Decaffeinated Colombian Espresso
Decaffeinated Colombian El Carmen Espresso
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 it is possible. Over the last few years have made the supply of El Carmen (and many other) coffees a real challenge. To get a coffee of this clarity and sweet acidity is a rarity to have as Decaf. There just is no sign of decaffeination in the cup.
What is different about El Carmen? 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.
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.
Roast: Developed/ Traditional Espresso.
El Carmen is both bright and apple-like as well as citric. This is one super-clean, bright decaff.
Temp 94C as a starting point.
In milk: (16-18g into 34-37g) 24-30 Seconds. So fruity! Apple and citrus in a 9oz drink! More intensity and some cocoa in the 5-6oz.
In espresso: (16-18g into 45-50g) 24-30 seconds. Intense, fresh apple and juicy currants acidity, a savoury note, and long lingering citrus.
El Carmen 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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