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I am a big coffee drinker and very particular about what I drink. I like it very hot, very strong, dark and with a rich aroma. I prefer freshly brewed coffee but this isn't practical for every cup, so I generally go for a more upmarket brand of instant coffee and make do with that. Coffee is one of the few products that I am not prepared to downgrade on.
However, with my preferance for strong coffee (I take two heaped teaspoon fulls per mug with just a splash of milk) I cannot drink caffinated coffee after about 4pm and expect an unbroken nights sleep. I am also aware that too much coffee is bad for me. Plus I'm working on HonestBob number 6 and I know there is an association between caffeine intake and miscarriage.
So, all in, several reasons to reduce my caffeine intake but I still don't want to compromise on drinking coffee or on the quality of my beverage. As I often drink regular Alta Rica coffee, it made sense to try the decaffeinated version when I spotted this predominantly blue jar against its regular brown clothed sister on the shelf in my local Asda.
As a serious coffee drinker however, I know from past experience that going cold turkey on the caffeine intake is a recipe for headaches and irritability. None of which are welcome side effects, even of a healthier lifestyle. So I started my caffeine reduction plan by mixing the Alta Rica Decaff with my regular Alta Rica, one spoonful of each in my mug, and found no difference in taste and no caffeine reduction induced headache (and I'm generally a moody cow so any extra irritability wasn't noticed by anyone, including myself!). I used the half-and half method for the first three days and then began to swap cups at certain points of the day from half and half to full Decaff. I started with my lunchtime coffee. No problems. After a couple of days without lunchtime caffeine I dropped the breaktime caffeine, followed by the home-from-work caffeine. I still have to have my morning 'rush' so my breakfast mug is still half and half, but I figure that's better than the 5-6 cups of caffeinated coffee I was having before.
Half and Half Caffeinated Alta Rica and Decaffeinated Alta Rica is indistinguishable from Alta Rica alone. It smells the same, tastes the same and 'feels' the same. As Alta Rica is quite strong and I have heaped teaspoons of the stuff I guess there was enough caffeine there for me not to notice a difference.
Decaff alone has a smoother 'feel' to it than full caff Alta Rica. It smells the same and looks the same, but it does not have the same bite to it and there is no rapid increase in heartrate. This is particularly beneficial on the days when I have two mugs of coffee straight after each other (sometimes the biscuit barrel calls me too much!). It does mean that I don't get my morning jerk into action and this is why I haven't made the full leap to decaff for all my daily coffee 'breaks'
Nescafe describes this coffee on its packaging as 'a bold and intense coffee' and I'd have to agree. The flavour is as intense as its caffeinated sister but this is a sister in M&S undies, whereas the caffeinated sister shops in Ann Summers!
Exclusive Latin American arabicas chosen for their full flavour, and dark roasted to develop the bold, full-bodied taste.