At Swiss Water, we've never seen decaffeinated and "regular" coffee as opponents. Rather, we think of them both as coffee, and like most coffee lovers, we think there's a time and a place for both. Which is why we're pretty excited about a growing trend among specialty roasters to offer both—at the same time.
Half-caf blends are seeing a rise in popularity these days, with thoughtfully blended options available from boutique roasters like Kuma, Savorista, and Kicking Horse—which has offered offered its "Half Ass" decaf since 2012. It's clear there's consumer demand for a roaster-curated version of this balanced brew that many have secretly made at home for years. Half-caf coffees meet the need for lower caffeine-content offerings that still give a little more energy boost than a decaf. They're a perfect fit for drinkers who are tapering their caffeine over the course of a day, expecting a baby, working to manage anxiety, or just want to drink more coffee—but aren’t looking to cut out caffeine completely.
"We launched our first half-cafs because we realized that caffeine consciousness goes beyond drinking decaf," says Kait Brown, founder of decaf-specialty roaster Savorista Coffee. Savorista first launched its half-caf line at the 2019 Cincinnati Coffee Festival, where it won a People's Choice Award. Today, the roaster regularly features limited edition single-origin half-caf coffees as well as signature half-caf blends alongside their fully decaffeinated coffees.
"Our customers have loved these half-cafs for the bold flavors and a bit of a pick me up, without the jitters or the crash," says Brown.
Kuma Coffee founder Peter Mark says he originally began crafting a special half-caf blend at the Kuma roastery when his wife was pregnant with their first child—but now, the roaster says, "In times like these, we thought everybody else might get some use out of this."
Naturally, when it comes to the decaffeinated portion of these blends, roasters in the know look to a clean, chemical-free process that preserves the coffee's best flavor, and choose Swiss Water. You wouldn't want to mix great regular coffee with a decaf that carries a chemical aftertaste, right?
We love the profiles these roasters have chosen, and the low-caffeine pride they're championing.
Whether you're reducing caffeine, reintroducing it after a break, or just looking for something a little more mellow for later parts of the day, we think you might embrace half-caf, well, fully.