Decaf... Dialing in for espresso. Thoughts?

I very much hate that I’m even asking this, but I recognize that our shop has a higher demand for decaf espresso beverages. I’ve been trying to dial in our decaf, but it has been very challenging. Is that common for decaf? Can anyone explain this, and perhaps offer any suggestions?

I’m using an K30 twin and am considering using one hopper for decaf. We have a smaller capresso home grinder that I have been using currently for the decaf, but I’m not sold on continuing in this manner.


What doses & ratios & times have you tried? What decaf is it? What is the roast profile & level? What are you tasting that you don’t like?

Because of the process the structure of the decaf beans are more porous, and easily extracts soluble components and fading quicker.
Of course it depends on initial variety, origin, altitude, roasting profile and date.
Though try to darker roast

  1. use lower temperature than usually you do for espresso (1-2C lower)
  2. Take a bit more coffee (0.5-1.5g more)
  3. Shorter extraction time 21-23sec,
  4. There is no need to go to the finest grinding, as it will over extract, you can take a bit coarser than you used to, though perhaps use preinfusion
  5. The best guideline is to check the coffee cake after brewing: water is spread evenly, there are no dry parts of too fine coffee, no left water inside
  • decaf can be amazing, If customers are true coffee lovers though have to control caffeine consumption, they have the right not to sacrifice the taste.
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I leave my grinder on the finest setting - Sage Barista Express - my preference is for a ristretto, and the finest grind achieves this about 75% of the time. About 5% of the time the result is too fine, and it dribbles or completely chokes. I solve this by using less. The variation in the beans I use does not seem to be strongly related to whether they are decaf or not - it just varies. What have others found?