In Defense of Decaf by Caleb Savage

“Death before Decaf” is the motto of many baristas and coffee enthusiasts. “Why would anyone want coffee without caffeine?” For many, the thought of starting the day without coffee, or more precisely, caffeine, is unfathomable, but the reality is, a number of people don’t consume caffeine or limit their intake for various reasons. For many who decide to consume less caffeine, coffee breaks and coffee-shop meetings can be frustrating. At Clarity, we try to provide a number of low-to-no caffeine options and work diligently to ensure that those items meet the same quality and care standards we have for the rest of our offerings.

How much caffeine does a barista consume?

“So when you’re working, you’re probably drinking espresso all day, right?” From dialing in our coffees to quality control throughout the day, it’s easy to consume a good amount of caffeine. That being said, an unscientific poll of our team says that on average, they drink about 2-3 servings of coffee on a day they’re working and just 1-1.5 servings on off days. Generally, all of our coffee offerings have the same caffeine content, between about 120-140mg per serving.

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Of course offerings like our sparkling lemonade or a hot chocolate are going to be caffeine free, but what about a green tea or decaf pourover?

We always have an herbal tea available that will be caffeine free. (Our current herbal offering is Chamomile Mint from Urban Teahouse.) With tea, caffeine content correlates with the level of oxidation. The darker the tea leaves, the more caffeine the leaves will contain!

Decaffeinated vs. Caffeine-Free

While it may vary from one process to another, decaffeinated coffee is not completely free of caffeine. Our current decaf offering from Cooperatives in Western Ethiopia is decaffeinated using the Swiss Water Process which removes 99.9% of caffeine. That leaves you with about as much caffeine as you would get from a small bite size piece of chocolate.

The Swiss Water Process is a proprietary decaffeination method that removes 99.9% of the caffeine from small batches of coffee without the use of chemicals. By soaking the coffee in a green coffee extract infused water, the process allows caffeine to diffuse naturally out of the green coffee and into the extract. After decaffeination, the coffee is then sent on to the roaster before they end up in the cafe! We’ve written about another common decaffeination process, Ethyl Acetate, here!

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In Defense of Decaf

If caffeine intake is the primary objective for your morning latte or afternoon cold brew, decaffeinated coffee doesn’t make much sense. However, if you are concerned about the amount of caffeine you consume on a daily basis, but enjoy the taste of a great cup of coffee, decaf is the way to go! There’s so much more to coffee than being able to “make it through the day.” For someone who is used to drinking coffee to improve focus but needs an extra boost later in the afternoon, making your regular drink decaffeinated, the ritual of making and drinking a cup may help you trick your mind into a little more productivity without the loss of sleep later on.

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Deciding to limit caffeine intake need not be an end to coffee-shop-hopping. A great decaf like KLLR’s Western Ethiopia Co-ops tastes great in milk, as espresso, or a pourover! If you haven’t tried your favorite drink decaffeinated, stop by and try it today! All of our espresso drinks can be made with decaf and we can do both hot and iced pourovers with decaf as well!

Drink Special: Agave Lime Latte Returns by Caleb Savage

Happy August OKC!

Broadway Musical Hamilton is at the Civic Center, Van Gogh, Monet, Degas is at the Museum of Art, and we’re less than two months away from Kings of Leon helping us open Scissortail Park! It’s a great time to be in the Arts District!

A new month means it’s time for a new drink special! Our Clarity Cool Down will be available all summer long, but for the month of August, we’re bringing back a favorite syrup from 2018, Agave Lime!

Background Art:   Jess Wedel

Background Art: Jess Wedel

More Than A Great Syrup

We never set out to make an average drink special. Sometimes good ideas takes months of refining until we’re ready to share it with our friends as a special. We love the complex sweetness, subtle vanilla and clean citrus taste of our agave lime syrup, but, as we said last year when we first released the Agave Lime Latte, agave and coffee have a number of similarities:

“Just like the coffee plant takes five years to mature and begin producing coffee cherries, an agave plant takes an average of eight to twelve years before it can be harvested for syrup, mezcal, or tequila. Coffee and agave are also similar in producing the final products of coffee (the drink) and mezcal or tequila. Farmers may choose to grow a handful of specific varieties of agave or coffee plant on the same farm and blend the juice or seeds or a cooperative might blend the same varieties from a number of farms into their final product.

Coffea arabica and agave tequilana are also unfortunately similar in their growing scarcity. For coffee, an explosive growth in consumption combined with low wages, climate change and disease threaten the availability of high quality coffee in coffee’s most famous and historic growing regions. For agave, a fluctuating market price, increasing popularity of agave nectar, and the fact that we’re often consuming a product planted over a decade ago impacts the price and quality of a Happy Hour Margarita.”

If milk drinks aren’t your thing but you still want to try the syrup, add it to an Espresso Cream Soda, Americano, or Cold Brew for a refreshing twist.

Background Art:   Jess Wedel

Background Art: Jess Wedel

See you in the shop soon!

Drink Special: Clarity Cool Down by Caleb Savage

Happy Summer! 

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With the hot and humid Oklahoma City Summer, we decided our Summer Drink Special should be something nice and chilly! 

With a little help from Wilbur Curtis’ new Chill X, we’re pleased to present our vision of a coffee slush: the Clarity Cool Down!

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Coffee Slush?

Yes. The Clarity Cool Down is a Cold Brew Slush made with Brown Sugar and Minor Figures Oat M*lk! Using cold brew concentrate, the Cool Down has about as much caffeine as any of our regular coffee drinks, and since we’re using Oat M*lk, it’s also vegan!

But Seriously, A Coffee Slush?

Specialty Coffee sometimes gets a bad rap for being too serious about how coffee should be prepared and gets to decide what “is” and “is not” Specialty Coffee. We’re not really about that.

Specialty Coffee is about care. The care farmers and producers show when planting, harvesting, and processing coffee cherries and the care roasters and baristas show in preparing the coffee for service. While Specialty Coffee refers to a level of coffee quality scored at the farm or mill, specialty coffee is about preparing and showcasing great coffees, and we think our Clarity Cool Down does just that.

We’re super pumped to share our summer special with you! Stop by next time it’s a million degrees, and let the Clarity Cool Down help you beat the heat!

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New Artist: Jess Wedel by Lindsay Hill

Blank Canvas,  Jess Wedel

Blank Canvas, Jess Wedel

“These pieces are my permission to grieve, to love, to leave, to be okay in the midst of everything—relationships, endings, disease. Painting is the first place I allowed myself to make no mistakes and hear no opinions. Many of my pieces are crafted over stretches of time; late at night when I couldn’t sleep, in between chemo treatments, before boarding a plane to a faraway place.”

-Jess Wedel

We are so excited to be the first place to get to showcase Jess Wedel’s art! We hope you got to stop by to see the bright and beautiful work of Virginia Sitzes. If you missed her work, catch up here!

Jess Wedel is an OKC native with a love for travel and getting everything she can out of life. She is a self-taught artist with a passion that ignited from a friend giving her a canvas after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016. She has climbed mountains and beat cancer, and we can see the beauty and the pain through each stroke.

Two Knives in a Giftbox , Jess Wedel

Two Knives in a Giftbox, Jess Wedel

“These are the colors of my redemption, triumph, and hope after a long, sorrowful journey. These brushstrokes represent my new music on life and how it has evolved. Nothing is held to a single form – there’s no model – there’s no subscribed meaning. It is very much about making all of that on your own. They are my response to a life I have found urgency in living. In heartbreakingly beautiful, non-nihilistic way, may my work remind you that we don’t have much time; death is close and few things really matter so live deeply and with uninhibited strokes.”

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We’re big fans of Jess’ work! Stop by next time you’re in the Arts District and come say hi and enjoy these beautiful paintings.