On the surface it doesn’t even make sense. A decaf espresso is an oxymoron – like jumbo shrimp or deafening silence.
What is decaf espresso?
It is helpful to remember that espresso refers to the way the shot of coffee, decaf or not, is prepared.
People often confuse this with an ‘espresso roast’ bean which tends to be on the darker side. But really, you can use any coffee bean for espresso, and more places are using lighter roasts on specialty coffee beans since a dark roast hides much of the nuance to the flavor.
But sure, the classic italian espresso roast is dark.
So where does decaf fit into the espresso mix?
For me, it generally fits in as an afternoon fix during those times that I’m looking to cut back on my caffeine intake.
Decaf espresso is also a great foundation for an after dinner cappuccino if you’re looking for something almost dessert-like without the kick.
Additionally, it can just be good to have around for those decaf drinkers in your life.
Pulling Decaf Espresso
There are no tricks or tips really specifically to pulling a good decaf espresso. You’re going to use the same techniques you use for regular coffee, and experience the same adjustments that arise whenever you switch coffee beans.
I’ve found that when switching between our Peruvian decaf and one of my favorite Central American coffees, I really don’t have to adjust too much on my Breville Barista express.
How much caffeine in decaf espresso?
Generally, decaf espresso contains about 10 mg of caffeine, compared to the 50-75 mg in a regular espresso shot.
So while it isn’t zero, it is much lower. And at this point I think most people understand that even the best decaf coffees aren’t zero caffeine.