DECAF - COLOMBIA: Azahar - 100% Arabica
LOCATION: Palestina, Huila
ALTITUDE: 1700 - 1800 masl
PREPARATION: Fully Washed
CUP PROFILE: Blackberry, brown sugar
Rin's 1st Craic:
One of the most exciting things about being a coffee roaster is the immediacy of accessing coffee beans from across the world, without having to take a gap year and share a hostel with a dozen soon-to-undergrads reading Lonely Planet guides. As well as directly sourcing, we have also some wonderful suppliers who operate on the strictest traceability guidelines that allow us to sample the very best Arabica coffee, while ensuring coffee farmers get a fair payment for their labours.
Our latest offering is Colombia bean that is a Caturra varietal. It's decaffeinated using the sugar cane method provide a sweet mouthfeel with balckberry and sugarcane notes.
I've worked hard at roasting decaf to bring out the its best notes (can you hear the violins?). Unhinged fools in my position will tell you, roasting decaf is a dark world, where all but lovers of dungeons and dragnets, dare not venture.) Get it wrong (and boy, for the first few months of my roasting life, did I ever) and you might be sucking wet cardboard through a straw. But do some horse-whispering to that petulant pony and you might be onto a real winner. One thing's for sure, you just can't treat decaf like any other coffee bean. And whatever your views on decaf, as I roaster, I totally respect that and love the challenge.
These beans are decaffeinated using a sugar cane process. For more about this procedure and the farm's provenance, click on the "Nerd Zone" tab above.
Great coffees can be found in several departments throughout Colombia, but Huila has become a major contender among them, producing the most coffee by volume. Its coffee has gained a highly-respected reputation both inside and outside Colombia and its coffees have shined, earning the Colombian Cup of Excellence award repeatedly. Not by chance, the department has gained Denomination of Origin.
This Decaf Pioneers Blend is another exemplary coffee from our pioneering producing partners in southern Huila. A pioneering producer is a grower who is not only innovating in their field and a pillar of their community, but also someone who we’ve had the fortune to work with time and again over the years by cultivating a close and transparent relationship. In this blend our quality control team has married the profiles and attributes of coffees from the municipalities of Palestina and Pitalito.
The town of Palestina is located in the South Huila region. The region is known for its altitude and fertile soils. This contributes to higher levels of soluble solids in the bean. Huila department is located in the South-West of Colombia, spanned by the Andes mountains. Landmarks include the San Agustin Archaeological Park and the Nevada del Huila volcano.
Sugar Cane Process
The coffee first undergoes steaming at low pressures to remove the silver skins before then being moistened with hot water to allow the beans to swell and soften. This then prepares the coffee for the hydrolysis of caffeine, which is attached to the salts of the chlorogenic acid within the coffee.
The extractors (naturally obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane and not from chemical synthesis) are then filled with moistened coffee which is washed several times with the natural ethyl acetate solvent, to reduce the caffeine down to the correct levels. Once this process is finished the coffee then must be cleaned of the remaining ethyl acetate by using a flow of low pressured saturated steam, before moving onto the final steps. From here the coffee is sent to vacuum drying drums where the water previously used to moisten the beans is removed and the coffee dried to between 10-12%.
The coffee is then cooled quickly to ambient temperature using fans before the final step of carnauba wax being applied to polish and provide the coffee with protection against environmental conditions and to help provide stability. From here, the coffee is the packed into 70kg bags ready for export.