DECAF COLOMBIA FINCA LA MINA
Producer: Juan Giraldo
Region: Peque, Antioquia
Tasting Notes: plum, tart cherry, 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 sugarcane 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 cups. This process seems to not only leave the flavor profile of the coffee mostly intact, but it can in some cases even improve cup quality over the non-decaffeinated lot!
Now we are taking sugarcane decaf to the next level - traceability. This lot was purchased from our importer partners Cedro Alto Coffee (formerly Direct Origin Trading) and this lot is fully price transparent, fully traceable, and super fresh!