Pear, raisin and brown sugar
Our latest DECAF comes from Juan Felipe Aristizábal who is known locally as The Alchemist. Part of a community consisting of smallholder farmers from Villamaría, Chinchiná and Manizales that operate a wet-mill, Juan is in charge of processing all high-quality cherries from specific and traceable farms. He has standardised the Natural process as follow: after being floated and hand sorted, the cherries are dried on patios for 30 days. Then this selection of Naturals is sent for decaffeination via the EA method (details below).
Just like it's caffeinated cousins this decaf has a little more fruit characteristics than your typical 'washed' coffees that go for decaffeination. A little fruit funk you can drink anytime of day !
On the western slopes of the Nevado del Ruiz, an extinct volcano, Villamaría is in the centre of the famous Colombian Coffee Axis. While the rough terrain offers a challenging environment for humans, the high altitude, fertile soil and tropical climate are perfect condition for coffee cultivation. When declaring the area “World Heritage”, Unesco recognised the tremendous human adaptation and the efforts of coffee farmers over generations to obtain a decent source of income for their families. Since the end of the 18th century, through their adaptation and efforts, coffee grower families have shaped the landscape in which natural, economic and cultural elements are combined and which is unique in the world. Through their work, coffee eventually became the main development driver of the entire area.
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.
The coffee beans first undergo steaming at low pressures to remove the silver skins. They are then moistened with hot water to allow the beans to swell and soften. This step prepares the coffee for the hydrolysis of caffeine, which is attached to the salts of the chlorogenic acids within the coffee. The moistened coffee is washed several times with ethyl acetate solvent (EA). In the case of sugar-cane decaf, the ethyl acetate is naturally obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane grown in Colombia and not from chemical synthesis. Once the caffeine is reduced to the desired level, the beans are cleaned to remove the remaining EA and dried to between 10–12%.