In the past we’ve been lucky to work with coffees from Colombia’s Cauca department, all of which were produced on single farms. We’ve roasted the wares of Gerardo Irira and a lot of Tabí from Finca Belgravia, coming from the regions of Inzá and Popayán respectively. This new decaffeinated selection comes from
Silvia, a sub-region of Cauca we haven’t worked in before, and has been produced by indigenous members of the Misak community, also known as Guambiano.
The Misak economy relies predominantly on agronomy, of which coffee is widely planted alongside root vegetables like cassava and potatoes, as well as beans and cabbages. The majority of their crops are for internal consumption and self-sustenance, but coffee is primarily a source of external income, especially given the premium prices attached when the coffee produced is of specialty quality. Crop husbandry and picking is all carried out within the community, with no need to hire external help to collect coffee cherries in peak harvesting season.
Over the last five years, we’ve solely purchased decaffeinated coffees that have undergone the Sugar Cane Ethyl Acetate process. Not only does this method provide a secondary income to the producing country, but the green coffee only needs to be transported once rather than twice. Obviously more eco-friendly and less costly, it has a huge impact on cup quality too. The conditions in which coffee is transported are rarely conducive to preserving quality, and so avoiding this process from happening twice is always beneficial for the cup. The coffee, having being shipped only once unlike most decaf options that arrive into the UK via Mexico, Canada or Germany, tastes all the fresher for it.
The decaffeination plant, Descafecol, is located midway between Planadas and Medellín. As well as decaffeinating coffee they also have the facilities to produce instant coffee and a product called “Sugar Roasted Spray Dried Coffee”. Whilst we love the work they do in decaffeinating quality lots of coffee, it’s unlikely we’ll be sampling the other products from Descafecol any time soon.
Silvia, Cauca, Colombia
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Round & silky, we’re finding top notes of watermelon & sweet orange as well as classic milk chocolate, caramel & honeycomb flavours.