Decaf - Colombia
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Farm - San Lorenzo, Colombia
Process - Washed, Sugar Cane Process Decaf
Varietal - Castillo and Caturra
Altitude - 1600-2000masl
Notes - Milk chocolate, toasted nuts
This producer group is part of the Cooperativa de Caficultores de Alto Occidente de Caldas which was established in 1964. The San Lorenzo indigenous group are based in the Rio Sucio municipality of Caldas where there are 11,500 inhabitants with 1,150 farmers growing and producing coffee within the 21 communities. This region until recently was heavily inhabited by the FARC, ELN, Paramilitary groups and guerrillas who looked to control this central corridor in Colombia. This region has not been known for specialty production but as the tensions ease and access has improved it is now possible to demonstrate the quality of the coffees available.
The indigenous inhabitants believe in the Pacha Mama where they see the land as a living being. To them it is their duty to protect the natural environment and have as little impact as possible from their farming of coffee and to leave it as it has always been. Each farmer has approximately 0.5 Ha of land in which they have about 2500 coffee trees.During the harvest the families will work with their neighbours to select ripe cherry before de-pulping in micro-beneficios where they will then de-pulp and ferment the coffee in water for 16 -24 hours depending on the weather. The coffee is then washed and then put out to dry on small drying patios on the roofs of the houses where they will dry it for between 8 – 14 days depending on the weather. They then deliver it to the Cooperative where it is assessed and categorised before being allowed to rest and then milled for shipment.
The Sugar Cane Decaf 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 35kg bags ready for export.
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