I like my morning coffee, black, nothing else added.
I drink decaf, have for years. This freaks people out. There is a general assumption that decaf is flavorless coffee. Not if you roast it yourself! Controlling the process makes all the difference.
My husband and I started roasting our own coffee a couple years ago and have not gone back. We have a small roaster that looks sort of like a weird air popcorn popper minus the spout for the popped corn. It took many tries for me to get the decaf not to be French Roast, aka cremated.
I only buy the Swiss Water Process beans, where they use a water treatment to remove most of the caffeine from the bean instead of chemicals. The decaf process starts the roasting and as a result the green decaf beans have a browner tinge to them than the regular beans.
Regular beans when they are roasted to a medium roast are usually a wonderful deep brown with an oily sheen. Decafs never get that same mahogany brown, rather they tend to appear dull and the oil shows up hours after the roasting. To get a good decaf roasting, it takes about 25% less time than regular coffee beans.
My theory on why decafs tend to be so poor tasting is that they are over roasted by roasters who don’t drink decaf, don’t know their beans and don’t care how it turns out. The roasting has been based on regular beans that require longer times. Even when we took the coffee roasting class, the instructor knew nothing about roasting decafs. He looked at me askance when I asked about decafs. The look said “why would anyone drink decaf?” Because I have no choice. It’s decaf or nothing.
Organic when ever possible, which is really hard for decafs. They are out there but are few and far between. I always buy organic when I can. When there is nothing on offer, I will go for single finca -farm or plantation.
You too can change your morning cup of joe by taking an extra ten minutes to roast your own beans.