Decaffeinated Colombian El Carmen
Decaffeinated Colombian El Carmen Filter Roast
Decaffeinated Colombian El Carmen Espresso returns, after a little blip of a few days in our chain. Friends on a trip in Colombia were partially to blame. For those of you with a keen eye on the numbers, this coffee has slowly increased by another £1,000 per ton. This impact to you is another 20p on a 250g bag. In a mad panic, I started looking at “Plan B’s” in the Decaf world this coffee is not expensive if you value coffee by flavour, I think it is still very good value.
Ethyl Acetate Decaffeinated coffee is a revolution in its own right. We have seen a number of different processes over the years and progressively the coffee outcome has improved. This is my favourite decaffeinated coffee to date. I try to keep El Carmen here all through the year when possible. The last few years have made the supply of this,(and many other) coffees a real challenge. To get a coffee of this clarity and sweet acidity is a rarity to have as a filter roast. There just is no sign of decaffeination in the cup.
What is different about this one? This is made with a naturally occurring solvent found in sugar cane; ethyl acetate. The result is a clean cup without a trace of processing. More on that below!
Producer Group: El Carmen de Acevedo
Region: Pitalito, Huila
Altitude: 1400-2100 MASL (there’s a variation in altitude if I ever saw one)
Varietals; Castillo and Caturra.
Process: Ethyl acetate decaffeination.
Intense front-end sweetness. Fresh apple acidity, white fruit sugars (think lychee), then yellow sugars (golden syrup), and soft subtle sweet citrus. The Nougat factor comes into play when you add milk and the sugars take on a toffee-like dimension.
Recipe: 60g per litre is a great place to start.
This coffee is a blend comprised of a group of small producers, who are working under a sustainability program. This system takes the risk out of the lows of the market and ensures enough is paid to the producer. Over the last 5 years, this has consistently doubled the income of the smallholder farmer families working with the project. The goal is to achieve stable and sustainable prices for community coffee lots through improved quality control, shared knowledge, and a connection to the specialty coffee market. Raw built drying bed facilities and QC infrastructure at the community central hub in the town of El Carmen.
The Decaf bit
Green coffee from Red Association is taken to Decscafecol, a decaffeination plant in Manizales. Using volcanic spring water and the organic compound ethyl acetate, which is derived from fermenting sugar cane, locally produced in Valle de Cauca. The green coffee is steamed to make it more porous, to help with absorption. As the beans swell, the process of separation begins. The coffee is then placed in a solution of ethyl acetate, several times until 97% of the caffeine in the coffee has been removed. The final stages are to steam clean, removing all of the remaining organic compounds. This decaffeinated coffee has something in the region of 30 parts of caffeine per million, which is a fraction of what you would find in a banana.
Sourced with Raw These guys are a not-for-profit, social enterprise with deep roots in coffee.
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