Region: Huila and Cauca
Farmers: 7 Smallholders
Growing Altitude: 1,600 - 1,850 masl
Processing: Washed, Decaf (Sugarcane)
Varietal: Castillo, Caturra
Tasting notes: Toffee, Red Apple, Chocolate
This decaf lot was sourced from 7 producers across 4 municipalities in Huila, some of Azahar’s longest lasting producer-partner relationships From one of Huila’s most sought after origins and the current home of the Pink Bourbon boom, the municipality of Acevedo: Don Gabriel Castana aka the father of said Pink Bourbon boom, his son Jeferson Castaño Motta, and Duverney Sanchez; from Pitalito: Luis Alberto Jojoa and Carlos Guamanga; from Paicol: Miller Walles; and from Cauca, Jose Olmedo Sanchez.
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.