Lavado Sugarcane Decaf
Our current decaf coffee is from Lavado in Colombia. Decaffeinated by using what is known as the sugarcane method, this coffee will give you notes of golden syrup and orange with a creamy body.
This blend is part of a special program of decaffeinated coffees that Azahar developed this year in response to the unprecedented circumstances that arose because of the global pandemic. The inaugural decaf project highlighted coffees from across Colombia that were both decaffeinated as well as processed in different ways. It is an iconic combination of coffees from seven pioneering partner producers from four municipalities across the department of Huila; two women, five men, two of which are father and son. We call them pioneros, or pioneers, not only because they are pioneering in their field and respective communities by experimenting with different post-collection processing techniques and systems, but also because Azahar have worked with almost all of them for several years now. This group of growers has also consistently delivered high-quality, clean-cupping coffees year after year. We feel very fortunate to be able to offer their coffee to you.
The Art of Production
This is a decaf washed lot with a double fermentation process. Ripe cherries are fermented for 24 hours prior to pulping. After pulping, the coffee is further fermented for 12-48 hours in a tank, then washed with clean water. The fully washed coffee is then dried in the sun for 20-30 days on patios or in parabolic greenhouse-style dryers.
Like all of Azahar’s decaf coffees, this lot was decaffeinated at the Decafecol plant in Manizales, in the department of Caldas. The decaffeination process utilized by Descafecol is a solvent-based process meaning that the caffeine is removed from the coffee beans using a solvent. The decaffeination agent used is ethyl acetate (also known as ethyl alcohol) and is derived from a mix of acetic acid (vinegar) and a natural extract distilled from sugar cane, blackberries, beets or sometimes grapes. The process utilises a direct-solvent method meaning that first 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.
The 7 producers who contributed to this lot range across 4 municipalities in the department of Huila: Acevedo, Palestina, Pitalito and Timana.
The Huila region is well known for its coffee quality, but also for being the first historical department in Colombia to begin coffee production. Farmers in Huila are very quality-conscious. Their crops receive a lot of care and attention and they tend to be the most pioneering when it comes to embracing new processing and farming methods.
Huilan coffee represents 18% of Colombian production. It is always in high demand and is often preferred as a single origin offering for its balance of acidity and sweetness. The Huilan landscape is dominated by volcanos and mountains, providing a rich terroir of high altitude and fertile soils and offering a wide range of ecosystems where coffee can be grown. There are producing farms ranging from 1500 m.a.s.l. up to 2.300 m.a.s.l., conferring great attributes to the cup profile such as bright acidity and characteristic sweet notes.