Colombia El Carmen Sugarcane Decaf
Region: Pitalito, Huila
Altitude: 1,400 - 2,100 m.a.s.l
Variety: Caturra, Castillo
Processing: washed, decaf
El Carmen is a regional coffee from Colombia and is part of the Red Associations project by Raw Materials coffee importers. (The Colombia El Aguila we sell is another regional coffee from this same project.) This is the first coffee we've sold using the sugarcane decaffeination process, which uses a naturally occurring compound, ethyl acetate, to remove the caffeine from the beans. Ethyl acetate is a food by-product found most commonly in the fermentation of fruits, and is present in both ripe bananas and beer for example. This coffee is called "sugarcane" decaf because the ethyl acetate used is from fermented sugarcane sourced in the southern region of Palmira, Colombia.
The process begins with steaming of the coffee, increasing its porosity, beginning the hydrolysis of caffeine, which is usually bonded to salts and chlorogenic acid in the bean. The beans are then submerged in an ethyl acetate solvent, until 97% of the caffeine is removed. Finally the coffee is steamed again to remove any residual of the ethyl acetate, and then dried to a stable moisture content for shipping.
Are you storing your coffee correctly? Find out how to keep your beans in tip top condition with our blog post How to Store Coffee.