Creme Brulee, Orange marmalade. Medium body and medium acidity. Smooth and easy drinking.
Our latest decaf coffee 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.
Huila is a region naturally blessed with optimal coffee growing geography, and the key to great quality coffees from the La Plata region are the growers themselves. Coffee farming within the region is overwhelmingly small-scale with approximately 80% of producers from the region farming coffee on less than 3 hectares of land. These small farms are tended by individual families with labour only very rarely being contracted out, which leads to more thorough and intensive management practices and great pride in the final product – which is, itself, an extension of the family.
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.
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.
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.