After 10 hours of research evaluating 53 products, we picked San Francisco Bay Coffee Decaf as our top choice.
Ah, coffee. The deep-brown elixir so many of us start our day with, and cannot function before we do so. However, not everyone likes or can tolerate caffeine. Luckily, decaf coffee is alive and well, and comes in every form, including K-Cups.
So, you've got your shiny new (or lovingly old) Keurig machine and you need some cups that won't zap you with caffeine. To choose the right ones, you need to consider taste and value as these will make or break your experience. Since we love a good deep-dive around here, we've gone ahead and found the best decaf K-Cups so you don't have to trawl.
Our top pick is the San Francisco Bay Decaf French Roast K-Cups. Not only are they rich, dark, and delicious, but they're compostable, too.
However, there are plenty more options to tickle your coffee-tasting buds, whether you're a light roast sipper or French roast hardcore.
Related post: Best Dark Roast K-Cups
The iconic brand Dunkin Donuts provides a medium roast decaf coffee k-cup with a smooth flavor and no mouth-puckering acidity or bitterness.
Some Dunkin Donuts k-cups are prone to making a mess in your Keurig.
The medium roast is a great compromise between the freshness of a light brew and the dark-and-stormy depth of dark roast. Great for coffee lovers and newbies alike, without harsh bitterness.
At around 50 cents per k-cup, they're reasonably affordable.
A strong brew with a sweet profile, all packed into a recyclable k-cup for any single-serve Keurig machine.
The strength may scare coffee novices, but after a second cup, you'll be hooked.
The name gives it away, a "tall, dark and handsome" flavor with plenty of strength, sweetness, and nutty toastiness. Great for coffee lovers who love a brew with body.
If you can track these down, they're reasonably priced.
An affordable decaf k-cup option for lovers of smooth flavors and coffee that tastes like the "real stuff".
If you want a super-strong, rich decaf k-cup, you may find these slightly too mild, yet deliciously so.
These k-cups pack some excellent flavor (just like caffeinated coffee) that won't blow your tastebuds to pieces. The medium-roast Arabica coffee beans are rounded yet mild enough for newbies.
At just over 40 cents per decaf k-cup, these are a budget-friendly option.
Great flavor and intensity; taste holds up across cup sizes.
None that we could find!
We honestly have no idea how the Barista Prima Coffeehouse managed to make this decaf coffee. It tastes amazing - and strong. It's simply remarkable how rich and bold and just like "real" coffee it is.
And, yet, it is a decaf coffee. For those of you that are interested, the company does use chemical processing to decaffeinate it, but we're almost certain you'll get over that quickly if you're looking for a decaf that doesn't make you feel as though you're missing out.
While it's not the cheapest coffee, it's one of a handful that should ever be considered - and comes out time and again at the top of the list.
Budget-friendly k-cups made with 100% Arabica coffee beans with a mild and gentle flavor profile.
These pods aren't recyclable or compostable
These are the best decaf k-cups if you're looking for a mild and easygoing taste that won't leave you with a mouthful of intense coffee flavor.
One thing's for sure, these are the best decaf k-cups for very tight budgets.
The Rolls Royce of the decaf K-Cup coffee world, made with premium coffee beans that are sustainably sourced.
These are undeniably spendy, but do you get the excellence you pay for.
The medium roast Arabica coffee beans offer a bold-yet-smooth decaf with hints of sweetness and chocolatey depths.
At over $1 per k-cup, these are high-class cups for sure.
Serves a generous hit of coffee compared to other cups, packing a bolder flavor with a little hint of bitterness.
These cups aren't recyclable, unfortunately.
A smooth yet full-bodied brew with minimal bitterness. On the bolder side, but not overpowering. An excellent option if you like your coffee black, without sugar.
At around 50 cents per cup, Original Donut Shop Decaf is pretty affordable but not ultra-cheap.
A strong, French roast decaffeinated coffee that's great for iced coffee and bold flavor preferences.
The price is a little higher than other options on our list, but you do get a little more coffee in each k-cup.
The dark, French roasting process offers a rich, strong, and bold coffee reminiscent of the caffeinated stuff. If you love smokey, chocolatey flavors, give these k-cups a brew.
At just under 70 cents per k-cup, these babies are slightly more expensive than others.
An affordable and tasty light roast decaf k-cup excellent for daily use at the office or for anyone who loves rounded-yet-light coffee flavor.
Like others on our list, Donut House k-cups are not biodegradable.
Since the coffee beans are lightly roasted, there's a hint of acidity and a bright-yet-complex flavor. Relaxed enough for newbies, complex enough for coffee snobs.
When you can catch these in stock, they're mid-range.
A medium roast blend you can load your Keurig k-cup machine with all day thanks to the balanced flavor.
If you want a super-dark, super-strong cup of decaf, you may find these a little gentle.
This brew goes down smoothly, with a medium roast and well-balanced flavor that won't pack a punch but doesn't skimp either.
As you'd expect from the brand, these are cheapies.
A medium roast k-cup with 100% Arabica coffee beans
Eight o'clock k-cups aren't recyclable, but Keurig is aiming to make all k-cups recyclable ASAP, so watch this space!
If you love a medium-roast brew with a smooth appeal without the hard knock of a dark roast, check these out. The flavor is full and sophisticated, but light enough for coffee newbies.
At under $45 for 96 k-cups, the price is fair indeed.
A rich-tasting coffee you won't suspect is decaf, made from organic Arabica coffee beans.
The cups aren't compostable (but they'd be almost a perfect 10 if they were)
This is a k-cup for true coffee lovers who like to drink their coffee black to harness that rounded, rich flavor. With minimal acidity and plenty of depth, this is a crowd-pleaser.
At 50 cents per k-cup, they're smack bang in the mid-range (but pretty affordable, really).
These recyclable decaf k-cups from the iconic coffee brand are filled with ethically-sourced medium-roast Arabica coffee beans.
If you like a light, mild decaf coffee, these may be too enthusiastic (in other words, strong) for you.
These decaf k-cups don't taste like a decaf coffee, with a very strong and bold profile. Ideal for true coffee lovers who are used to serious brews.
At just over 50 cents per k-cup (depending on where you find them), they're reasonable.
A light, fruity Arabica roast without the caffeine zap. Compatible with all Keurig machines.
There are a few quality-control issues leading to exploding pods, but you should be safe.
A fresh, clean flavor that eases you into the day. The light roast and Arabica characteristic is sweet and fruity, with no flavor lost due to the decaffeinating processes. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters doesn't have that acidic, bitter kick other blends have, perfect for newbies.
At just under $20 for a pack of 32 decaf k-cups, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Breakfast Blend are reasonable, but not the cheapest out.
Peet's coffee decaf house blend is a true dark roast that brings a rich yet sweet and vibrant flavor, all tucked away in recyclable k-cups.
These boys are expensive, but worth it for the true coffee fanatic.
Thanks to the dark roast method and iconic Peet's coffee house blend, these cups tickle your taste buds with a deep, rounded flavor. They're perfect decaf for coffee enthusiasts who have to cut the caffeine but need that "real" coffee taste.
Old Peet is pretty expensive, but if you're limiting it to one a day, it's all worth it.
Certified organic 100% Arabica beans roasted, ground, and packaged fresh with a light-medium roast for smooth flavor. Works in all Keurig single-serve machines.
A little expensive compared to budget options, but for the fair-trade status and compostable materials? It's worth it.
If you want a decaf K-Cup that doesn't taste like decaf, this could be your go-to. It is full-bodied yet smooth and doesn't kick you with a bitter or acidic aftertaste.
It depends where you get them and how many you purchase in bulk, but they're reasonable for the quality and eco status.
Recyclable coffee pods packed with fair-trade Colombian coffee with a medium roast and hearty flavor.
Has a hint of bitter acidity some may take a few cups to get used to (before falling in love).
A sweet and nutty flavor with some kick-ass strength, you wouldn't guess it was decaf! It does have a surprisingly strong hit, with a touch of that mild bitterness we coffee fanatics love.
At over 60 cents per k-cup, these aren't the cheapest on the market, but they're reasonable.
These compostable K-Cups are filled with dark-roasted coffee beans that have been water-processed to remove the caffeine.
Lovers of light roast breakfast blend decaf may find this a little strong (or your mind may be changed forever).
If you love your coffee beans with hints of dark chocolate and a rich, deep flavor that doesn't mess around, try these. Because of the French roast process, the coffee flavor is smoky with minimal acidity compared to light roast coffee.
For the depth of flavor, compostable pods, and all-around deliciousness? The price is great.
Buying k-cups for your Keurig isn’t quite as simple as picking the pod that looks the tastiest. There are a few technical aspects to consider first.
The first thing to check for when you're picking the best decaf K-cups for you is if the k-cups are compatible with your Keurig machine. Most k-cups are made for all single-serve machines, but double-check to avoid that sinking disappointment.
Next, decide what kind of flavor you're looking for. If you're used to a dark, deep cup of strong coffee (back in your caffeine days, perhaps), look for a dark or French roast. For coffee newbies, pick a light roast with a mild, fruity flavor profile.
The most popular type of bean for K-Cups is Arabica, (as opposed to Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa, but you don't need to worry about those just yet). Arabica coffee beans give that smooth, chocolatey, sweet flavor we love.
And lastly, let’s discuss boldness. When you see “bold” on your k-cup, it does refer to the strength and depth of flavor. However, it’s most often referring to the amount of coffee in the cup. The more coffee, the higher the coffee-to-water ratio, and the stronger the flavor.
Where do you stand on recyclable or biodegradable k-cups? If saving the planet is high on your list, look for decaf k-cups that can be thrown into your compost or can be taken to a local recycling facility. Check the symbol and number on the bottom of the cup to figure out if (and where) it can be recycled, and remember to remove any foil seals first.
K-Cup are K-Cups, right? Well, yes, but what's in them is very variable. We’ve covered the types of beans and roasts, but let’s look deeper at the decaffeinating process itself.
The Swiss Water Method method is preferred by most people as it doesn’t use any chemicals, just water. Green, unroasted coffee beans are soaked in water and filtered through activated charcoal to get rid of the caffeine. The flavors and oils are returned to the beans once the caffeine has been banished, so you get that full and rich flavor without the lightning bolts.
Other processes are Direct-Solvent Method which involves chemicals, hence the unease around decaf coffee. And the Carbon Dioxide Method which is a little different from the other two because the oils and flavors are kept in the beans throughout the decaffeinating process.
Many coffee brands are dedicated to making the world better by choosing ethically-sourced coffee beans. What’s more, they choose organic beans that are organic and farmed without harmful chemicals and pesticides. Look for certifications like USDA, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and UTZ.
Sipping your decaf k-cup is not only delicious (and the best morning-starter ever), but it may also be good news for your health. Coffee contains many health-boosting nutrients such as B vitamins, potassium, iron, calcium, antioxidants, and magnesium. Even better, sipping decaf brews may even reduce your risk of diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and liver issues. What's more, without the caffeine you won't get those anxious jitters or sleepless nights!