img_04821There are some who say that decaf is pointless, decaf espresso even more so. But of course, decaf does contain some caffeine, so it can be a nice way to put a little life back into an evening after a long day at work. That way I don't drowse off reading monster-sized novels, listening to podcasts or watching the idiot box. My quest for the samadhi shot continues, and this is the decaffeinated edition. Name: Decaf Espresso

Description: "Nuances: Full body, sweet, slightly nutty."

Source: Café Grumpy, 224 W. 20th St., between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Geographic origin: Ethiopia, no region specified.

Date Roasted: Dec. 1, 2008 by Novo.

Date Purchased: Dec. 8, 2008.

The Pour: I had a spot of trouble, because I wanted to keep the decaf separated from the regular beans. My fancy coffee maker has a separate chamber for powdered coffee, so I tried at first to pre-grind the decaf and brew it that way. But I ran into some problems too embarrassing to enumerate and finally gave up, putting a small number of beans into the main chamber and letting it do everything automatically, the regular way.

The Internet can turn anyone into an expert. That is a great strength, though it has some bizarre side effects. I had always deferred my coffee choices, as I still defer wine choices, to others. But I have been learning a lot lately. And coffee makers these days mix a lot of philosophy with their marketing. But they also explain stuff, too:

Because of temperatures required to remove caffeine from raw coffee, it has thus far been impossible to decaffeinate coffee without moderating its flavor. Normally, the lowest grade coffees are used so as not to waste the best seeds (beans). Additionally, among the number of methods used to remove caffeine, most involve the use of harsh chemicals. Our mission at Novo is to find the best flavor that results from a completely natural, water-based method of decaffeination.

This is not the first time I have come across references to this organic, water process for decaf. I'm not a big decaf drinker, but this is making me think twice about the old bag of Starbucks bold decaf beans in the freezer.

Anyway, this shot was certainly full bodied, maybe a little nutty, nothing special, perhaps because of the low-grade beans and the process to take out the go-stuff.

Effects: I may have perked up a little, but I didn't want to perk up too much. I already had plenty of coffee this morning. I wrote this blog post, so I guess it had some effect. It'll be good to have around for an evening like this. My wife sometimes wants decaf, and sometimes a guest requests it. I guess I'll put it in the freezer where I had the Starbucks.