Process: Fully Washed - Water
Decaffeinating: A l'eau - Mountain Water
Sensory profile: A coffee with a round profile. Sweet, caramel notes. A decaffeinated profile.
This water decaffeinated coffee is the result of work carried out for several years in partnership with the Mexican company Descamex, which has a long experience of the decaffeination process because it was the first Latin American company to use this process in 1983.
Water decaffeination does not involve use of solvents, but rather a phenomenon called the osmosis principle; a coffee bean is composed of 74% non-soluble components, 25% soluble aromatic components and 1.2% caffeine, and the water decaffeination process has an action on these last two.
The coffee beans are placed in a steam bath, to open the beans’ pores and extract the soluble aromatic components and caffeine. The caffeine present in this water is filtered to retain only water packed with aroma precursors. These first lots of decaffeinated and “dearomatised” green coffee beans is sold at a very low price on coffee markets.
The water packed with aromatic components is used to extract the caffeine from the rest of the beans by osmosis. Osmosis is a principle whereby a highly concentrated solution is diffused through a semi-permeable membrane into a less concentrated solution until a point of equilibrium is reached. The green coffee beans are immersed in water baths containing the same aromatic components as those found in the coffee bean, with the exception of caffeine. Under certain temperature and pressure conditions, the principle of osmosis will allow the water bath to reach an equilibrium.
50% of the caffeine passes through the water bath and 50% remains in the coffee bean. The process is repeated up to 10 times to reduce the caffeine content in the bean to a minimum, i.e. to between 0.01% and 0.02%.