The arrival of new coffee beans is creating a lot of excitement in the Bailies roastery. The new coffee is from Colombia and more importantly – it’s a decaf.
It comes from a group of farmers in Planadas, Tolima. It’s a small south Colombian region that is locked by West and Central Andes, almost inaccessible due to mountain ranges and unsafe areas in south Huila and partially still controlled by paramilitaries. What makes this coffee growing region unique is that it has some extraordinary conditions for growing coffee. It’s grown in an altitude of around 1600 masl. in a loam and clay soil rich in volcanic ashes. The coffee varietals being grown here are all traditional – Typica, Caturra, Castillo and Colombia. The taste profile of this coffee is quite distinctive – it’s very sweet and juicy with floral notes of coffee blossom with a chocolate aftertaste. Every single farmer has his own small washing station on his farm and all the coffees were wet processed to highlight the cleanliness and sweetness. The special climate in this part of Colombia makes it one of the few places on earth where coffee produces cherries multiple times per year.
After the harvesting and drying, this coffee is being shipped to Manizales to be decaffeinated. It’s done by very special process – sugarcane process or natural decaffeination – which is the best method how to preserve all the aromas and flavours in the coffee. It’s using ethyl acetate as a solvent to extract all the caffeine out of the green beans. Although its name sounds chemical, it’s an organic substance naturally found in many types of fruit. This particular one that was used for decaffeination is a by-product of fermenting sugarcane molasses. The EA being collected, cleared and mixed with clean spring water in specific ratio. The coffee is then soaked into this mix for a few hours. The specific properties of this mix will allow selective extraction of caffeine – while the mix appears to be saturated for all the organic compounds in the coffee, it’ll freely allow the caffeine to leave the beans. That means the caffeine can be extracted while keeping all of the aromas and flavours in the beans. After that the coffee is simply washed, dried and shipped to Bailies. Apart from tasting great, it’s also completely safe and free from any toxins and solvents. So you can be rest assured that you’re drinking great coffee with 0% caffeine and nothing else. It’s sustainably grown, ethically sourced, naturally processed and perfectly roasted.