As the coffee drinker progresses in their appreciation for coffee flavour, the effects of caffeine start to become quite prominent, especially when one drinks 4-5+ cups a day. Traditionally, we drink coffee to give us that ‘kick’ to start the day. Now, as the realm of specialty coffee continues to open new chapters of coffee flavour, people are beginning to look forward to their morning cuppa for a different reason: the taste.


This demand for coffee based on flavour rather than the caffeine naturally points to the increasing interest in decaf coffee and the emergence of higher-grade coffee being sold as decaf. We believe that no matter the caffeine content, all coffee should be sourced and roasted to produce an optimum flavour. This means exploring decaf options within the realms of espresso and filter brewing. We are very excited to be leading the pack by offering our single origin decaf roasted not only in the traditional espresso profile but for filter as well! V60 owners rejoice! In addition, we have upgraded our decaf from our Swisse Water Decaf blend to an EA Sugarcane Single Origin Colombian Popayan. Exactly how our new decaf earns its lengthy title? Let’s dive into that right now!


Beginning as any other coffee would, these cherries are raised on the world renowned, Popayan Reserve in Colombia. The ripest, healthiest cherries are then picked and transported to the only decaffeination plant in the Andean region of Colombia, Descafecol S.A.S. What makes this plant stand out is the way they rely entirely on natural materials to gently and effectively remove 97% or more of the caffeine from the beans.

How the EA Sugarcane process is better

Using pure water from the Navado el Ruis Volcano and natural ethyl acetate from sugarcane plants grown in Palmira, Colombia, this process avoids excessive heat and pressure (unlike other decaf processes), which helps retain the coffee beans original cell structure. Ethyl acetate (EA) is an organic compound (C4H8O2) that is quite sweet to smell, found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. In this case, sugarcane provides the natural source.


To prepare the green beans for ‘extraction’ of caffeine, they are steamed at a very low pressure to remove the silver skins before being moistened with hot water which makes the beans, swell and soften. This triggers the hydrolysis of the caffeine, which can be described as the bonded salts of chlorogenic acid inside of the beans. (Hydrolysis is a chemical process in which a molecule of water is added to a substance. Sometimes this addition causes both substance and water molecule to split into two parts).

From here, the beans are moved to the extractor tanks where they are washed thoroughly with the recirculation of the EA and water solvent. This has to be repeated several times to reach a target of 97% caffeine extraction. Once the beans are ‘decaffeinated’ they are stripped of any residual EA, again using steam in a low pressure environment. This ensures there are no more than 5 ppm (parts per million) of EA left in the coffee. This is important as ethyl acetate is a highly volatile substance, but no need to worry, your average banana contains 20 times the amount of EA ppm than this decaf!

The final stage sees the coffee sent to vacuum drying drums to remove excess moisture from the beans and alter the final humidity count to 10-12%. Then, the coffee is cooled quickly to an ambient temperature using fans, before being polished with carnauba wax to protect the coffee beans against environmental humidity.

Sum up, drinkup

All this occurs within 48 hours of the coffee arriving at the Descafecol Plant, with maximum batch sizes of 4,200 kgs. To compare, we have found this decaf a wonderful coffee to roast and extract rich flavours from. It boasts a medium body and medium-low acidity with delicious flavours of mandarin, milk chocolate and honey. As a final feature, this decaf tastes amazing when roasted and brewed as a filter coffee! With this new brew, you can stop counting how many cups you drink a day and enjoy to the flavour you love, except this time, without the caffeinated after-effects!