Decaf recipe

I roast a lot of decaf. I can’t say I have a one go to recipe. Some have turned out well, others were meh.

I have several suggestions:

  1. Look up roaster - egilman (Roast World - Cup, grade, and analyze your coffee roasts in depth) and search their roasts for decafs. They are professional roasters from Crown Jewel and they post Aillio (and other roaster) profiles for coffees they sell. For example, look in to Crown Jewel Decaf Mexico Oaxaca Sugarcane Process CJ1517 - 29728 - SPOT RCWHSE - Royal Coffee
  2. The general idea that I have been using is as follows - size 750 gm, pre-heat 250-260° C, D8 for entire roast, F3, about 45 second soak at P2, then P8 up to about 150-160° C IBTS temperature, P7 up to about 195° C, P6 up to drop. Usually FC is 200-203° C. Usually drop around 213-215° C. Some time I bump fan to F4 around/after first crack.

Thanks for the tips, we are compiling some good data regarding roasting decaf.
Appreciate your contribution.

O.K. the latest in the search for a go-to decaf and recipe. This weekend I roasted 400 G of the Brazilian Mogiana MWP Decaf using the basic recipe suggested by KP.
We liked the coffee and the roast which I will attempt to fine-tune. We give it a 3.5 Star rating with the potential for 4 stars.
Because I roasted 400 grams vs 450 and the beans are dense and small the roast went faster than KP’s model. The drop was early 9:40 vs 10:00 but the drop temp was 420 vs 411. So I will bracket the development time for the next two roasts and drop the preheat to coincide with the lower quantity.
The coffee is as advertised chocolatey, nutty flavor with a buttery mouth feel, with low acidity. Very drinkable coffee and the only reason to experiment is to try to bring out the flavors a little more.
At 4 stars it definitely would qualify as a go-to decaf.

For the Brazil Mogiana, I drop at 215°F (419°F), shoot for FC at 9:00 (and don’t worry very much if I’m off that) and drop at 4 mins after FC (a bit more critical, but not hugely so). Final temp (as a proxy for color) is the most important thing.

My profile is -
Charge - 500g
PH - 250°C (480°)
P8, D9, F2 —> 3:30
P5, D9, F2 —> 200°C (392°F)
P3, D9, F2 —> Drop
All temps IBTS.

Might need to modulate the fan some in the last stage to hit my drop temp at 4 mins.


Thanks, I believe you meant drop at 215C (419F).
That’s not far off from my intended lower bracket when you adjust the preheat for the difference in charge quantity adjusted .2 degrees C per gram. the result is a longer development time but the same level of roast.

I am very happy with my decaf offering using Ethiopia Organic Yebuna Terara SWP Decaf from Sweet Maria’s. Swiss water process!

I’m a big fan of the Yebuna Terara, too, and at the same roast level as you’re doing.

This is my best run of Mogiana Decaf, one of my very few five star roasts. It goes pretty quick for a 1 pound roast, but the curve is near perfect. I wish I could get Kenyans to roast with a curve like that. It went a bit darker (426.4F) than I like because I was roasting it for espresso for my daughter. It is just beginning to show oil. It was incredible espresso with complex layers of flavor that just kept coming. Never had anything close in a coffee shop.
You can end it at whatever temperature you want, however. For my own use I would probably end it at 421F.
You can find it listed on 12/21/2022 as:
Brazil Mogiana Decaf 466 g

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Hey, James:
Thank you, this thread is turning into a treasure trove for Decaf roasting.

The search continues with my latest roast (Brazil #2) which is Gray’s recipe for the Mogiana MWP Decaf. I like the results but I unintentionally extended the roast by misjudging the time to the drop temp. Gray advised that you “may” have to modulate with the fan to get 4 minutes to 419 after FC so I changed fan settings early and stretch the development a little too much. The taste is good and there is a nice toasty flavor added to the chocolate and nuttiness. It still is not a 4 (3.5 maybe)so I need to continue to experiment but this is a very enjoyable coffee. I am also going to try a 1/3 2/3 blend of Brazil roast #2 and #1.

The blend of Brazil #1 and 2 (2/3 1/3) is very nice maybe 3.75 stars with a nice toasty flavor. I will continue to experiment to see if I can get this coffee to at least a 4. It needs to have the chocolate a little more pronounced.

Today tasted a blend of 1 to 4 Brazil #2 to Brazil #1 and I think there is a slight improvement with the toastiness smoothed a little and a hint more chocolate flavor.
Brazil #2 roast is definitely the right one for milk drinks and also as a minority component of a blend.
My next roast of this coffee will be James’s faster roast he scored a 5. With this I should have pretty good insite on how this coffee roasts.

Sounds like good methodical experimentation and cupping going on here :slight_smile:

Which is how I drink it.

If Morten Munchow is right (and with the number of double blind taste tests that he has overseen, I suspect he is), that time between FC and dump is only about 10% of the final flavor, so being off a bit isn’t much of a deal. The longer development time should tend to emphasize the taste profile that you indicate you like.


Thank you everyone for contributing various decaf recipes.

I think I finally had a great result with a decaf. I roasted some Decaf Timor-Leste Royal Select FTO SWP from Burman Coffee. Here is a link to the roast.

I will try this recipe out with some Decaffeinated Colombian Las Montanas EA Natural Process from Burman Coffee this weekend.

Here is the general recipe that I developed:
Amount: 750 gm
Preheat: 260 °C. I roast outdoor in South GA. During my last roast, ambient temperature was 19 °C. So I might bump the preheat temperature down to 255 °C in summer.
Drum speed: D8 for the entire roast
Fan: F2 to start with.
P2 (soak) for first 1 minute.
P9 for next 1 minute
P8 at 2 minute mark
F3 at 4 minute mark
P7 at 185 °C IBTS
F4 at 195 °C IBTS
P5 at 200 °C IBTS

First crack was at 201.5 °C. I dropped it at 214 °C IBTS.

You can find a recipe at this link.

I don’t note yellowing phase, as it is hard for me to tell that for decaf beans.

My goal for this roast was 9 minutes to first crack and 12 minutes of total roast time, and drop around 214/215 °C.

Thanks for adding to the body of decaf roasting “institutional knowledge”. When you get a chance it would be great if you could give us a cupping report.

I did cup it. I actually roasted this on 3/11 and cupped it on 3/20 onward. Tastes and smells great. Low acidity, on the sweet side, and I can taste some bakers chocolate. Definitely not as much body as I expected. Beyond that, it is beyond my level of cupping expertise.

Thanks, that’s great, pretty consistent with what others have reported.

Conventional wisdom (for what that’s worth) says to increase the time between FC and drop to increase body.

I shoot for 4-5 mins in my roasts, which would mean approaching FC at a little shallower slope and perhaps another notch of fan around FC.

I think it’s best to focus on drop temp first, with some rerasonable roast time, since that will have a much bigger affect on the flavor than the timing, and then start playing around with time to your milestones.

Good on you for your patience in giving the coffee a good long rest before tasting - I rarely have the self control!


Another milestone in our search for the perfect decaf. I roasted the Mogiana Decaf using Jame’s recipe with a little earlier drop (as he suggested)in this case 424 F. It’s only been 20 hours since roast so it’s too early to pass final judgment, but the first indicator is positive, chocolate notes, smooth with interesting complexity. Very drinkable now, but I think it’s going to improve as it rests over the next few days. I will cup again next week. The first impression is compared to the first two roasts the faster roast lets some of the more subtle flavors come through. It got to my target drop temp (421) so fast that I actually overshoot by 3 degrees.