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Please Stop What You're Doing And Share Your Feelings On Decaf Coffee

Death before decaf?

Coffee is the best thing about my morning and decaf is the best thing about my afternoon.

Librakv / Getty Images

I love coffee's flavor. I like the experience of drinking coffee. I enjoy its aroma, whether it's a steaming cup of Starbucks or a bag of freshly ground beans in my backpack. (Please withhold your Starbucks criticism. I get it.) I consider a used filter with a pile of sodden grounds an air freshener for my trash.

I like coffee so much that I even enjoy decaf.

That's right — I will seek out the version of coffee that has gone through a multistep industrial process that extracts the ingredient it's known for, along with its signature "coffee" flavor, before that flavor is reinjected into the now-decaffeinated beans so that I can enjoy a just-coffeelike-enough version of coffee.

Look, I’ve heard the arguments against decaf — and some are better than others, IMO.

@printsinpyjamas / Via instagram.com

Here are the big four (but please let me know in the comments if you have another anti-decaf argument that you can substantiate).

1. The only point of coffee is caffeine.

If coffee is merely a caffeine delivery system that you tolerate because you need that sweet, sweet energy, then decaf doesn't make sense to you. Got it. In this case, I respect the fact that you don't drink it. But this doesn't support the argument that no one should drink it.

2.  Decaf doesn't taste as good.

If you're telling me you can taste when coffee has been decaffeinated, please invite me to the independent coffee shop you own because you obviously have spent a chunk of your life developing your coffee palate. If you're not a bona fide coffee connoisseur, but you're saying you can taste the difference, I'm going to need to you prove that with a double-blind taste test.

3. [Strong opinion that decaf is inferior, but you can't articulate why.]

I respect your moxie and your commitment, but ultimately this isn't a defensible position.

4. Decaffeinating coffee is expensive and resource intensive and is therefore wasteful.

This is probably the only valid argument against decaf coffee. But, tbh, I have a feeling it's only deployed by people who have A Thing against decaf and are reverse engineering reasons why. That said, if you can prove that that’s definitely not you, I will reconsider.

So. Decaffeinated coffee: unfairly maligned or actually very fairly and understandably maligned? Let's see who's right.

By "right," I mean has the most people on their side.

  1. Decaf coffee is ______.

    Decaf coffee is ______.

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Decaf coffee is ______.
  1.  
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    Pointless
  2.  
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    Meaningfully less tasty than regular coffee
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    Useful because I can drink it late in the day when I want a latte or some other coffee drink but not the caffeine
  4.  
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    Literally a lifesaver because I can't/don't drink caffeine but love the taste of coffee
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    Actually so dumb it makes me mad that people drink it
  6.  
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    I don't drink coffee but decaf coffee seems pointless lol??
  7.  
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    I don't drink coffee but decaf coffee seems useful or even enjoyable so why not?
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    This issue is not worth having an opinion on
  9.  
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    Something coffee companies invented so we'd drink more of their product around the clock #wakeupsheeple
  1. Do you brew decaf coffee at home?

    Do you brew decaf coffee at home?

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Do you brew decaf coffee at home?
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    I brew regular coffee at home but definitely not decaf
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    I brew regular and decaf
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    I ONLY brew decaf at home
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    I don't brew coffee at home
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    Why would anyone do this?
  1. Do you order decaf coffee out?

    Do you order decaf coffee out?

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Do you order decaf coffee out?
  1.  
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    Yup, and I'm not ashamed
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    Yup, and I am ashamed
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    Absolutely not and I wear that fact as a badge of honor
  4.  
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    No, and I don't have strong feelings about that
  5.  
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    Not usually but maybe I have in the past? I don't care enough to have a tally.
  1. Which best describes your attitude when you overhear someone else order decaf?

    Which best describes your attitude when you overhear someone else order decaf?

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Which best describes your attitude when you overhear someone else order decaf?
  1.  
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    Right on, buddy! Let your decaf freak flag fly!
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    Wow they should whisper that order, it's embarrassing
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    Why not just order nothing since it's the same thing as decaf coffee?
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    I don't care what other people order