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Food Fights: Coffee v. Decaf

March 16, 2017

Looking back, it seems I did a series of “Food Fights” posts back in 2012. Really, I wanted to call today’s post “Stupid Food Fights” but for the sake of consistency, I went with the shorter headline.

And actually, the stupid food fight that I had intended to stoke was hamburgers v. hot dogs. However, on my very own personal Facebook page a stupid food fight broke out all on its own regarding coffee v. decaf. It all started innocently enough, as these things often do, after I posted my Yelp review for kru coffee in Saratoga Springs.

My hope is that we can pick up some of that energy today, and fight on the internet about some crap that matters very little to the world around us. You know, instead of larger issues like should the Department of State have its budget slashed in a misguided effort to make our country more secure.

So forget I said anything about the budget. Instead, I’m going to argue the minority opinion, just because I think that will be more fun.

Decaffeinated coffee is a miracle from heaven.

Do you know who hates decaffeinated coffee? People who don’t drink decaffeinated coffee. Well, those, and people who drink bad decaffeinated coffee.

Oh man, there is a lot of bad decaf out there. But most of what people think of decaf is the dreck that was served decades ago. Sanka? No thank ya. Now, if you had some quality Swiss water processed beans that were roasted by someone who knew how to handle the unique challenges posed by decaffeinated coffee, you’re one step closer to a good cup of joe.

Because decaf gets a bad wrap rap, it’s also not brewed with the care and respect it deserves. So yes, there’s a lot of bad decaf out there. But that doesn’t mean that decaffeinated coffee is bad. Far from it. Get yourself a bag of PT’s Mexico Decaf and call me in the morning.

Look, not everyone can tolerate caffeine. And I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but some people simply don’t like caffeine.

How many regular coffee drinkers have had the following experience? You sit down with someone, and you’re drinking coffee. The conversation is scintillating. The coffee is good. And you don’t want to move on to the next activity of the day. So you have another cup. Then another. And before you know it, you’re a jittery nauseated mess.

That doesn’t happen with decaf. Sure, there is the stigma that comes from being a decaf drinker. But you know what they say, “Caffeine sickness can wreck my set, but words alone can’t harm me.” Or something like that.

So the coffee snobs will say, “If you don’t like the caffeine, drink something else.” But the thing is that there isn’t anything quite like coffee. There isn’t. Tea has a different taste. And if you truly love the complexities of a good cup of coffee, herbal tisanes aren’t going to cut it.

Or maybe the coffee cognoscenti will create false comparisons: coffee without the caffeine is like wine without the alcohol. And to them I would say, “No, it’s not.” The closer argument might be that decaf coffee is like wine with the lead removed from it. Yes, lots of wines have lead in them. It gets taken up from the soil, and is in the grapes. Balsamic vinegar too. Also grape juice. Blame the boomers, or maybe even their parents for all the lead pollution from cars.

But I digress. Lead is an unwanted substance in wine, much like some find caffeine to be an unwanted substance in coffee. The only difference is that we now have a way to remove the caffeine from coffee. The lead thing is proving to be a bit more tricky.

Like I said, decaffeinated coffee is a miracle. So quit your blaspheming ways and accept that people can love coffee and still drink decaf.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. EPT permalink
    March 16, 2017 8:59 am

    So just what is your point? That well made decaf can be very good. BTW, many of us coffee drinkers DON”T drink quarts of it a day, maybe a cup or two, I personally don’t drink coffee after 10 AM, but that’s me. I didn’t see or want to your FB page but how about a topic with some substance?

    • ericscheirerstott permalink
      March 16, 2017 9:09 pm

      Have you ever read this blog before? The title might clue you into the fact that this isn’t Consumer Reports. You sound like one of those people who post comments on any piece of light reporting; “Enough puff pieces- how about some hard reporting?”

      • EPT permalink
        March 17, 2017 8:29 am

        Either it’s worth the read or not, I’m starting to lean toward the latter.

  2. March 16, 2017 10:50 am

    The last time I was subjected to Folger’s Decaf (ground coffee, not instant) I couldn’t get over how much it tasted like chemicals. Awful stuff. The decaf beans at Uncommon Grounds are almost as good as the “real” thing.

  3. boya3706 permalink
    March 16, 2017 1:46 pm

    my contention is always: how is it made because I was fairly sure it was made like maraschino cherries, where they use a chemical to take it out, then put some back in so it doesn’t quite taste so awful.
    Who needs more chemicals? Although those cherries are some other disgusting thing.

  4. March 22, 2017 10:37 am

    I heard it once said that decaf is like going to a hooker and only wanting to cuddle. ;)

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