Sweet and complex. This sugar cane decaf processed at origin, not only elevated the quality and taste, but removed a huge chunk of environmental impact. A smooth body, carrying through caramel and macadamia nuts. Gentle notes of pear and cacao cut through. It’s a decaf we’re truly proud of.
Creme Caramel, Pear, Cacao, Macadamia nut
- Origin Colombia
- Producer El Carmen
- Variety Caturra, Castillo, Colombia
- Processing Sugarcane Decaf
About El Carmen
El Carmen is located in the mountainous Huila district of Colombia. Farmers grow Caturra, Castillo & Colombia varietals here and are supported by Red Association. Together with our importing partner Raw Material, Red Association works with coffee producing families to stabilize farmer incomes and control a larger part of the coffee processing value chain (mainly in drying and parchment selection to avoid that farmers need to ‘wet-sell’ their coffees at unfavourable prices). For producer members, these systematic changes result in 2.5 x the profit generated through coffee, compared with the average income over the past 5 years. The coffee is fully washed before it is decaffeinated.
About sugarcane decaffeination
Sugarcane decaffeination relies on ethyl acetate, an organic compound derived from the fermentation of sugarcane. It’s preferable to traditional Swiss Water Decaf (SWD) for taste, economic sustainability and ecological footprint. Ethyl acetate does a much better job at separating caffeine molecules without affecting the 1000+ aromatic compounds present in green coffee beans. As sugarcane is abundantly available in Colombia, the decaffeination is done locally, leaving more economic value at origin. As a result there’s no need to ship the coffee to SWD factories in Canada, saving a polluting shipment.
So how does it work? First green coffee is steamed for 30 minutes to open its pores so that caffeine can be extracted. The coffee is then placed in a solution of water and Ethyl Acetate, a naturally occurring compound and solvent derived through the fermentation of sugarcane. This solvent bonds to the salts of chlorogenic acids in coffee, allowing for the extraction of caffeine. Once 97% of caffeine is extracted, the coffee is ready for a final low-pressure steaming that removes the remaining traces of Ethyl Acetate.