How Talking Crow Coffee Roasters began and why we became a decaf-focused roastery.

Carol and Eric Blanchet, owners of Talking Crow Coffee Roasters standing on a balcony holding mugs of coffee.

A coffee roaster who can’t have caffeine?  Yeup, that’s me (Carol).  Here’s how that began.

A few years ago Eric approached me with the idea of starting a coffee roasting business.  A “retire to” career that we could do together and include our children too. Rather than just jumping in blind, we took classes offered by Specialty Coffee Association that covered everything from farming, importing, roasting, etc.  As Providence would have it, these classes were offered at the Swiss Water Process plant in British Columbia, Canada.  They decaffeinate green coffee using only clean, clear water from British Columbia and osmosis.

After the birth of our last baby (we have 8) I suffered with extreme adrenal fatigue. Completely exhausted, I needed coffee to start my day and more in the afternoon to make it through the dinner hour.  My doctor insisted that I give up caffeine.  Seriously?  How would I get through the day?  But wanting to get healthy, I gave up my beloved coffee and switched to decaf, and that’s when my decaf journey began. Switching was hard – it didn’t taste great, it was processed with harsh chemicals, and there weren’t any choices – just one blend.  So while Eric was still enjoying a variety of excellent coffees, I was just wishing I could enjoy too.  BUT while we were at Swiss Water, we tasted some mighty fine decaf coffees and discovered not all decafs are created equal!  That’s when we realized decaf drinkers don't have to miss out – and when Eric and I decided to set out to “redefine decaf” by crafting exceptional chemical free (Swiss Water Process) single origin specialty decaf coffee and we came up with the phrase, "Coffee is for everyone – caffeine isn’t."  

While roasting delicious decaf is our top priority, there are other aspects that rank high on our list too. 

  • Using only 100% natural and chemical free Swiss Water Process decaffeinated green beans.  
  • Pursuing quality relationships with the producers and importers allows us to responsibly source the best quality beans.
  • Ensuring quality and consistency through small batch roasting. 
  • Minimizing our carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions by roasting on a fluid bed air roaster. 

So that's our story, our mission, and our values and we got started. 

Carol and Eric


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  • Author image
    Carol: June 12, 2024

    Hi Fabian,
    Thanks for your support.
    The cleanest (chemical free) options are C02, Mountain Water, and Swiss Water.
    We have tried CO2 decafs and have felt their flavors run flat. Our experience is that while the coffee did taste good, it lacked the nuances of the flavor wheel spectrum. Both Mountain Water and Swiss Water methods are much more flavorful – as far as hitting bright notes. We’ve chosen to use only the Swiss Water Method for three reasons. It’s the only decaffeination method that is 99.9% caffeine-free. The other methods are 97%. Secondly, any certifications (organic, etc.) that the coffee has pre-decaffeination remain intact post-decaffeination. Lastly, Swiss Water regularly tests their coffee for mold and has certifications stating it is mold-free.
    If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out. :-)


  • Author image
    Fabian Bresan: June 18, 2022

    Hi Carol,

    That’s a great background story for how this fantastic idea was realized. I am so grateful you are offering all these options for anyone who wants to explore coffee for its taste only.
    I am wondering if you had at all looked into other chemical-free processes of decaffeination. Specifically, I am talking about CO2. In theory, this provides a clean wash while altering the bean composition even less than SWP does. While the caffeine elimination is not quite as complete, I would still want to see if it enhances some taste notes.
    I would love to hear your thoughts. In any case, I wish you the very best for Talking Crow and look forward to my next sampler pack.

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