Coffee Without a Kick

There are those that drink several cups of coffee a day, those that drink a cup or decaf every once and while, and those that never partake. I belong to the last group, but not by choice – I am somehow “caffeine sensitive” (self-diagnosed via internet research) and cannot tolerate even the smallest amounts of caffeine. This wouldn’t be so bad if I hated coffee, but I LOVE it, and have been miserably savoring the sweet aroma from afar…until now.

I had heard about caffeine-free coffee (as opposed to decaf, which still contains around 10-17 milligrams of caffeine in a 12 oz cup), but never saw it in person until a recent stroll through my local grocery store. There is was, sitting next to the “normal” coffee, boldly stating NATURALLY ZERO CAFFEINE across the top of the bag. I of course immediately snatched it up and sat giddy with excitement the rest of the day at work, eager to get home and brew my first cup of coffee in almost a year.

I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive. After all, this “coffee” was not actually made from coffee beans at all, rather, barley of all things. How could this taste like coffee? The smell of the grounds didn’t put me at ease either – they have a very “earthy” scent to them, kind of somewhere between dirt and tobacco with a slight hint of coffee thrown in. However, after a 4 minute brew in the french press, I was enjoying a cup of what could only be described as…coffee. I’m sure to those coffee aficionados it might not taste exactly like coffee, but it was definitely good enough for me. A little dash of chocolate powder, some frothed milk, and I could now enjoy a mocha again, just like everyone else.

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