Even though I’ve already written about James Coffee Company’s Night Owl Blend, this bag of their DecafNation blend was actually the first bag of theirs that I invited into my home to test, as I purchased this from Culture Craft Coffee and Espresso in Escondido, California. I didn’t intend to stretch out the decaf tasting, but with so many “normal” coffees in my house this summer, it took me more than a few days to satisfactorily complete my evaluation of this decaf. However, I think it was worth the effort!
I have to note that the back of the bag had the most detailed coffee brewing instructions I’ve seen to date, from ANY roaster. Props to you, James!
Whole bean: Spicy chocolate aroma. Super fragrant!
V60: At a 2:45 extraction, this coffee had a deliciously rich flavor with a hint of maple. Simple and satisfying. Quite nice!! I kept forgetting that this coffee was decaf, which is always a good sign.
Chemex: I brewed this at a 4:00 minute extraction, and the resulting brew was sweet like milk chocolate with a touch of maple cream. I started thinking about the maple candies I’ve had in Canada. Mmmmm.
French press: This version didn’t have much in the way of sweetness. I definitely preferred this decaf brewed as a pourover instead of in a press pot, as the coffee here tasted hollow and bland. Slightly disappointing.
AeroPress: I almost forgot to taste the coffee this way, as I got a bit distracted by all the other coffees hanging around my house at this time (SQUIRREL!), but by the time I got around to it (1 month post-roast), the beans brewed in an AeroPress tasted fine, “like coffee.” Not sure if I would have picked up any other flavors had I had this when the coffee was fresher, but it did result in a perfectly decent brew.
Summary: This is a great decaf for people that enjoy satisfying, crowd-pleasing flavors like chocolate and maple. If circumstances required me to drink decaf, this is one that I would be quite happy to consume, especially paired with a nice, sweet dessert.
From the roaster:
DecafNation is not currently available online, but here’s a link to James’s online store: James Coffee Company