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Coffee Origin: South America
Our Colombian EA Decaffeinated coffee has a mild aroma and sweetness and the balance that is found in our Colombian Supremo Huila. It shares a full bodied nutty roast flavor with mild vanilla and sweet citrus.
The Colombian EA Decaffeinated we provide uses the specialty grade Excelso bean.
Colombian coffee is diverse, and crops are grown in both Northern and Southern regions. Colombian coffee is very balanced, has good body, brightness (acidity), and flavor. Historically, Colombian beans were sold based on bean size (Excelso, Supremo), as opposed to Central American and South American coffees graded on altitude.
Colombian Excelso Huila
The first coffee crops were planted in the eastern part of Colombia, and the first commercial production occurred in 1835 with 2,560 green coffee bags. Colombian coffee became an export in the second half of the 19th century, and the United States, Germany, and France became consumers of Colombian coffee. At the turn of the 20th century, international prices dropped, and so did profits of large coffee estates in Colombia. The western regions of Colombia took the lead in the development of the Colombian coffee industry. Between 1905 and 1935, the Colombian coffee industry grew significantly due to the politics of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC) in 1927. The Federation created a union of local farmers and small producers, and confronted logistical and commercial difficulties. Today, Colombia has 38 cooperatives independent of the FNC, and of those, nineteen are certified fair trade organic. The majority of Colombian coffee is shade grown with 1.4 million hectares (10,000 square meters) under canopy, and only 717,000 hectares grown in full sun. The Colombian Excelso Huila coffee is specially grown in the region of Huila. The Valencia family has run the coffee collecting and processing business in Huila for over 30 years. During this period they have discovered the finest growing regions in the state. Growing at different elevations, the Excelso (smaller) and Supremo (larger) beans offer various bean sizes for consumer choice. This bean variety is what sets the Valencia family owned and operated business apart from other big mill multinations.
Caffeine is a chemical compound naturally occurring in coffee beans, as well as many other plant varieties (cocoa, tea, etc). For that reason, any method of decaffeination, regardless of process, is by most accounts an "unnatural and imperfect" process. Caffeine is a water-soluble substance, thus water is used in basically all forms of decaffeination either by soaking or steaming the beans. This makes the beans more porous and allows the caffeine molecules to be released. Water alone is not enough, since it would take too long and washes out all flavors and aromas in the process, thus all decaffeination processes must also use a decaffeinating agent. These agents help speed up the process, thereby minimizing the "washed-out" effects that water alone would have.
Ethyl Acetate Process
This is a natural spring water & Ethyl Acetate (EA) combined process. Ethyl Acetate is naturally present in every coffee bean (as well as many fruits and vegetables), therefore no addition of foreign substances takes place. Ethyl Acetate is obtained from the sugar cane industry around Palmira, Colombia and no chemicals are therefore added to the beans. The decaffeination plant works exclusively with this natural origin solvent and fresh spring water for their caffeine stripping process. The Ethyl Acetate process allows for gentle caffeine extraction from the bean avoiding excessive heat and pressure thus retaining the natural structure of the coffee bean cells.
In some countries, bean size is measured then by sifting raw beans through a perforated container called a Sieve. Grade 18 beans will pass through a screen with 18/64" diameter holes, but are stopped by the next smaller sieve with 16/64" diameter holes. By this process, grade size is determined. The terms Excelso (smallest) and Supremo (largest) are used as the general coffee grading terms in Colombia. Excelso coffee beans can pass through grade 16 sieve perforations but will not make it through a grade 14 screen. (Including both flat bean and Peaberry types, in a naturally occurring mix which are later sorted.) Excelso beans are large, but yet smaller than Supremo coffee beans and even though they may come from the same tree, they are still sorted by size and grown with different characteristics. Supremo coffee beans can pass through screens Grade 17 and up. (17/64" diameter holes) Coffee grown at higher elevations tends to have a larger, denser, more flavorful body.
Flag description: Three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double-width), blue, and red; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830; various interpretations of the colors exist and include: yellow for the gold in Colombia's land, blue for the seas on its shores, and red for the blood spilled in attaining freedom; alternatively, the colors have been described as representing more elemental concepts such as sovereignty and justice (yellow), loyalty and vigilance (blue), and valor and generosity (red); or simply the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
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