A Decaffeinated Coffee Manifesto

A cup of decaffeinated coffee.

I’ll admit it.  I love coffee. 

Yet, since 2005, I’ve only drank decaffeinated coffee, by choice. 


Because while I love the taste of a great cup of coffee, I found myself having difficulty with caffeine.  Rather than try to discern whether or not it is too late to drink a cup of fully caffeinated coffee while sitting in a coffee shop working on my dissertation, I decided it was easier to stop with fully caffeinated coffee (and tea, for that matter), and make the switch to decaf.

For many people, this switch seemed absurd.  Why give up caffeine?  And, if not, why not stop drinking coffee?

For me, the answer was simple.  I love the taste of coffee and the atmosphere of a well-run, cozy coffee shop and I wasn’t willing to give it up. 

Let me repeat that.  I drink coffee simply for the taste.

After more than a decade of minimal caffeination, I’ve come to realize that there are more people in my situation than die-hard coffee snobs will admit. 

There are people like myself who choose to avoid caffeine.  But there are also many people, such as Laura, who avoid caffeine out of medical necessity.

And yet, we all love coffee.  We love the aroma of freshly ground beans.  We love the complex taste of a well-roasted brew.  And we love the joy that comes into our lives when we sit and sip a cup, perhaps over conversation or over a good book, while enjoying the din of a café.

And we do it without the need for caffeine. 

Yet, we are the forgotten coffee drinker, overlooked by a portion of the coffee intelligentsia who believes that decaffeinated drinks are not worth the pursuit of greatness.

Well, it’s time for that egregious oversight to stop.  It’s time for the decaf drinker to feel welcomed to the world of coffee and to stop being treated as a nuisance.  And, it’s time for producers of great coffee to stop looking at decaf as something they won’t produce because of the decaffeination process, but rather to think of decaf as a worthy challenge. 

This site is for people like myself, people who love coffee.  We’re people who drink coffee not for the buzz generated by caffeine, but for the taste.  We believe that the taste of coffee is what matters and that the best coffee shops will cater to us & the challenges that we present – wanting a truly great cup of coffee.


Rob Russell
January 23, 2017