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365 Whole Foods Market Instant Decaf

Half cup of coffee

Roaster: 365 by Whole Foods Market
Roast: Dark
Origin: Blend
Decaffeination Method: Swiss Water Process
Taste: Sugar, almond

The Roaster

One interesting throughline I’ve found writing for DecafLife is how consistently I enjoy coffee made by Whole Foods. So far, both the 365 by Whole Foods Market No Buzz Decaf and the Allegro Decaf Organic Italian Roast have received strong notices from us. 

Whole Foods has been roasting coffee ever since they purchased Allegro Coffee in 1997. Today they roast a wide range of beans, both through Allegro and their 365 Whole Foods Market label

For today’s review, we’re going one step further in our ongoing investigation of Whole Foods. We’re taking on their instant coffee. Specifically, we’re trying out the 365 Whole Foods Market Instant Decaf Coffee. Will this soar like their other offerings, or will it be the first to flounder? Let’s find out.


The Roast

The modern instant coffee movement is a kissing cousin to the modern decaf movement. Both are about making great what was once tossed off. In the past, Decaf drinkers had Sanka, and instant drinkers had Nescafe. Despite my firm belief in the merits of Nescafe Clasico (try it in a Greek Frappe), instant coffee has come a long way since then. Speciality instant coffee roasters are popping up, and craft roasters across the board are making delicious instants.

I tried out Whole Foods’ Instant Decaf Coffee, which they sell under their 365 Whole Foods Market brand. Whole Foods provides little information about these beans, other than that they’re decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process, and are roasted to a dark Vienna roast. Well, at least we know we’re not getting any chemicals with this instant.

Tasting Notes

The aroma of this coffee was, to be honest, the aroma of instant coffee. It smelled perfectly pleasant, but there was no mistaking that characteristically bitter scent. These bitter notes were not harsh, and there were nutty, almost hazelnut, background notes as well.

Despite my worries about how the cup would be, it tasted quite good. It had the mouthfeel of classic instant coffee (read: thin), but this wasn’t a dealbreaker for me. And it wasn’t overly acidic, in marked contrast to traditional instants that can often set my acid reflux off.

It was certainly a bitter cup of coffee, but it had enough sweetness to not be overwhelming. The nutty notes in the aroma came forward even more in the flavor. Overall, I was quite pleasantly surprised by this cup.

Final Thought

Is 365 by Whole Foods Market’s Instant Decaf Coffee the best decaf you’ve ever had? No. Is it still a delicious cup of instant coffee? Absolutely. 

When reviewing decaf, I always ask myself The Decaf Question. Does this decaf roast stack up against a similar caffeinated roast? Could it pass for caffeinated coffee? Perhaps for instant coffee we should start asking The Instant Question as well. While perfectly tasty, I wouldn’t say this coffee passes an instant test. It tastes like instant coffee, which isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, this is an example of an instant coffee that tastes instant, and also tastes good.

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