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Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Methodical Coffee’s Decaf Cauca

I am living proof that coffee newsletters are a very effective marketing tool in the long-term.

Several months ago, near the beginning of the year, I signed up for Methodical Coffee‘s newsletter as a reminder to try out their decaf. In-between other specialty coffee bag purchases they would crop up in my email’s promotions tab with new coffee bags or behind-the-scenes peeks. I wouldn’t end up buying it until several months later. While ‘now’ is a more preferred word than ‘later’ in the rapidfire world of business, it stands to reason a good business encourages customers of every single stripe.

The ready-to-buys. The not-quite-sures. The ‘I totally want to buy this, it just keeps slipping my mind in a sea of marketing competition’s.

I’m eager to get down and dirty with this lovely single origin decaf coffee bag and all the interesting journeys it took me on. If you haven’t read my previous entries in my decaf coffee series Decaf, Decaf Everywhere, check out my directory.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Methodical Coffee and see if their bag lives up to its build-up:

Origin

This single origin decaf coffee bag hails from the Cauca origin in Colombia. I got to taste this very origin back with Ruby Coffee Roasters, a sweet and savory specialty decaf bag I adored (and will be reviewing soon).

It’ll be interesting to see what a difference the harvesting and processing methods make for this region.

Roaster

Methodical Coffee is a single origin roaster based in South Carolina. They’re composed of a small team that sources their coffee from Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Honduras and Costa Rica.

Alongside standard coffee subscriptions they offer steeped coffee (think a match between tea and instant coffee) and cascara. It’s a surprisingly diverse line-up for such a small roaster and one I would love to try more of. Despite their extensive portfolio they have one decaf to their name, so here’s hoping they consider adding a few more in the future…because this one is good.

Packaging

I make no bones about gravitating to this roastery not just for quality single origin decaf, for their beautifully floral packaging.

Splashes of watercolor and ink abound on the front of the bag, the soft blues and greens separated by delicate linework that wouldn’t be out of place in a wellness clinic. It’s just so soothing to look at, even before I get to my happy bias toward flowers (I mean, just look at domain name). Methodical Coffee proceeds to shake things up with their bright gold sample boxes, trading the watercolor for a bold look that functions as the perfect contrast.

It’s a compelling art direction that cements a quaint and gentle identity, right off the bat, and gets you in that perfect mindset to set up your pourover.

The back of the bag cites a quote that summarizes the roaster’s approach to coffee, as well as credits the artist front and center (a refreshing approach, as most coffee packaging remains very mysterious as to who the creators are). I took a look at Annie Koelle’s gallery and her work is filled to the brim with equally lovely and dynamic works of art, including some fantastic ceramic pieces. I highly recommend checking out the portfolio.

Overall, Methodical Coffee has a striking, romantic first impression I’ve found myself lingering on for inspiration. If you’re considering collecting coffee bags in the future, this is a great place to start.

Aroma

This is the most fruity single origin decaf coffee bags I’ve smelled yet. Oh, wow.

Upon opening you get a touch of the graham stated on the front of the bag, mild and fresh. The second you grind it up, though? You get a pop of tangy fruit. While the bag states lemon peel (and I can definitely see where they got that), the site description also mentioned raspberry, which wound up being the most apt for me. I really felt like I was about to bite into a soft, velvety berry.

Roast Level

It doesn’t say on the site or the bag, but I believe this to be a medium-roast coffee. Maybe medium-light?

Mouthfeel/Brewing Methods

Caught between smooth and creamy for the French Press. Thinner for the pourover and a little on the thinner, silkier side for the Moka pot.

Flavor Notes

I think I actually prefer this coffee black over my usual milk and brown sugar. Damn if that isn’t rare.

Methodical Coffee is right up there with Olympia Coffee, Counter Culture Coffee and Deadstock Coffee (review also coming soon) in my personal ‘coffee that’s easy to drink straight’ list. It’s vibrant and tart without any bitterness, a lesson in bright flavors (and a great source of study if you find yourself a little overwhelmed by sensory coffee descriptions).

The graham definitely took a backseat here, but a part of me wonders if I’m just more sensitive to fruity flavors. The pourover was almost like a tea, with the Moka pot the strongest flavor-wise.

Final Verdict

This is one of the rare coffees I much prefer black. I can feel my cheeks squeezing just thinking about it.

Specifically, I favor the pourover and the Moka pot. While milk and sugar tastes fine here, the very tart flavors become too muted to enjoy through them, resulting in a slightly lackluster cup. It’s actually a little surprising how much this coffee’s notes are drowned out compared to more robust bags I’ve reviewed in the past. This is great news for black coffee drinkers and something to consider for those that can’t stand a cup without a little extra added in.

The Decaf Cauca bag stresses that less is more. Give this a try if you like bright, tart coffees and consider waiting for my future reviews if you want more savory and sweet examples.

You can find Methodical Coffee at their site here.

If you’re interested in more coffee-related material, check out:

The next two to three decades don’t look good for coffee. It’s also not as far off as it feels. Here’s what you should know about the industry and why our actions matter most right now.

The coffee plant is bursting with potential. Cascara, the discarded pulp and skin left over from the process, is proving to be a delicious and healthy addition to the coffee industry.

Does your coffee taste bitter? There are a few things you can do to improve its flavor, from sprinkling in a little salt to reducing your extraction time.

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