El Tambo DECAF

El Tambo DECAF

  • Tasting Notes Cherry, Chocolate, Citrus
  • Location El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia
  • Elevation 1750 - 1850 M
  • Process Decaf - Sugarcane EA
  • metafields
    Region El Tambo, Cauca
  • metafields
    Varietal Colombia, Castillo
  • metafields
    Elevation 1750 - 1850 masl
  • metafields
    Process Sugarcane EA Decaffeination
  • metafields
    Importer Cafe Imports

Taste Notes

Cherry, Chcolate and citrus. Medium body and medium acidity. Smooth and easy drinking.


The is our new decaf offering and we're sticking with the Sugarcane EA offerings from our partners Cafe Imports under it's 'Origin Select'. These coffees are sourced green by Café Imports prior to decaffeination, breaking from the industry norm. By doing this, they are able to provide the highest quality water and E.A. (sugar cane) processed products available.

This particular lot is chosen from among lots brought by five smallholder growers in the department of Cauca, from the villages of El Cerrito, Rio Blanco, Rio Sucio, and Uribe, all within the El Tambo municipality of Cauca. The coffee is typically picked and depulped the same day, fermented dry for 16–20 hours, and washed three times before being dryed in parabolic dryers. It is taken for E.A. decaffeination in-country before being shipped.

It is decaffeinated using Ethel Acetate, a natural by-product of fermented sugar-cane, which bonds with the soluble caffeine compounds in the coffee and allows them to be stripped from the green beans. Not every coffee holds up in the decaffeination process, and not all processes are created equal. Cafe Imports carefully select the coffees they send for decaffeination, and partner closely with their decaffeination processors to ensure high quality standards.

For many years, Colombia was the number-one world producer of washed coffees, and the second-largest producer to Brazil. In 2000, Colombia was surpassed by Vietnam, and then the rust infestation of 2008 set them back significantly. Today they are currently in the top five of coffee production with roughly 10 million bags per year. Colombian farmers and citizens alike drink a lot of coffee every day; nearly 20% of their annual production.

Colombia has over 600,000 farms, most of them farmed by small landholders with less than 5 acres nestled in the hills at roughly 1,200 to 2,000 meters above sea level.

Colombian Coffees are commonly known to be big, rich, chocolaty coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions, so the coffee varies mildly from region to region. Tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate are common adjectives. More intense acidity and bigger velvety body are variations you might find going from south to north as well.

The Sugar Cane EA Decaffeination method:

 Press here for a nice diagram from Cafe Imports on how the process works.

The guys at Ceremony Coffee have posted a great little description of the Sugar Cane EA method here. I've condensed their info below:

In brief it's a natural method of decaffeination and starts by fermenting molasses derived from sugar cane to create ethanol. This alcohol is then mixed with acetic acid, which you'd find in vinegar, to create the compound ethyl acetate. In Colombia, where a lot of sugar cane is grown, it makes sense to use this naturally occurring solvent to complement their thriving coffee growing/processing industry. E.A. may sound scary, but you find it in wine, beer, fruit, vegetables, and other food and beverages.

The actual process requires the coffee to be first 'steamed' to open up its pores. Next, the E.A. is applied via water, which dissolves the caffeine in the green coffee. Then the caffeine is separated and filtered from the tank. Finally, the now-decaffeinated seeds are steamed again to remove any residual E.A. before being dried and shipped. This method avoids excessive heat or pressure, which can radically disrupt green coffees cellular structure.


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