A very common question I get is “Where is the Best Decaf Coffee in Vancouver?”.
Because even for us coffee fiends, there comes a time when the cravings hit but we can’t afford to lose any beauty sleep. And then?
Boom — decaf.
But where is the good decaf? The stuff we’d willingly cross the city for. A coffee you might even mistake for the real thing.
Truth is, the options for a fix without the kicks around town have improved and diversified in leaps and bounds lately, thanks in no small part to the wizards at Swiss Water Decaf. (Did you know this Burnaby company supplies decaffeinated greens to roasters worldwide?).
So when the shakes start to show and the caffeine poops cramp your game, where can you get a hit without hanging your head in shame?
Don’t lose any more sleep over it — here’s where we go for the best decaf coffee in Vancouver.
Note: This list was originally created for the Siply Blog. As such there’s a focus on shops that are on the Siply app.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Siply, it’s an app I created to save you money in coffee shops across Vancouver.
The decaf brews are no exception to the “craft” label, with a rotating selection of beans from industry greats like the barn, Stumptown, Tim Wendelboe, and Modus. Thus, we have no qualms about trekking out to New Westminster for what invariably ranks among the best decaf coffee in Vancouver.
115 960 Quayside Drive, New Westminster BC
Their house-roasted decaf Colombian might actually keep you up at night, simply because it’s such a delight to devour. On the other hand, maybe it’s because (like us) you also devoured their delicious desserts and the sugar high’s in full swing. We regret nothing.
“Eating breakfast cereal, right out of the box”. Never would we have imagined relating so closely to a decaf coffee, but there it is — house of funk’s downtempo decaf tastes like one of our favourite snack attacks. Moreover, if you do indulge in a caffeine hit, you can play uppers & downers with their equally extraordinary beer selection.
As the longest-running fancy pants coffee shop in Vancouver, Kafka’s have proven time and time again that they seriously know their decaf game. They roast on the darker end of the spectrum, so you’re in for a warm and rich caramel flavour that pairs perfectly with milk.
The chocolate- and red grape-toned Peruvian swiss water decaf from Monogram Coffee fits perfectly with KAHVE’s cafe vibe: sophisticated yet warm and welcoming.
Similarly, their baristas will pull shots of said decaf with precision while still indulging whatever thirst for conversation you happen to have that day. Decaf with delicacy.
The tried and true Colombian from Pilot Coffee Roasters they’ve had on bar for years remains a solid bet to this day. Like a good ol’ fashioned candy bar, you can’t go wrong with milk chocolate and caramel notes.
Plus, their slick playlist will give you a different sort of pick-me-up, no caffeine required.
Gastown: 302 West Hastings Street.
Polygon: 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Sink your teeth into their Sidamo decaf, a single origin from Ethiopia, like you would a big ol’ jam sandwich, because that’s how luscious it tastes. With or without crusts, as you like. And the crema it makes as espresso is unbelievable!
For a taste profile reminiscent of the richest chocolate torte, Prado’s your prime decaf destination. The medium-dark roast from 49th Parallel would win over even the most die-hard coffee purist — as would the masterful skills behind the bar.
The decaf options at prototype are just as juicy, unique, and memorable as any of their regular offerings. For example, a recent Mexican number featured notes of caramel apple that we swore we’d have to lick off our fingers. Sometimes they even have beans that naturally pack only half or a third of the punch — ask and they’ll give you the lowdown.
The artwork on their to-go cups is unreal, so you’ll flaunt that drink with pride regardless of its caffeine content. But seriously, the Rocanini team have fine-tuned their decaf to smooth, caramel-like perfection, so you’ll love it no matter what cup it’s in. Go for a pour-over if fruit notes appeal, or rock the fudgy side with espresso.
If cozy comforts appeal, you’ll love the house-roasted decaf on bar at single v. They usually serve it as an americano with crema so buttery we’re reaching for the toast… but if you prefer a pour-over, they’ll do that, too.
Theirs is a darker house roast from Colombia that’ll stand up to any regularly caffeinated contender. In fact, you’ll miss the caffeine just as much as you’ll miss the animal products in their delicious house-made vegan treats — which is to say, not at all.
Honestly, why do we not see more ice cream in coffee shops? Sweet Barrel are equal parts ice cream, coffee and one of the most delicious decaf beans the city has to offer. They’re on the medium-light end of things, so you can anticipate your taste buds being romanced by warm carmel and honeycomb notes.
The top-notch rotation of beans at Winston makes them a prime destination for the best decaf coffee in Vancouver. Past features have included a Guatemalan from modus and the quintessential decaf from Phil & Sebastian. Don’t argue with the pros behind the bar — get it as espresso in some form or other: americano, latte, or in one of their famous flat whites. Trust us on this one.