DECAF COLOMBIA HUILA E.A. PROCESS
Tasting Notes: tart cherry, red plum, vanilla
There are a few ‘natural’ ways to decaffeinate coffee - meaning no synthetic chemicals or chemically derived solvents are used. The common natural methods are CO2 (coffee is blasted with gas to force caffeine out), Swiss Water, Mountain Water (coffee is submerged in water with solution that draws caffeine out), and Sugar Cane (also called Ethyl Acetate or EA Process). After much research and sampling, we’ve decided to switch to micro-lot Colombians that have been E.A. processed. Here’s why:
The Sugarcane process begins with fermenting molasses derived from sugarcane to create ethanol, and mixing with acetic acid (naturally created in vinegar) to create ethyl acetate. The coffee is put in a steam bath which opens up the cellular structure of the coffee and allows the E.A. to wash over the beans to dissolve the caffeine. The caffeine is then filtered out, beans are steamed again to remove residual E.A., then dried and shipped.
In many coffee producing countries (especially Colombia!) sugarcane is grown in abundance, so it makes sense to use this naturally occurring solvent to decaffeinate coffee at origin. This method also drastically reduces the amount of fuel used to get the coffee to its final destination, since it cuts out the shipment to a far flung decaffeination plant (Swiss Water is in Vancouver, for example). The coffee is decaffeinated in Colombia, often very nearby the mill where it is processed, which has the added bonus of leaving more of the profits from production in coffee producing countries. Of all the decafs we tasted, the sugarcane options all had the sweetest, most balanced and pleasing cup!This particular lot is a freshly arrived micro-regional lot from importer partners Cafe Imports.