Thanks to everyone who has been patiently (and some, not so patiently!) waiting for our decaf beans to land. The Colombian container has just been unloaded, so we are happy to share with you, that we are once again in possession of some rather yummy chemical free, decaffeinated coffee.
Running out of beans is never a cool thing, and we do our best not to do this so, sorry to everyone who has been waiting on us – but our sales of this decaf have been growing. This year we have doubled our usual order and we have also purchased a special lot of a Naturally processed Villa Maria that has also gone through the decaffeination process (we won’t have this special lot landed for a few months yet).
So, this decaf comes from Colombia, from the Huila region, from a co-operative of 300 families called the Red Association El Carmen. The coffee is grown and harvested in normal conditions and then transported to the decaffeination plant. We first cupped it in Colombia a few years ago, on a table of about 20 incredible coffees and were blown away by the quality. We have lots of fun including this coffee blind which means that nobody knows which coffees they are cupping and none of the team ever expect us to include a decaf coffee on the cupping table, as usually the process to decaffeinate doesn’t just remove the caffeine – it removes the majority of the other positive flavors. But not this one!
A little bit of technical stuff here if you are interested how they actually decaf - Green coffee beans are first steamed with low pressure to remove the silver skins. The coffee is then moistened with clean spring water to swell and soften the beans and start the hydrolysis of caffeine which is bonded to salts of chlorogenic acid inside the beans. The beans then pass through extractors using a natural solvent derived from sugar cane called natural Ethyl Acetate, removing 97% of the caffeine (which is the FDA requirement). Steam is then used to remove the residual solvent and the beans then transfer to vacuum driers to remove the water and return the bean to the desired 10 – 12% humidity.
Before this Colombian decaf, we had never tried a good one, so we were not hopeful or invested in decaf, (it made up less than 2% of our sales) and we never thought we would say this, but honestly – if you are like us, and thought that decaf tasted “pants” and “why would you” – try this one. If for any reason, you need to reduce your caffeine intake, pregnant or breastfeeding, or have trouble sleeping so stop your caffeine consumption in the early afternoon, you should try this! Promise, it actually tastes good.