Decaffeinated coffee is quite a challenge as the process of removing the caffeine causes the coffee beans to lose some of their flavor. This article is dedicated to the best tasting light roast decaf K Cups.
By best tasting, we have set out here to find the decaf coffee K-Cups that have an enjoyable flavor and a flavor that closely resembles the fully caffeinated K-cup version.
By the time you have finished reading this article, you will have a comprehensive idea of what light roasted decaffeinated K-Cup will hit the spot for you.
Of course, we talk about other roasts too.
Keep reading as we dig down on this topic.
Best Decaf K Cups – Light Roast Decaf K Cups And Other Roasts
The following are our top picks for awesome and great tasting decaffeinated Keurig K cup coffee pods.
Read: Dark roast decaf coffee K Cup
#1 illy Decaffeinated K-Cups – Our Top Pick (Medium Roast).
It is not at all an easy task to produce a medium roasted decaffeinated coffee that has a complex flavor. The Italian brand, famous for its Italian flavor, has managed to achieve this in a convenient K-cup ready to be popped into a Keurig K-cup brewers.
For medium roast with a strong, balanced flavor this will hit the spot for you, you won’t even notice it is a decaffeinated coffee, except the obvious lack of a caffeine kick as it tastes exactly the same as a fully caffeinated coffee.
There is no doubt that illy have the very best decaf K-cup on the market.
#2 The Donut Shop Decaffeinated K Cup (Medium-Roast) – Runner Up!
This is a great-tasting decaf K-cup that, like illy, is a medium roast and works great as an after dinner coffee rather than a coffee to be enjoyed with a donut. This one is pretty expensive on a per cup of coffee brewed basis, but K-cups are generally more expensive than their whole bean coffee equivalents.
This means that an expensive K-cup brew is much more expensive on per cup basis than other good quality whole bean coffee equivalents.
There is a great complex flavor and a consistent bitterness to this coffee that makes it rather enjoyable.
#3 Green Mountain ‘Breakfast Blend’ – The Best Light Roast Decaf K Cups.
Green Mountain are the clear winners and makers of the best light roast decaf K-Cups. Their flavor is spot on, lightly acidic and does not have a bitter aftertaste, and they are very well priced.
You will need to keep an eye on Green Mountain coffee as they, unfortunately, have a tendency to clog up Keurig K-cup brewers more than other brands. Just be sure to give your machine a good frequent clean and flush and stay abreast of it.
As far as light roasted decaffeinated K-cups go, you will be hard pushed to find a better K cup than Green Mountain breakfast blend.
#4 Dunkin’ Donuts Original Decaffeinated Keurig K Cups (Medium Roast)
Dunkin’ Donuts provide you with the quality and taste that you would expect, and they certainly do not let you down with the quality of their decaffeinated coffee. Your taste buds are not as challenged and dancing with joy as the above three decaf K-cups. They do provide an excellent traditional flavor and have pumpkin spice and French vanilla flavors available.
#5 Starbucks Pike Place Decaf K-Cup (Medium Roast).
Naturally the world’s leading coffee brand has a well-made and well roasted coffee that tastes great. Pike Place is a 100% Arabica coffee with beans sourced from Latin America. It is balanced, with very subtle and smooth notes of toasted nuts and chocolate.
It is an expensive choice and well worth their place in the top 5.
#6 Newman’s Own ‘Organics’ Decaf K-Cups – Best Organic Decaf Coffee
Newman’s decaf K-cups are made from the best and freshest organic coffee and produced in a manner that has a low impact on the environment.
You can expect a decent flavor that is slightly more acidic and bitter than other decaffeinated coffees on this list.
While not the best tasting coffee, they are a great every day coffee that you can, and will enjoy.
#7 Peet’s Coffee Decaf House Blend Decaffeinated K-Cups
There is no mistaking Peet’s coffee Decaf House blend and their excellent flavor of their decaffeinated K-cups. These are every bit as tasty as their caffeinated coffee, so much so that you will have a hard time reminding yourself that this is indeed a decaffeinated cup of coffee.
You can expect a great, full-bodied coffee that tastes great. One of the downsides is that these are more expensive than other K-cups.
#8 Cambio Light Roast Decaf Coffee Pods
These decaffeinated K-cups are light roast coffee and a blend of African coffee beans roasted to the point that it brings out caramel, fruity, floral and chocolate notes with touches of brown sugar with tangy citrus hints.
A great choice if you love light roast coffee.
#9 McCafe Premium Decaf Keurig Pods – Best Budget Choice (Medium Roast)
This is perhaps a surprise for you to see McDonald’s McCafe on the list of the best Decaf K-cups, to be honest they are sort of like what you would expect from their burgers, cheap, tasty, does the job but certainly not the best and nowhere near gourmet standard.
If you are not fussed about decaffeinated coffee and simply looking for a low cost pod that gets the job done without spending a ton of money, then McCafe will hit that spot for you.
#10 Folgers 100% Colombian Decaffeinated K Cup (Medium Roast)
Folgers makes a consistent tasting coffee with a very recognizable flavor. It is not at all the sort of flavor that you would jump at and get excited about. Their decaf K-cups are no different.
This is a good choice for coffee at the office and has a decent taste to them while being decaffeinated. It is not at all a coffee to spoil your taste buds with.
It is reasonably average and tastes like drip coffee.
The Top 5 Tasting Swiss Water Decaf K Cups
The Swiss water method of producing decaffeinated coffee is method that soaks the coffee beans in hot water and then adds them to a blend that removes the caffeine. The next step maintains the nutrients while detaching the caffeine from the caffeine rich water by the use of an activated carbon filter.
The Swiss water decaffeinating method is an eco-friendly method, but the risk of removing the nutrients as well as the caffeine during the process.
The method is natural and chemical free and is not harsh on the coffee beans. The process leaves behind the natural true flavor of the coffee beans.
Here are our top choices for Swiss Water Decaf K Cups.
#1 Organic Mexican Swiss Water Decaf By Fresh Roasted Coffee (Medium Roast)
This is a great tasting medium roasted decaf K-cup with a mild and smooth body. It’s crisp, tasty, nutty and fragrant yet slightly sweet.
It is a great coffee with a mild flavor and no bitter aftertaste.
#2 Organic Black Knight By Fresh Roasted Coffee (Dark Roast)
Black Knight Swiss water decaffeinated coffee is punchy in flavor. It’s bold, full bodied and has an incredibly great caramel taste. 99.9% of the caffeine is removed from this coffee, and it tastes every bit as good as a fully caffeinated coffee.
#3 Colombian Swiss Water Decaf By Fresh Roasted Coffee (Medium Roast)
With almost 100% of the caffeine removed, this far surpasses the 97% requirement defined by the FDA. This is an intensely rich coffee that is full-bodied, nutty and with notes of walnut and honey. This may well be one of the best tasting Decaf K-cups that you have tried.
#4 Honduran Organic Swiss Water Decaf Coffee By Fresh Roasted Coffee (Medium Roast).
This decaffeinated coffee has warm and rich flavors with a light, sweet fruity finish with a balanced acidity. Expect notes of toffee, chocolate and red currant.
If you are looking to continue your love for coffee yet ditch the caffeine, this K-cup might just be the one to help you achieve that goal.
#5 Organic Peruvian Decaffeinated Coffee By Fresh Roasted Coffee (Medium Roast)
This is a rather delicious decaffeinated 100% Arabica coffee pod that is Fair Trade certified and has notes of sweet cream, almond and chocolate.
Tasting and trying out Swiss water decaffeinated coffee may well have you switching over to decaf full time.
Methods Of Decaffeinating Coffee
The Swiss Water method may be the best method of decaffeinating coffee and the one that results in the best tasting coffee. It is only one of 3 methods of removing caffeine.
Let’s talk about the other 2 methods.
The Carbon Dioxide Method
The method of removing caffeine from coffee beans is most suitable for large scale batch decaffeinating of coffee beans. It requires the use of large, expensive industrial machines.
During this process, carbon dioxide is used as a solvent. The coffee beans are first soaked in hot water and then moved to a large stainless steel tank which is filled with carbon dioxide under a predetermined pressure. The carbon dioxide, while under pressure, attaches to the caffeine molecules and leaves behind the flavor agents in the coffee beans.
The coffee beans are then moved into a second chamber where they are depressurized and, at this point, are decaffeinated.
The Solvent technique
This technique is used by Folgers to name one of many that use this technique. They use ethyl acetate as a solvent to absorb the caffeine from the coffee beans by steaming the beans.
Some brands, like illy, use ,ethylene chloride as the solvent instead of ethyl acetate to remove the caffeine while maintaining the integrity of the other compounds in the coffee beans.
It is clear as why consumers are looking for the Swiss water method. It not only removes more caffeine is, in my humble opinion, a healthier process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Light Roast Decaf K Cups
Can You Get Light Roast Decaf?
Yes, there are decaffeinated coffee of all roasts, including light roast. Although opinions vary, some experts insist that the best decaffeinated coffees are light roasts as there is very little difference between a similar light roasted fully caffeinated coffee and an equivalent decaffeinated coffee.
Do Light Roast K-Cups Have Less Caffeine?
No, a light roasted coffee, be it a K-Cup or a normal, regular coffee, has slightly more caffeine than a dark roast. The taste is not as deep or as strong as what a dark roast is, but they have a slightly greater caffeine content.
Does Decaf Light Roast Have Caffeine?
Yes. It is not only light roasts that have caffeine, all roasts have trace amounts of caffeine. The term decaffeinated does not mean uncaffeinated. The FDA regulations state that a manufacturer must remove 97% of the caffeine content to be labelled as decaffeinated. This means a decaffeinated coffee of any roast will have from 2 mg to 4 mg of caffeine on average.
Which Decaf K Cup Has The Least Caffeine?
There is no decaffeinated K-Cup that has zero caffeine. The amount of caffeine in each one is more or less the same, ranging in the 2 mg to 4 mg range, which will have next to zero effect on your body, unless you have hyper sensitivity. One of the best tasting decaf K-cups with a balanced flavor that is similar to the fully caffeinated equivalent is a illy’s Classico.
Final Thoughts, Frappé-Ing It All Up Light Roast Decaf K Cups
In this article we have listed what we consider to be the best light roast decaf K Cups as well as what are, in our opinion, the best tasting medium and dark roasted decaf Keurig K cups.
I hope you enjoyed the little extra mile that I undertook to list the top 5 Swiss Water Decaf K Cups and an explanation of the 3 decaffeination processes.