Decaf - Colombia Tumbaga Sugar Cane
Tasting notes - Full bodied, chocolate and stone fruit
Region - Pitalito Hulia, Colombia
Altitude - 1400-1900 metres
Variety: Castillo, Caturra, Various
Process method - Fully Washed
This coffee comes from Pitalito which lies in the southernmost part of Huila. Producers are focused almost exclusively on producing specialty coffee. While the majority of trees are either Castillo or Caturra, farmers in Pitalito also cultivate more exotic varieties than any other region in Colombia.
Farmers here are mainly smallholders. In fact, 80% of coffee farms are smaller than 3 hectares. On smaller farms, nearly all the labour is done by family. Very few farms hire farmhands. As a result, quality is carefully controlled and families can focus more energy on intensive farming practices that result in high quality coffee. Families take great pride in their coffee production.
Sugarcane decaffeination utilizes a naturally occurring compound, ethyl acetate (EA) to decaffeinate coffee. The EA used in this process is derived from molasses (a by-product of sugar production). Since EA is naturally-occurring, the process is labelled as 'naturally decaffeinated'.
The EA process is relatively simple. The coffee beans are moistened with water and EA is circulated throughout. The EA binds with the caffeine in the bean and extracts the caffeine while leaving most of the other flavour compounds. After the desired caffeine level is reached, the EA residue on the beans is removed by steaming them.