Decaf Colombia Aponte Village
This coffee came about through a conversation with Eton at Atlantic Specialty Coffee. We’ve had a keen focus on decaffeinating a high-quality microlot for some time now, but the problem that we have always ran into was a high toll number that the stations work in. Typically, stations will only decaffeinate a coffee if the lot is fifty to seventy-five bags. This is quite a large lot of decaf for us, which has kept us from working through a station to decaffeinate coffee. Lucky for us, Eton has been thinking about doing this same idea, so we agreed to split the lot this first year to decrease the risk, hoping for good results. We worked with our friend Pedro at Pergamino to create a fifty bag microlot from Aponte that would fit our profile perfectly. Everything aligned just right, and the results are some of the best decaf we’ve ever purchased.
Two factors make this Nariño Aponte Village honey truly special. One reason is where it is made. Located in the village of Aponte deep in the Juanambú canyon, it is produced by the indigenous community of the Inga. This group belonged to the northernmost part of the Inca Empire, who colonized the south of Colombia in the late XIV century, a bit before the Spanish came. The land here is communal, and its population is ruled by a “cabildo,” a group of elders that make sure that their ancestral laws and traditions are upheld.
The second reason is the way the coffee is processed. Usually, coffee in Colombia is fermented and washed after it's picked and de-pulped. In this case, the coffee was dried before being washed. The intense fermentation process that occurs when coffee is dried without washing its mucilage (honey-like substance around the seed) leads to a cup profile of intense ripe red fruit, that reminds us of cherries and strawberries. This process is very delicate, and if done incorrectly or without the proper conditions can lead to vinegar notes and a terrible cup of coffee. Weather in this region is perfect for this type of drying, as the heavy and cold winds that cross the canyon permit an even and fast drying process of the coffee seed, even covered by its mucilage.
- Information help by Pedro Echevarria (Pergamino)
Sugar cane ethyl acetate or commonly known as EA decaf, is a natural process of decaffeinating coffee. It is usually found in Colombia where sugar cane is readily available and starts with making molasses from sugar cane. Once created, it sits in vats to ferment. The bacteria produce acetic acid, much like fermenting coffee, and at the peak of fermentation, alcohol is added to make something called ethyl acetate.
For it to be applied to coffee first, the green coffee is steamed in tanks to elevate the moisture level — the beans swell, which allows the extraction of caffeine. Ethyl acetate is added to the mixture, and it dissolves the caffeine in the coffee. The coffee is then washed with water and laid to dry. In theory, the coffee should reach the same moisture content as it arrived in, which is somewhere between 11-12%. The most important part of EA coffee, and why it tastes so sweet, is it avoids high pressure and high heat, which degrades coffee quickly. This allows the natural terroir flavors to come through, making it a sweet and bright decaf.
Wanna know more about how we brew? Then visit our brew methods page cause "this is how we brew it" (think Montell Jordan when reading that last part).
FILTER - COMING SOON...
ESPRESSO - Modbar EP
Brew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars
Pressure Profile: 0 sec to 4 sec - line pressure, from 4 sec till done - 9 bars
Decaf Colombia Aponte Village
This is a Relationship Coffee from our friend Pedro at Pergamino Coffee Exporters. It is a microlot that we worked with Eton from Atlantic Specialty Coffee to decaffeinate. We purchased twenty-five 70-kilo bags of this coffee for $3.53/lb and we cupped it at an 86.5. We paid $3.53 ex-warehouse to Atlantic Specialty, Pergamino was paid 3.30 FOB for these twenty-five bags.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.30/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as the final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage upfront upon contracting.
We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.