The 13 Best Decaf K-Cups (A Complete Guide)

Coffee beans naturally contain caffeine, and removing that caffeine requires additional processing. This means that, by the time the beans are roasted, the flavor is almost always compromised. 

Therefore, it can be a challenge to find a decaf coffee with decent flavor, especially in the case of K-cups. I’ve taken the time to select what I believe to be the 13 best decaf K-cups on the market with all their advantages and disadvantages. This list should help you find one that you will love.

Best Decaf K-Cups

1. San Francisco Bay Coffee French Roast K-Cups – Best Overall

I believe that the San Francisco Bay Coffee French Roast K-cups deserve the title of “Best Overall” decaf k-cups. These coffee pods are made from the best beans grown under the shade. The French roasted beans have a smoky, rich flavor that’s not too bitter. 

Additionally, the cup is made of eco-friendly materials and has been certified by BPI. 

Advantages:

  • Robust flavor 
  • Environmentally friendly 
  • Not bitter 
  • Doesn’t taste burnt
  • Works well with your favorite creamer 
  • Ideal for a quick cup of coffee 

Disadvantages: 

  • It still contains small amounts of caffeine. 
  • You may end up with coffee grounds in your mug. 

2. Peet’s Coffee House Blend – Best Budget K-Cups

  • Organic 
  • Decaffeinated 
  • No acidity
  • Doesn’t taste watered down 

The Peet’s Coffee House Blend is the best “budget” K-cups on the market. This coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans and is full-bodied. Additionally, the manufacturing process for this is quite rigorous. They only use the finest beans that they carefully roast to maximize flavor. 

The result is a strong and vivid but sweet Latin flavor. 

Advantages: 

  • Superior flavor 
  • Convenient 
  • Not bitter 
  • Strong without tasting burnt 

Disadvantages: 

  • Tastes a bit like instant coffee
  • Pods sometimes explode in the machine. 
  • You may end up with coffee grounds in your mug.

3. Newman’s Own Special Blend K-Cups

I believe the Newman’s Own Special Blend K-cups deserve the title of “best medium roast” decaf coffee. This coffee has an intense, bold flavor. However, the flavor is also relatively smooth and doesn’t leave behind a bad aftertaste. The coffee in these K-cups is high quality.

Newman’s Own is certified USDA organic and Kosher. Additionally, it is fair trade certified. 

Advantages: 

Disadvantages: 

  • Sometimes pods malfunction in the brewer. 
  • Coffee grounds get into coffee mugs quite often.

4. Organic Coffee Co. – USDA Organic & Kosher Gorilla Decaf K-cups-Best Organic

  • Made from 100% Arabica beans 
  • Organic 
  • Packaging and grounds are compostable.

We believe these K-cups to be deserving of the title of “best organic” decaf coffee on our list. This company uses 100% USDA organic and Kosher certified Arabica coffee. It features a smooth, mild flavor with a cocoa finish

Advantages: 

  • Packaging is biodegradable. 
  • Pure
  • Chemical-free
  • Smooth flavor
  • Contains no harmful additives 

Disadvantages: 

5. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Dark Magic K-Cups – Best Dark Roast

  • Orthodox Union Kosher certified 
  • Dark roast
  • 100% Arabica beans

This coffee deserves the title of “best dark roast.” It is made from Arabica beans that have been dark roasted. The resulting flavor is intense, combined with chocolate flavors and fruity aromas. The aftertaste is fairly sweet. 

Advantages: 

  • Strong, bold flavor 
  • No bitter flavor 
  • A perfect blend of flavors 
  • Pleasant aftertaste

Disadvantages: 

  • Some pods in the package are defective. 
  • Some pods cause the machine to become clogged. 

6. Crazy Cups Gluten-Free K-Cups – Best Flavored

  • Gluten-free
  • Ideal for vegans 
  • Contains no added sugars 

There are several different flavors of the Crazy Cups Decaf coffees: Chocolate Coconut Dream, Banana Foster Flambe, Death by Chocolate, and Oatmeal Cookie. All of these are delicious, and I believe this to be the “best flavored” decaf K-cup coffee on the market. 

Additionally, these K-cups are lactose-free and gluten-free. Therefore, they are acceptable for vegans. 

Advantages: 

  • Several flavor options 
  • Packaging is eye-catching
  • Pleasing aroma
  • A perfect blend of flavor 
  • Pods are recyclable

Disadvantages: 

  • Pods are known to explode or leak. 
  • Sometimes grounds end up in the mug.

7. Starbucks CAJ-109 K-Cups – Best Low Acid

Starbucks Decaf Coffee K-Cup Pods, Pike Place, 24 CT
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • Fresh, flavorful coffee 
  • No acidity 
  • Orthodox Union Kosher certified 
  • Slightly bitter flavor 

The Starbucks CAJ-109 has been granted the title of “best low acid” K-cups on my list. This coffee is made from high-quality 100% Arabica beans. Therefore, the flavor is bold, fascinating, and rich. 

Finally, this coffee has a very low acidity level.

Advantages: 

  • The flavor is similar to caffeinated coffee. 
  • Distinctive, delicious flavor 
  • No acid 
  • Pleasant aftertaste 

Disadvantages: 

  • Chemicals used in the decaffeination process 
  • The flavor is weak compared to other coffee 

8. Eight O’Clock Coffee K-Cups – Best For Espresso

  • Balanced flavor 
  • Decaffeinated 
  • Made with 100% Arabica beans 
  • Tastes just like caffeinated coffee

I’ve given Eight O’Clock Coffee the title of “Best for Espresso”– it’s a medium roast coffee made from 100% Arabica beans. The flavor is sweet, fruity, balanced, and it’s perfect for making espresso drinks. Additionally, this product is certified Kosher. 

Advantages: 

  • Perfect with a bit of creamer 
  • Chocolate flavor 
  • The flavor is consistent. 
  • Little to no bitterness 

Disadvantages: 

  • Flavor not ideal for those who prefer bold

9. Tim Horton’s Medium Roast K-Cups – Best Robust Flavor

  • Capsule made from recycled materials
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Smooth, robust flavor 

I have given Tim Horton’s medium roast the title of “best robust flavor“. This coffee is made of 100% Arabica beans and features a smooth, robust flavor. 

Advantages: 

  • Not bitter 
  • Ideal for those sensitive to caffeine 
  • Delicious, smooth, and consistent flavor

Disadvantages:

  • Sometimes tastes burnt 

10. Barista Prima Italian Roast – Best Bold K-Cups

Barista Prima Coffeehouse Decaf Italian Roast KCups 96ct
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
  • Dark roast 
  • Trans-fat free 
  • Gluten-free 
  • Robust flavor 
  • Full-bodied decaf 

“Best Bold” flavor on my list, Barista Prima Italian Roast, features a smoky, strong, fruity flavor without the bitter finish that many decaf coffees have. It is gluten-free, and Orthodox Union Kosher certified.  

Advantages:

  • Strong flavor 
  • Full-body flavor 
  • Great taste/smell 
  • No bitter aftertaste
  • Tastes similar to caffeinated counterparts 

Disadvantages: 

  • Known to clog the machine 
  • Has a burnt flavor sometimes 

11. Donut House Collection Light Roast K-Cups – Best Light Roast

Sorry! Something went wrong!
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

“Best light roast” on the list – this is a reliable brand that is known for its quality flavor. The flavor is smooth and easy to drink. 

If you want a fun drink, add some ice cream!

Advantages: 

  • An ideal balance of flavor and smoothness 
  • Pleasing smell 
  • Ideal for a late-night cup of coffee 
  • Delicious decaf coffee 
  • Tastes so great, you won’t miss the caffeine 

Disadvantages:

  • Often end up with grounds in your mug 
  • May damage your machine 

12. McCafe Smooth and Balanced Flavor K-Cups – Best Aroma

McCafe Premium Roast Decaf Coffee, K-CUP PODS, 100 Count
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

I’ve given the McCafe Smooth and Balanced flavor coffee the title of “Best Aroma.” This coffee is made from 100% pure, premium quality Arabica coffee beans. It features a rich aroma with no bitter aftertaste. 

Advantages: 

  • No artificial flavors
  • No bitter aftertaste
  • Great tasting decaf flavor 
  • Full of flavor 
  • Smooth, delicious taste 

Disadvantages: 

  • Some pods are not sealed properly.

13. Caribou Coffee Rainforest Alliance Certified K-Cups – Best Swiss Water Method

  • Syrupy flavor 
  • Uses Swiss Water technique to remove caffeine from beans 

I’ve granted this coffee the title of “Best Swiss Water Method” on my list. These pods are made from high-quality, rich flavored coffee beans. This product is meticulously selected and processed to provide you with smooth, rich flavored coffee. 

Advantages: 

  • High-quality decaf coffee 
  • Can be made with a variety of creamers 
  • Decaffeinated through a natural process 
  • Light, but full-bodied

Disadvantages: 

  • Bitter aftertaste 
  • Excess grounds in the mug

Tips for Choosing the Best Decaf K-Cups to Purchase 

Coffee Tips

When it comes to purchasing any kind of K-cups, but especially decaf, there are several factors that you might want to keep in mind. Let’s look at a few of those below: 

1. What Brand to Choose?

As you can see, there are many different brands represented on my list. There are some things you might want to know about each one. 

First of all, Peet’s Coffee was founded by Alfred Peet in 1966 in California. Since its founding, they have brought a wide range of high-quality dark roast Arabica coffee products and beverages suitable for espresso drinks. 

Actor Paul Newman and Author AE Hotchner banded together in 1982 to form the food brand Newman’s Own. Their commitment was to bring the best products possible to meet the needs of their consumers. Additionally, they donate 100% of after-tax profits to a variety of charitable organizations. 

Since 1859, Eight O’Clock Coffee Company has provided consumers with pure, flavorful Arabica coffee products. They are still evolving and innovating to create better products and now have a decent hold on the market. 

2. What Taste/Flavor Do You Like?

Coffee flavors

As you can see, there are many different flavors of decaf K-cups. Some of the most popular flavors include cocoa, fruit/citrus, and even chocolate. 

Additionally, the manufacturers can add a wide range of unique flavors to distinguish them from their competitors. Therefore, you’ll want to choose accordingly, depending on your flavor preference. 

3. What Type of Decaffeination Method Have Been Used?

Decaf Coffee Pods

As mentioned in the beginning, caffeine is naturally occurring in the beans, and there are several processes for removing it. Some of these processes include the use of chemicals. 

Ideally, you’ll want to choose coffee that has been decaffeinated through the Swiss Water technique or at least choose products labeled as organic. This way, you can ensure that your coffee will not contain preservatives/chemicals. 

4. Will This K-Cup Work With Your Brewer?

One critical thing when purchasing K-cups is to be sure that they will work with your brewer. There are several brewer styles on the market, and K-cups are not all created equal. 

5. What About Roast Level?

The flavor and color of your coffee are affected by the roasting process. While a light roast does retain natural flavors, it doesn’t have the rich, deep flavor of a darker roast. The best balance is a medium-roast coffee or even a dark-roast. 

However, in some cases, these coffees taste burnt and/or leave a bitter aftertaste.

How is Caffeine Removed from Coffee Beans? 

Caffeine

As mentioned above, coffee beans naturally contain caffeine. Therefore, they must go through some additional processing in order to make decaf. There are three main methods for doing this. They are as follows: 

CO2 Method

One method used for removing the caffeine from coffee beans is with CO2. The beans are first soaked in hot water. After that, they are put into a chamber containing liquid CO2 at a pressure of approximately 74 bar. This pushes the caffeine out.

The investment cost for this method is high because specialized machines are required to implement it. However, you can process large batches, and the CO2 can be used more than once. 

Swiss Water Method 

For the Swiss Water Method, beans are soaked in hot water and then added to a special blend to separate the caffeine from the beans. Then, the mixture is strained through an activated carbon filter to separate the caffeine from the beans. This process is good because it preserves the other nutrients. 

While this is an environmentally sustainable method, the caffeine cannot be recovered for other purposes, and some of the nutrients can be washed away. 

Solvent Technique 

For this method, the beans are first immersed in hot water. Then, they are passed through a solvent that contains ethyl acetate or methylene chloride. These solvents absorb the caffeine, but the flavor is preserved. 

This is the best method for removing caffeine from coffee beans, but the solvents may leave behind a residue on the beans, which affects the flavor of the coffee.