Review: James Coffee Company DecafNation (San Diego, California)

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

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