Third time - and what a Charm!

Wow, where has the time gone?

Yep, one of the joys of having your own blog is that life sometimes gets in the way.  Between being increasingly buried at work, planning for a summer vacation, and the many other daily impediments of life, I’ve only managed to post once in the last couple of months.  Eek!

Well, we’re back after that short hiatus.  And we’re still drinking plenty of decaffeinated coffee.

When we last checked in, we had just reviewed several outstanding decaffeinated coffee roasts from a wonderful Calgary roaster, Blue Spruce Decaffeinated Coffee Company. We absolutely loved both their Mexican Organic Decaf as well as their Thai Organic Decaf.  But, there was one more coffee left for us to taste and review – their Decaf Espresso.

Would their third roast be just as good as the first two?

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Coffee: The Best Souvenir

What kind of souvenirs do you pick up when you travel?

T-shirts?  Knick-knacks?  Other trinkets?

Or do you bring home something consumable?

I used to love to get t-shirts and other mementos of my travels.  I’d spend hours trying to find the right t-shirt so that I could humblebrag that I had travelled somewhere, but could also claim some sort of style points from those travels.

However, as I’ve gotten older my tastes have changed.

No longer do I need a drawer full of t-shirts from places I’ve visited. Instead, I’ve gotten in the habit of bringing home consumables souvenirs from my travels. 

That means I searching for chocolates, jellies & preserves, fresh fish and produce, and other foodstuffs during my travels.  You know, souvenirs that remind me of my trip but that have a sunset date on their time in my house. 

And, of course, this means that I get to bring home coffee. 

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Second Verse, as Good as the First?

Regular readers of this blog have already learned about the delightful Mexican Organic Decaf (SWP) that we recently reviewed from Blue Spruce Decaf Coffee Company.  It was an amazing, refreshing decaffeinated coffee experience that we wholeheartedly recommend.

While many roasters would be content to stop with one outstanding decaffeinated coffee, the people at Blue Spruce Decaf wanted more.  They wanted to produce a series of outstanding decaffeinated coffees that decaf drinkers could enjoy. 

After quickly making our way through our first pound of coffee from Blue Spruce Decaf, we were almost giddy with anticipation of another outstanding decaffeinated coffee experience.  The primary question for us was which decaf should we open next?  Would it be their Thai Organic Decaf?  Or should we go with their Organic Decaf Espresso?

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Beautiful Third Wave Coffee Shop. But How’s Their Decaf?

Where do decaffeinated coffee drinkers fit into coffee’s third-wave? 

One of the challenges that I’ve faced as a longtime drinker of decaffeinated coffee is understanding where I fit into the coffee’s third wave. 

There are some roasters and shops that cater to the needs of the decaffeinated coffee drinker just like we’re any other consumer of outstanding coffee.  Decaf is readily available and, in some cases, they even have multiple decaffeinated roasts available.  However, I’ve found that those coffee shops and roasters are the exception. 

Some roasters and shops ignore us altogether, arguing that the process of decaffeinating the coffee (whether chemical or chemical-free, such as Swiss Water Process) change the flavor of the coffee. 

But many third wave roasters do have decaf coffee available – albeit with a limited selection.  A coffee shop that might have 5-10 different types of caffeinated coffee available only roasts and brews one type of decaffeinated coffee at a time. 

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The Greatest Decaf to Hit the Market?

On a cold, January morning we received an email that could best be described as intriguing.  Its subject screamed “Review the Greatest New Decaf to Hit the Market. “  It was from a new producer of decaffeinated coffees, the Blue Spruce Decaffeinated Coffee Co.  According to their website, they aspired to “produce the world’s finest decaf coffee.”

Hmmm, color me intrigued. Would the confidence found in this email translate into their decaf coffee?  Would this be the “greatest new decaf to hit the market”? 

After all, that’s quite the lofty goal, particularly given the many outstanding decaffeinated coffees that we’ve already sampled during this project.  And while I had no doubt that this new roaster was going to be producing a very good – even excellent – decaffeinated coffee, would it be “the greatest”?

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A Special Roast from One of Our Favorite St. Louis Decaf Roasters

Live Fast.  Play Loud.  Drink Decaf?

Many years of coffee drinking has taken me to a plethora of coffee roasters and shops around the United States.  I’ve been to outstanding coffee shops located steps from the beach in Florida.  I’ve had surprisingly good cups of coffee in small towns in the Upper Midwest.  I’ve explored coffee shops in big, bustling cities.  Coffee was a staple of my days in Duluth, but it was also a treat while exploring the Hawaiian Islands. 

Yet, despite those years of coffee tourism, I’ve never been to a rock ‘n roll coffee shop. 

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Familiarity Breeds...Excellent Coffee at Home

Occasionally I’m asked about my favorite coffee shops.  I typically list a number of outstanding venues that I’ve visited in cities throughout the United States, shops that many coffee aficionados are well aware of as their reputation for producing great coffee precedes them.

Rarely will I list someplace in my hometown of Columbia, MO unless someone is specifically asking for coffee in CoMo. 

I’m not sure why that is since, as you can see from our coffee guide to Columbia, there are a number of outstanding roasters found in this small city.  These are places that I frequent on a daily basis, the coffee shops that produce my go-to decaffeinated coffees.

I guess it probably has something to do with taking these shops for granted.  Since I see them regularly, I’m used to their outstanding brews.

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