Recently I read an article that talked about how millennials are drinking more decaf coffee than any other age group. I personally am not a millennial, but I do at times like to enjoy a cup coffee without experiencing the effects of caffeine. Which led me to wonder, what decaf coffee options does the worlds biggest coffee chain, Starbucks, have? Do they even sell decaf coffee?
Starbucks sells a classic decaf coffee called the Decaf Pike Place Roast and decaf espresso, which can be used to make decaf lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, and macchiatos. They do not however, sell decaf blonde espresso, decaf iced coffee or decaf cold brews.
In this article I’ll tell you everything you need to know about Starbucks decaf coffee, including the options you have, don’t have, and some special substitutions you can use to order great tasting decaffeinated drinks. Lets get into it.
What is Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee is coffee that is made from coffee beans that have been decaffeinated by soaking or steaming them before they are roasted in water, carbon dioxide, or organic solvent to remove from them as much caffeine as possible.
Decaffeinating coffee beans doesn’t remove any of their nutritional value, nor does it dramatically change the taste of the coffee, although it will give it a slightly milder flavor.
Although many assume that decaf coffee has zero caffeine in it, the process of washing away the caffeine from the beans only removes about 97% of it. Which means that decaf coffee still has some caffeine in it, about 7mg per cup.
For reference a regular cup of coffee has around 95mg.
Why Drink Decaf Coffee
A big reason why I and so many other people drink coffee is because of its caffeine. And caffeine does have a lot of benefits, such as:
Enhanced exercise performance
But sometimes, caffeine can do more harm than good.
For people sensitive to caffeine, it can cause them to feel anxious and jittery, and even give them headaches. Drinking too much caffeine can also interfere with sleep, spike blood sugar levels, and produce heartbeat abnormalities.
In addition caffeine can become addictive for some people, leaving them unable to function without it and creating withdrawal symptoms of severe headaches, feeling tired or sleepy, reduced mental alertness, slower reaction times, and worsened performance on memory tasks.
Drinking decaf coffee completely gets rid of these adverse side effects of caffeine and allows you to enjoy the taste of a warm cup of joe without the risk of feeling jittery, getting headaches, or becoming dependent on caffeine.
Does Starbucks Have Decaf Coffee?
Starbucks does sell decaf coffee, and even decaf espresso which can be used to make drinks such as decaf lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, and macchiatos. You can get pretty much get any drink at Starbucks decaf with the exceptions of blonde espresso, iced coffee, and cold brew.
You can even get an espresso drink at ½, ⅓, or ⅔ caffeinated if you just need a little extra kick of energy but don’t want to be bouncing off the walls.
Starbucks decaf coffee is called the Decaf Pike Place Roast. Named after their first store in Seattle's Pike Place Market. They describe it as a “smooth, well-rounded blend of Latin American Coffees with subtly rich flavors of chocolate and toasted nuts.”
How much Caffeine is in Starbuck's Decaf Coffee?
As I said earlier, decaf coffee still has some caffeine in it. So how much caffeine is in Starbucks Decaf Pike Place Roast? Heres the milligrams of caffeine for each size. (Remember a regular coffee has 95mg of caffeine)
Amount of Caffeine in Starbucks Decaf Pike Place Roast
Short (8oz): 15mg
Tall (12oz): 20mg
Grande (16oz): 25mg
Venti (20oz): 30 mg
Does Starbucks have Decaf Iced Coffee?
Due to lack of demand, Starbucks does not sell decaffeinated iced coffee. You can however, order a decaf iced americano, which is made of 2 shots of decaf espresso in ice water and tastes pretty similar to an iced coffee, just a little stronger.
The reason why Starbucks can’t just make you a decaf iced coffee with the decaf coffee they already have is because iced coffee is made with coffee that is 2x as strong as normal. So they would have to brew the decaf coffee specifically to make it iced, which they may not have the extra equipment for due to the low demand for decaf iced coffees.
Since the iced americano is made with espresso, it might taste a little strong for you. If this is the case I recommend either ordering it with only one shot of decaf espresso instead of two, or asking for extra ice to water it down.
You can also add classic, vanilla, hazelnut, or caramel syrups to sweeten the decaf iced americano. The syrups will mix into the cold drink better than granular sugar.
I think it’s also important to note that because the iced americano is made with decaf espresso, it will have slightly more caffeine than a decaf coffee, about 3-15mg per shot.
If you don't like the decaf iced americano and still want a decaf iced coffee, you can always just ask your barista if they’ll make you one. The worst that can happen is they say no.
If you’re a decaf coffee drinker, Starbucks has plenty of options for you to choose from. Whether you’d like a classic decaf coffee or a decaf espresso, latte, cappuccino, or iced americano, your barista can make it for you.
I hope this article could help you out and give you some information to use the next time you order at Starbucks. If you’d like to learn more about Starbucks, espresso, and other coffee related tips, be sure to check out the rest of my website!