Colombia - La Plata (Sugar Cane Decaf) - Espresso
Great decaffeinated coffees are hard to find. So when we cup a good one, we get tend to jump on it. Decafs used to be bland, watery, lack viscosity and taste like old licorice. Not any more.
Why did we buy it?
Our supplier has been sourcing great decaf coffees for years now, with their best output coming from a group of Colombian farms named 'Origin Select'.
This project groups together a series of farms that grow coffee that is ideally suited to decaf. They are typically very sweet, balanced, offer great body and a layer of complexity, without being overly complex.
This particular lot called 'La Plata' has lived up well next to the previous lots we have chosen. In fact, during recent cuppings, customers have not spotted it on a table with numerous other cups of 'normal' coffees, which we think is a great sign.
What's good about it?
Sugarcane processing has hugely impacted how the coffee ends up in your cup. The process results in much more body and oils being left in the coffee beans, so your espresso actually looks like lovely coffee (with a bold crema).
How to prepare it?
Due to its forgiving nature, it works well in all kinds of espresso machines, whether you have a high-end setup such as a Rocket, Marzocco, Expobar (Pro-Sumer) or the likes of a Rancilio Silvia, Gaggia Classic, De'Longhi or Dualit.
Take advantage of a great program dedicated to bringing the highest-quality, non-chemical-processed decaf coffees to market. Our Origin Select Decaf offerings are single-origin blends of coffees selected by cup quality grown by multiple smallholder producers.
Our Colombian E.A. (ethyl acetate) decafs are cupped as regular green samples and specifically identified for decaffeination, which happens in-country in Colombia before the coffee goes to export. This allows us to maintain both the integrity of the quality of the coffees we choose to decaf, but also to extend our intentional and responsible sourcing to our decaf offerings as well as our “regular.”
This process works by soaking green coffee in a bath of water and a solvent called ethyl acetate, which is naturally derived from fermented sugar, among other natural sources. The solvent bonds to the salts of chlorogenic acid within the coffee, which allows for the extraction of caffeine. The coffee is removed from its bath and steamed at low pressure to ensure no traces of E.A. are left, and the finished product is almost entirely free of any but the most trivial (0.1–0.3%) caffeine content.