To say I love coffee would be an understatement. Over time I’ve put considerable effort into achieving the perfect cup and, that having been accomplished, savor it (and another) each morning and fall asleep each night anticipating how enjoyable “coffee and” will be when I wake up tomorrow.
Many moons ago I could enjoy regular coffee at both ends of the day without ill effects and, most days, I did just that. A cup of coffee, alone or–better yet–with dessert sitting next to it, just seemed a fitting way to cap off the day.
But, alas, that enjoyable routine came to a necessary halt in my late twenties when my evening cup of Joe started keeping me awake far too long to get the sleep required to unbegrudgeingly arise in the morning to conquer the world, even with the help of my a.m. cup of Joe.
Of course, I turned to decaf and over the intervening years tried many different brands and blends in the attempt to find a reasonable facsimile of my most excellent daytime regular brew (less the caffeine) but never found one that filled the bill. The best of them lacked satisfying flavor; the worst actually tasted bad, and most had a readily detectable chemical taste. So, for years I passed altogether on evening coffee, choosing to have no coffee rather than one that added nothing worthwhile to my nightly ritual.
Then this week I had the opportunity to taste-test “Five Cups Coffee,” a decaf that not only looked promising but did, in fact, live up to its promises. Five Cups Coffee comes packed in a resealable bag containing one pound of 100% Arabica beans to be ground just before each brewing, the same as true coffeephiles always do for a good cup.
Five Cups Coffee Arabica beans are USDA certified organic, Direct Trade and are batched in micro-lots, but those are not the brand’s only claims to fame. Some quick research revealed there are four methods to decaffeinate coffee. “Five Cups” utilizes the SWISS WATER process, the only one that, in my view, can be rightly called completely chemical free and natural. This process uses only water, temperature and time to extract caffeine from the bean. This gentle method allows the caffeine to migrate from the coffee beans in a way that protects the integrity of the beans allowing for maximum flavor with (since it uses no artificial chemicals) absolutely no chemical taste whatsoever.
Arabica has long been my bean of choice for its delicate, sweet flavor, but it turns out to be the best selection for decaffeination, as well, since more caffeine can be extracted from this variety compared to other beans available in the U.S. market. So, those who need or elect to drink decaf coffee can feel confident in their choice of Arabica coffee that has been decaffeinated with the SWISS WATER process, knowing this is the safest (and tastiest!) way to enjoy this beverage.
Of course, the decaf process is only part (albeit a very important one) of the equation. The flavor of any coffee can only be as good as the beans it comes from. “Five Cups” Arabica beans are from several award-winning farms. The fragrance of the beans is wonderful, truly exceptional, making the experience a pleasure as soon as the bag is opened. I’m a particular fan of Medium-Dark Roasts, so this is a great coffee for me.
The Five Cups Coffee people recommend grinding the bean into a medium grind – not too fine, not too coarse before every use. Also, to use fresh, cold and filtered water boiled to 200F/96C for proper coffee extraction. Use two tablespoons coffee per 6 ounces of water and adjust to taste, less coffee or a coarser grind for a lighter tasting brew.
I followed the suggested proportions, which are standard, and found it entirely to my liking. I did not have filtered water on hand and was still completely happy with the result, though I will use filtered water in the future. While it was excellent with cream and sugar, I enjoyed the coffee black as well: rich, nuanced, and lacking a “muddy” taste that is common among other brands.
Five Cups Coffee is a little more than I spend for my daytime regular coffee but there is the additional process of the SWISS WATER process decaffeination to be considered in the cost of production. Also, it is a full pound rather than the more typical 12-ounce bags so, ounce for ounce, I find it easy to justify, especially when “Five Cups” has permitted me to reestablish my ritual nighttime cup of Joe. Kind of makes me feel like a kid of 25 again, and to my way of thinking, that’s priceless.
Find Five Cups Coffee at http://bit.ly/2eCKbyQ
I received this product at a discount in exchange for my unbiased review and received compensation for my time and effort. However, my experience with the product and the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.