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Whole Foods No Buzz Decaf

Roaster: 365 by Whole Foods Market
Roast: Medium
Origin: Blend
Decaffeination Method: Swiss Water Process
Taste: Milk chocolate, toast, smoke

The Roaster

Whole Foods has been in the coffee roasting game ever since they bought Allegro Roasters in 1997. The chain first featured Allegro’s coffee as their signature house roast, and has continued to expand its offerings under its 365 by Whole Foods Market brand. 

Whole Foods’ caffeinated offerings have largely impressed me over the years. Their flagship Breakfast Blend is a solid, no frills caffeinated coffee, and I’ve always found Allegro’s offerings to be quite good. Moreover, Whole Foods offers a wide array of decaf options from great roasters. If there’s a more consistent location to buy decaf coffee that you can find just about anywhere in America, I don’t know about it. 

But, as always, it all comes down to how each decaf coffee performs! Let’s see how Whole Foods holds up in this department.

No Buzz Decaf Whole Foods

The Roast

I sampled 365 Whole Foods Market’s Buzz Free Decaf. Although they sell whole bean coffee, I was unfortunately only able to find a pre-ground bag. The beans are Swiss Water decaffeinated, which is always a plus, and are medium-roasted. Little other information was provided on the beans, other than a disclaimer that they are sourced from multiple countries. The roasting date was not given.

The aroma was fairly nutty, with a dark, near burnt characteristic. It also had background notes of tobacco in its strong, smoky aroma. Overall, it presented as appealingly burnt. It pointed towards a depth of flavor that I hoped would be present when I began the tasting.

Tasting Notes

Because the beans I had were pre-ground to a medium grind, I prepared them in both a French press and a pour over (my preferred technique.) As expected with that grind size, the French press produced a more balanced, full bodied cup of coffee.

The pour over, made with an OXO Brew Gooseneck set to 201°, did not present the coffee in its best light. It made a cup that was thin on the palette. Still, it tasted quite nice, with a deep, toast-like flavor.

The cup brewed in a French press was much better. I used a no-frills Bodum Chambord for the job, and the coffee had the characteristic full bodied feel that a French press imparts. Sitting on the silky end of medium, this cup had a much more pleasant mouthfeel. Here, the smokey notes were also balanced by a more mellow milk chocolate tone. Overall, this cup was quite good. In both preparations, the coffee came off as nicely sweet, which crucially paired well with its fairly upfront acidity.

Final Thoughts

Especially for a pre-ground coffee, I was very happy with this bag of beans, so much so that I’d like to come back to this later on to review it as a whole bean bag. In the meantime, I’m happy to report that this is a very good roast. If you’re looking for an approachable decaf that will give you plenty of biter funk, this is an excellent choice to make.

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