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The town of Buesaco lies high on a ridge in the Andes Mountains of the Nariño department in Colombia. The Cooperativa de Cafés Especiales de Nariño has its offices, cupping lab, and warehouses here, where the coop collects coffees from smallholders whose farms are tucked into the slopes surrounding the town. The coop works with more than 300 smallholder farmers all over the Nariño department who generally harvest coffee all year round. Here at the coop’s facilities, lots are analyzed and purchased, and the farmers are paid premiums on top of the market price. These premiums incentivize high-quality standards and good agricultural practices, like avoiding the usage of glyphosate and other chemicals. The coop cups coffees throughout harvest delivery to build lots that are uniform and consistent in bean size and cup profile. This lot of decaffeinated coffee in particular consists of small batches of beans from farms around the Galeras Volcano. Sugar cane ethyl acetate or commonly known as EA decaf is a natural process of decaffeinating coffee. It is usually found in Colombia where sugar cane is readily available and starts with making molasses from sugar cane. Once created, it sits in vats to ferment. The bacteria produce acetic acid, much like fermenting coffee, and at the peak of fermentation, alcohol is added to make something called ethyl acetate. For it to be applied to coffee first, the green coffee is steamed in tanks to elevate the moisture level — the beans swell, which allows the extraction of caffeine. Ethyl acetate is added to the mixture, and it dissolves the caffeine in the coffee. The coffee is then washed with water and laid to dry. In theory, the coffee should reach the same moisture content as it arrived in, which is somewhere between 11-12%. The most important part of EA coffee, and why it tastes so sweet, is it avoids high pressure and high heat, which degrades coffee quickly. This allows the natural terroir flavors to come through, making it a sweet and bright decaf.

Blueberry

Fruit

Berry

Type

Decaf

Origin

Buesaco, Narino, Colombia

Roast

Medium

Species

Arabica

Varieties

Timor, Tekisic, L1 (Lugmapata 1)

Process

Anaerobic Fermentation

Altitude

1850m

Producer

Cooperativa de Cafés Especiales de Nariño

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