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Author Topic: Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?  (Read 7529 times)

Offline CliffordK

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A few months ago I decided to try decaf coffee.  I've gone without coffee off and on, but this is the first time that I've been drinking decaf instead.

Today I bought an espresso at my favorite espresso shop.  I asked for decaf, but it clearly wasn't.  And, a large (quad) at that.  And, it was pretty flavorless, just tasting burnt.

With my decaf, I've actually started making a mix.  2 or 3 pts Generic, ˝ pt MJB, 1 pt S&W, and can generally get a mix that is appealing to myself, not too burnt, not too acidic tasting.

Anyway, it got me thinking.

What kind of decaf coffee substitutes are out there?  No need to use a questionable process to remove chemicals if they aren't there in the first place.  And, presumably you would get 100% decaffeinated, not 90% decaffeinated.

I heard that during WWWII, there were many ideas, but mostly of poor results.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2011 07:02:46 by CliffordK »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #1 on: 04/08/2011 07:19:07 »
Hmmm,

Wikipedia has a page of suggestions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_substitute#Ingredients

Including Dandelion Coffee
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandelion_coffee

Dandelions are one thing that I have PLENTY OF.  They are easy to grow, and I'm quite good at doing it.  :D
And,I don't mind getting the tap roots out.  :-\

I know I have 3 or 4 different types of dandelions.  Now, I just have to figure out the difference between a true dandelion, and catsear and hawksbeard.

There was a reason why I chose to put this under "Science Experiments"   :o
 

Offline Geezer

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #2 on: 04/08/2011 07:34:51 »
I never quite figured out the point of decaffeinated beverages. I can drink a mug of strong coffee when I wake up in the morning, then promptly go back to sleep.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #3 on: 04/08/2011 08:16:25 »
I get pretty significant tremors with caffeine.  That is how I was able to tell that I accidentally got dosed today.  I just started feeling jittery all over.  Of course, I didn't throw out the half a cup of good cappuccino.  :-\

Real Coffee is also better for "Road Trips" when one isn't already habituated to it.

A quick scan tonight, and I think I have a lot more false dandelions than true dandelions.  Fortunately, as far as I can tell, they all are edible, and most seem to have notations about coffee substitutes.

I wonder what my neighbors will say if they catch me planting dandelions (For Science)?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #4 on: 04/08/2011 19:55:40 »
A friend of mine tried the dandelion coffee idea. He said the stuff tastes filthy, but it does give the satisfaction of getting rid of the dandelions.
 

Offline chris

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #5 on: 05/08/2011 10:49:48 »
Caffeine is the best and worst drug; I can't live without it and yet hate the effect it has on me...
 

Offline imatfaal

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #6 on: 05/08/2011 11:02:14 »
caffeine is the best and worst - till you try nicotine...
 

Offline SeanB

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #7 on: 05/08/2011 19:09:29 »
There is a new thing I have tried, Rooibos tea, that you make using the standard coffee percolator. Quite nice and very low caffeine as well. Comes in a pack similar to coffee, and is a fine powder.
 

Offline Geezer

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #8 on: 05/08/2011 19:40:32 »
I have no proof for this, but I have a suspicion that caffeine is a necessary antidote to our natural primate instinct to sit around all day scratching our arses.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2011 20:18:44 by Geezer »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #9 on: 05/08/2011 22:38:11 »
At least here in the USA there are a number of decaffeinated teas, generally made with various spices.  When I was younger, we tried making our own rose hip tea (only once, although I don't remember why). 

Anyway, I decided that I would try the dandelions. 

So, some weeding this morning.

It turns out that I apparently don't any, or at least not many true dandelions.  But, I have lots of catsear dandelions which are also supposed to be edible, as well as a few hawksbeard dandelions which I think are also edible, but I see less notes on them.

Anyway, so I pulled up a couple of cups worth of dandelion roots. 

As I was washing them, based on Bored Chemist's comment, I decided to separate out the more woody roots from the white carrot-like roots.

The root itself is extremely bitter tasting. 
Another suggestion I saw was acorn coffee.  And, I believe acorns are also very bitter.

Anyway, so now I have the roots sitting out in the sun while I start thinking of how to make a dandelion root roaster.

Hmmm, I was thinking of barbequing them.  But, looking on the internet, it appears as if the coffee roasters are some kind of dry frying with lots of mixing.  No open flames.  Some notes about using air popper popcorn poppers.

I am a bit concerned that the uneven thickness of the roots could pose a slight roasting problem, but I'm sure I can deal with it.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #10 on: 07/08/2011 05:31:58 »
Ok, after a couple of days of drying, I decided to cut off the tips of the dandelion roots, anything less than about 3/16" which seemed to be getting dry enough.  I didn't want them to over dry either.

That gave me enough for a couple of cups of joe.

I bought the top half of a double boiler/steamer at the local thrift shop for my roaster. 
Fired up the Hibachi with some vine maple. 
I wanted a little exposure to the flames, but, not overly exposed to flames.  Coffee apparently is usually roasted without direct flame contact, or with minimal flame contact, but I thought a little BBQ flavor might help.
I probably need to make a rotisserie roaster with a little finer holes as I'm sure I lost a few of my roots, but this seemed to do ok for a quick and dirty attempt.
I couldn't get a real dark roast, but seemed to get a good medium dark roast.
when I put it in my grinder, I got a very fine powdery grind (was aiming for a fine espresso grind).

So, now for the taste test.
The first half of a cup came out very dark. 
It never had a lot of aroma, at least not a coffee aroma.
It had much of the same bitterness that the raw root had.
And was strong enough to wake the dead :o....  despite a lack of caffeine. 

I actually tend to take my espresso with a bit of sugar.  Rarely a cappuccino at home, but I'll get them on the road. 
Diluting it with the 2nd half cup from the machine, some sugar, and a bit of powdered milk (which I rarely add to my coffee).  And, I had a fairly palatable drink.

I need to think about how I would change my dandelion joe.  Something to dilute out the pungent bitter taste.  Or, maybe I'll try a different experiment.  I'll see what I get when I roast up the other parts of the roots.  Perhaps it won't be as strong.  Or, maybe I'll try adding something else.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #11 on: 07/08/2011 11:32:24 »
Yep, proper coffee!
 

Offline SeanB

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #12 on: 07/08/2011 18:02:06 »
MMMMMMMM Ersatz coffee.
 

Offline Geezer

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #13 on: 07/08/2011 18:23:40 »
MMMMMMMM Ersatz coffee.

If you look up the German version you'll find some more colourful names  :D
 

Offline CliffordK

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #14 on: 10/08/2011 06:54:48 »
I could imagine that a "false coffee" would be given some very interesting names, depending on how palatable it was, and if it was a "choice".  And it still doesn't have any caffeine in it (which was my goal).

The dandelions have a very pungent, bitter taste.

Actually, adding a little dandelion to my "generic" decaf which is very bland would significantly improve the flavor.  Moving it bit more towards the Hawaiian Kona type coffee.  However, my goal was to eliminate the coffee, rather than making a better blend.  However, I certainly would consider it as a "flavoring".

My next experiment was with roasted peas. 

I think I overcooked them a bit, but I did get a nice dark roast.  And, they turned out to be surprisingly bitter, but generally coffee flavored.  Perhaps they picked up a bit of my dandelion flavor from the roaster.  Perhaps it was just my extra-dark roasting.

Anyway, doing a mix of dandelions and peas, and I can get quite a palatable coffee substitute.  And, I seem to be able to extract much more flavor out of a single basket of my special mix than I was with coffee.  This is making me think that my once-through espresso coffee filter isn't the best for extracting flavor, despite a quite a fine grind.  Perhaps I need to find a Percolator, or figure out how to cook the coffee in the pot first, then filter.  It also is an indication that I don't want to add too much per cup.

Unfortunately I didn't plan on requiring peas for a coffee substitute and didn't plant enough.  I'll run out after a few test batches.

I'm thinking of perhaps trying sunflower press-cake which I should have shortly.

 

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Is there a good substitute for decaffeinated coffee?
« Reply #14 on: 10/08/2011 06:54:48 »

 

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