Normal decaffeination processes involve high pressure and high heat that can alter the flavor of the bean dramatically. Colombian coffee growers invented a process that retains the most flavor and brings forth a wonderful cup of coffee. This process uses sugarcane-derived molasses, fermented to make ethyl acetate (E.A.). The beans are soaked in water and then washed with E.A. to dissolve the caffeine molecules, removing roughly 97% of the caffeine. They are again washed and dried. This delivers a pleasant, clean cup of coffee with a hint of molasses.
Flavor notes: Brown Sugar, Black Walnut, Chocolate, Orange
Varietals: Typica, Caturra, Castillo, Colombiano
Process: Sugar Cane Process
ASOPEP (Asociación de Productores Egológicos de Planadas) is the self-created organization of 168 coffee farming families living in and around the town of Planadas. Only in the past 15 years has this town and region began to gain recognition for their coffee, working hard year over year to ensure sustainable and amazing coffee. These farmers are some of the youngest and most engaged coffee farmers in South America. They retain a fair-trade and organic certification and the ASOPEP organization provides engagement with the coffee process through brewing so the farmers have full enjoyment and understanding of their product.
This coffee is sold and moved to a decaffeination plant run by Descafecol 400km north in Manizales, Colombia. The process for decaffeination is technically and mechanically demanding, especially when done at scale. The farmers work with the plant and have a relationship that provides a strong economic cycle for both parties. The plant employs locals, the coffee is fresh, the farmers have a reliable income, and the coffee can be decaffeinated for everyone to enjoy around the world.
Are you still reading? You must really be interested. Learn more about the farmers and the decaffeination operation.