant noodles to keep you going. While they can have an unhealthy image, if you pay attention to the calories and perhaps add some toppings of your own you have yourself a nutritious and delicious meal.Nowadays there is a great variety available for us to purchase here in the UK, from Japanese Nissin instant ramen to spicy Korean noodles and other options from Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia. In this article we will introduce some points to consider when purchasing instant noodles, and share some recommendations available on Amazon, Tesco, and Asda.
    Food and drinks
  • 10 Best Frozen Pizzas UK 2021| Tesco, Dr. Oetker and More
    10 Best Frozen Pizzas UK 2021| Tesco, Dr. Oetker and More
    The frozen pizza has long been a staple in the British weekly shop - it’s quick, convenient, cheap, and satisfying. Many of us might remember the frozen pizzas we ate as children and teens, such as the basic Margherita with a sparse layer of cheese and a flavourless tomato base – but frozen pizzas have come a long way since then!Nowadays there is a massive variety of delicious frozen pizzas available in the freezer section of UK supermarkets, whether thin crust or thick crust, with traditional pepperoni or healthy veggie toppings, and using tomato or BBQ sauce – there are even gluten-free dough options for coeliacs! To learn more, keep reading as we introduce pizzas from brands such as Chicago Town, Dr. Oetker, and Goodfella’s, along with yummy supermarket-own brand products from Tesco and Asda.
    Food and drinks
  • 10 Best Hard Seltzers 2021 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed
    10 Best Hard Seltzers 2021 | UK Nutritionist Reviewed
    Hard seltzer has been a popular beverage in the US for a few years now, and lucky for us, the alcohol-infused sparkling water has finally made its way over to the UK. Being naturally gluten-free with a low ABV, calorie and sugar content, hard seltzer has become a big hit with health-conscious drinkers, or those who prefer the taste of something lighter and less boozy.Whether you prefer gin or vodka, an array of different alcohol bases are blended with fruity and botanical flavours to make this uniquely refreshing drink you're sure to love. So if you're thinking of trying this tangy tipple, our buying guide is here to tell you all you need to know about hard seltzers! We've also included our top to faves from Amazon, Tesco and Asda. To your health!
    Food and drinks
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