Our latest Decaf offering comes from San Lorenzo, an indigenous group based in the Rio Sucio municipality of Caldas. San Lorenzo has 11,500 inhabitants with 1,150 farmers growing and producing coffee within the 21 communities. This producer group is part of the Cooperativa de Caficultores de Alto Occidente de Caldas which was established in 1964. The indigenous inhabitants believe in the Pacha Mama, where they see the land as a living being. To them it is their duty to protect the natural environment and have as little impact as possible from their farming of coffee and to leave it as it has always been.
During the harvest, the families work together with their neighbours to select ripe cherry before de-pulping in micro-beneficios where they will then de-pulp and ferment the coffee in water for 16 -24 hours depending on the weather. The coffee is then washed and then put out to dry on small drying patios on the roofs of the houses
where they will dry for between 8 – 14 days, depending on the weather. They then deliver it to the Co-operative where it is assessed and categorised before being allowed to rest and then milled for shipment.
The decaffeination process for this coffee is unique. The caffeine is extracted using a natural by-product of sugar cane and water. This process avoids excessive temperatures seen in other decaffeination processes and leaves a coffee with enhanced sweetness which roasts and tastes much more like the original, caffeinated version.
The big advantage of this process, outside of the flavour profile, is that it was developed and is completed in Colombia. This allows for the verticalization of the supply chain without the extra costs and food miles of shipping the coffee to decaffeination plants in Mexico, Canada or Germany and the profits stay within the county of origin.