In this method, coffee cherries are depulped to remove the outer fruit layer, followed by fermentation to break down remaining mucilage. The beans are then thoroughly washed and dried. This process yields a clean and vibrant cup with bright acidity, highlighting the intrinsic qualities of the coffee beans.
In natural processing, ripe cherries are dried with their outer skin intact. As they dry, sugars from the fruit seep into the beans, imparting a rich and fruity flavor. This method often produces a heavy body and a unique, sweet complexity.
Honey (Pulped Natural) Processing
Cherries are depulped to remove skin but some mucilage is intentionally left on the beans. They are then dried, creating a spectrum from "white honey" (least mucilage) to "black honey" (most mucilage). This process can result in a balance between the clean profile of washed coffee and the sweetness of natural coffee.
Coffee producers are continuously exploring new methods, such as anaerobic fermentation, extended fermentation, and hybrid processes. These experimental techniques push the boundaries of flavor development, resulting in diverse and sometimes unconventional taste profiles.
Each processing method contributes distinct flavors and characteristics to the final coffee, offering a wide range of sensory experiences for enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.
Chocolate, creamy and full body.
Descafecol is the only decaffeination plant in the Andean region of Colombia. The plant relies entirely on the pure water from the Navado el Ruis (a snow-capped volcano on the border of the departments of Caldas and Tolima) and natural ethyl acetate from sugar cane plants in Palmira, Colombia.
Ethyl acetate is an organic compound (C4H8O2) with a sweet smell—it’s created during fermentation and contributes to what’s often described as the “fruitiness” in a young wine.
At Descafecol, the decaffeination process begins with steaming the green coffee at a very low pressure to remove the silver skins. The beans are then moistened with hot water, which causes them to swell and soften and begins the hydrolysis of the caffeine, which is bonded to salts of chlorogenic acid. (Hydrolysis refers water interacting with a compound and causing it to loosen from other particles.)
The ethyl acetate solvent is then circulated through the beans multiple times until at least 97 percent of the caffeine is removed. A low-pressure, saturated steam is then applied to remove any last traces of the ethyl acetate, and finally the coffee is vacuum-dried in drums to remove any water and bring the final moisture level to between 10 and 12 percent.
The coffee is cooled to ambient temperature with fans and then polished with carnauba wax to protect it against humidity.