Coffee Culture / In Decaf Conversation |

In (Decaf) Conversation With: Cole Torode

Cole Torode has been in coffee since he was a teenager. Today, he's a co-owner of Calgary's Rosso Coffee Roasters, reigning Barista Champion of Canada, and an advocate of quality coffee in all its forms—both with and without caffeine. We've seen a lot of Cole lately, both up in Vancouver and competing in the Coffee Masters competition at the New York Coffee Festival. In between his adventures, we pinned him down to get his thoughts about decaf. You've been in coffee since you were quite young. Has your personal perspective on decaf changed? Yeah, I would say so. I went from somewhere that served decaf but didn't put any focus on decaf—the very first place I worked serving coffee was a restaurant in a hotel with a brunch service, and I was the guy that would make the coffee. The coffee that I was making was Illy, it was in pods, the red tin was the regular and the green tin was the decaf. At that stage in my career I can't say I respected decaf anymore than I respected espresso—I was probably sixteen or so. I knew all the death before decaf slogans and all that sort of nonsense. I think it changed when I joined Rosso, 8.5 years ago now. When I first moved over there my brother [Rosso founder David Crosby] was also using Illy when he started the cafe, but he had just transitioned over to George Howell. He had a decaf, which I assume was a Swiss Water or mountain water or of a higher quality than one that was chemically derived. Logistics did not benefit us getting coffee from George Howell all the way from Boston, so we moved to Phil & Sebastian, who were selling us some nice decaf as well. When we started roasting, we rotated through three decaf options but the one we landed on is a Costa Rica Tarrazu cooperative and it's super nice and approachable and the type of decaf that I thik people taste and are like, s---, that's really good! [caption id="attachment_4599" align="alignnone" width="700"]

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