Peru – Decaf
£9.00 – £36.00 — or subscribe and save 10%
Owners: Various smallholders
Process: Sparkling water (decaf)
Notes: Dark chocolate, creamy cashew nuts and orange marmalade with good acidity
Find out more about the farmers
Sparkling water decaf process
A blend of coffees from the the area around Jaen, main city of the Cajamarca region in northern Perú.
The Cajamarca region holds a lot of potential for quality coffee, with ideal growing conditions and great varieties, but quality is often lost in picking, processing and drying, with producers lacking infrastructure and knowledge. The most vulnerable producers are those that are unassociated.
The sparkling water decaffeination process
This process was first discovered by a scientist called Kurt Zosel at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in 1967 as he was looking at new ways of separating mixtures of substances. In 1988, a German decaffeination company called CR3 developed this process for decaffeination whereby natural carbon dioxide (which comes from prehistoric underground lakes) is combined with water to create ‘sub-critical’ conditions which creates a highly solvent substance for caffeine in coffee. It is a gentle, natural and organically certified process and the good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees a high retention level of other coffee components which contribute to taste and aroma.
The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
After the water has been added, the beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.
- The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
- This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.
- The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content, after which it is ready for roasting.
There are several benefits to using this process for decaffeination:
- The agent used for extracting the caffeine is entirely natural and the process can be classified as ‘organic’ due to the complete lack of chemicals used throughout. There is also no health risk by consuming coffee that has been decaffeinated in this way.
- The way the process works means the other compounds in the green bean are left untouched, meaning decaffeination has no effect on the flavour and aroma of the finished product. The carbon dioxide is very selective and doesn’t extract the carbohydrates and proteins in the green bean which contribute to flavour and smell.
- The cell structure of the green bean and the finished roasted bean is unchanged which is of great advantage when working with speciality coffees.
- The by-products are 100% natural and recyclable.
This lot is made up of day lots of coffees from producers all over Cajamarca that were purposefully blended together based on cup profile.
27 different producers contributed to this blend and all of the day lots come from the middle part of the harvest in high altitude areas, which were processed and dried on the producers’ farms. Most producers in Northern Peru have their own hand pulping machine and fermentation tank where they process the coffee, before drying it on their patio or raised beds. Once the coffees have been processed, farmers deliver them as parchment to the Falcon warehouse in Jaen, where they are graded, analysed for moisture content, roasted and cupped.