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This is a washed Excelso grade coffee from Cooperativa Da Caficultores in the region of Quindío. This lot was sourced in collaboration with Azahar Coffee (my favorite coffee in Bogota!) Company and has been expertly decaffeinated using a solvent-based ethyl-acetate method.
This lot is made up from various members of Cooperativa Da Caficultores Del Quindío, principally in the municipalities of Calarca, Cordoba, Genova and Pijao, in the Quindio department of Western-Central Colombia. The co-op was established in 1966 to support farmers and improve the economic, social, and cultural conditions of their members. Farms range between altitudes of 1,500 - 2,000masl and cultivate the varieties of Colombia, Castillo, and Caturra.
This coffee utilizes a washed process prior to decaffeination. Ripe cherries are selectively handpicked de-pulped and then traditionally fermented in tanks for 12-24 hours to break down the remaining mucilage. At this point, the coffee is thoroughly washed in clean water, followed by natural drying in parabolic dryers for 10-12 days, with some drying finished off mechanically.
The decaffeination process is solvent-based, and the agent used for the process is ethyl-acetate (also known as ethyl alcohol). It is derived from a mix of acetic acid (vinegar) and a natural extract distilled from sugar cane, blackberries, beets, or sometimes grapes. A direct-solvent process is used meaning that the beans are steamed to open their pores and are then rinsed in ethyl acetate repeatedly to remove the caffeine. Next, the beans are dried but not completely, 10-12% humidity remains, and then the open bean is sealed with natural wax that in no way affects the flavor, fragrance, or aroma of the coffee.