So day two is for one of the more less popular types of coffee decaf. Decafs are hard, and I understand why some don’t like them. But for the caffeine intolerant amongst you I know how important it is to you (I get the many many e-mails asking us to get more). This year has proved harder to get decafs for some reason. We have cupped more than ever, but also rejected more than ever. But this one is a familiar favourite we have had before.
Its also the CO2 method which I must admit tens to be my favourite of the methods, and the least harmful to the bean. The water process is ok, but CO2 is much kinder to the environment and slightly a better cup.
The CO2 Decaffeination Process
Carbon dioxide is a highly selective solvent for caffeine. Based on this phenomenon, CR3 developed its Natural Liquid Carbon Dioxide Coffee Decaffeination Process. In this process, the natural carbon dioxide is used under sub-critical conditions, i.e. in a liquid state at low temperature and pressure. These particularly gentle process parameters, together with the good caffeine selectivity of CO2, guarantee a high retention rate of the coffee components responsible for aroma and taste. The process can be described in detail as follows:
The raw, unroasted coffee is moistened with water and put into a vessel where it is brought into contact with pressurised, liquid carbon dioxide. By circulation through the coffee, the carbon dioxide draws the caffeine out of the bean. In an evaporator, the caffeine precipitates out from the CO2 which, after evaporation and re-condensation, is pumped again into the vessel containing the coffee for a new cycle. When the required residual caffeine level is reached, the CO2 circulation is stopped and the coffee is discharged into a drier where it is gently dried until it reaches the original moisture content. The coffee is then ready for roasting.
Any way here goes
El Guabo Estate coffee is produced in the San Ignacio region in the Northern Peruvian Highlands. El Guabo is made up of 4 small committees that include 120 families. The average size of each farm is 3 hectares. The excellent coffee that they produce is certified by OCIA and IMO/NATURLAND. During 2003, the total production from El Guabo was approx 6,000 quintales.
Coffee is the mainstay of the economy and the community lives from what they earn selling the coffee beans. It is also not uncommon for beans to be exchanged or bartered (known as ‘treque’) for basic foods as there is considerable poverty at El Guabo. To supplement their income and to provide for their families, many of the families also grow other products such as bananas, yucca and corn.
I have only ever stocked one Peruvian (an organic, like they all seem to be) before as they tend to underwhelm me. Cupping this one, straight away I noticed how clean it was in the cup. For the uninitiated clean means free from taints or faults and means the flavours can come through. It has sharpness and clarity that lets the body, brightness and depth be delivered straight to your tongue. Like many Central American coffees its has a consistency and reliability that means each cup is great.
In the cup expect floral, expect honey and expect a fine cup of organically produced decaf.
Farm: El Guabo
Varietal: Bourbon Caturra Catimor Paché Típica
Processing: Fully Washed and dried on patio
Altitude: 1,250-1,400 metres
Owner: Association of growers
City: District and Province of San Ignacio
Region: Department of Cajamarca