Why Are Decaf Coffeepots Orange?

There's a story behind that bright orange handle.

Not all coffee drinkers want the caffeine that comes with a cup ‘o joe. Plenty of people prefer decaf to cut back caffeine intake or simply because it’s later in the afternoon. Luckily, if you’re sipping coffee at a restaurant, coffee shop or even a gas station, you’ll always find orange plastic around the coffeepot to distinguish it from regular coffee.

That orange plastic wasn’t selected as a random color for decaf. There’s a brew-ti-ful story behind this color.

The History Behind Orange Decaf Pots

The bright orange plastic ring on a decaf coffeepot will always catch your eye. It helps coffee drinkers and servers to easily distinguish between regular and decaf, lowering the chance of mix-ups. But why the orange?

Sanka, a German company, first brought decaffeinated coffee to the United States in 1923. When the original decaf coffee was sold in stores, it had an orange label to stand out on the shelf. Because of its recognizable branding, the orange color stuck around. The company even sent orange coffeepots to restaurants. The tradition of recognizing decaf with a pop of orange on the coffeepot stuck ever since.

Can You Taste the Difference Between Decaf and Regular?

Because of the bright orange on decaf pots, there’s very little chance of accidentally getting regular coffee instead. But if you didn’t see the pot, could you tell the difference? Chances are, they won’t taste identical.

To make decaf, processors remove caffeine from coffee beans before they’re roasted. This results in lower acidity and sometimes a bit less flavor for decaf drinkers. If you’re used to the robust taste of regular coffee, decaf may seem lackluster in comparison.

Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.