This coffee comes from Surcafe who are an association of coffee growers in the southern part of Tolima, Colombia. They are are located in the “cañón de las hermosas”, a national park known for its beauty. In the past it has also an are heavily affected by the civil war within Colombia and the Guerilla warfare. In this area the farms range from 1500 – 2100 masl.
The association was created in September of 2017 with the goal of improving quality and helping find new markets for their coffees. It is made up of 117 associates, with 43 of them being organic certified.
Siruma are partners in Colombia started working with the group at the end of 2021. In 2022 Siruma’s agronomist in Tolima has been taking baseline measurements within the group to help identify areas of need for the production of coffee as well as the commercial organisation of the group. Siruma’s agronomist has been implementing workshops with 24 members of the group attending a session. This currently is aimed at the next crop for harvest selection and pulping to ensure correct machine calibration to prevent loss/damage to the coffee coffee.
All coffee is processed at micro wet mills on their small 1 – 4 Ha farms. Where they pick, pulp and ferment the coffees and then dry in solar tents or on the roofs. Once ready the coffee is then delivered to the associations collection point and cupped where Siruma then receive samples to approve the physical quality and cup quality.
The Sugar Cane Decaf Process
The coffee first undergoes steaming at low pressures to remove the silver skins before then being moistened with hot water to allow the beans to swell and soften. This then prepares the coffee for the hydrolysis of caffeine, which is attached to the salts of the chlorogenic acid within the coffee.
The extractors (naturally obtained from the fermentation of sugar cane and not from chemical synthesis) are then filled with moistened coffee which is washed several times with the natural ethyl acetate solvent, to reduce the caffeine down to the correct levels. Once this process is finished the coffee then must be cleaned of the remaining ethyl acetate by using a flow of low pressured saturated steam, before moving onto the final steps. From here the coffee is sent to vacuum drying drums where the water previously used to moisten the beans is removed and the coffee dried to between 10-12%.
The coffee is then cooled quickly to ambient temperature using fans before the final step of carnauba wax being applied to polish and provide the coffee with protection against environmental conditions and to help provide stability. From here, the coffee is the packed into 35kg bags ready for export.
The result is a great coffee with notes of peaches and lemons ona body and a pleasant aftertaste of black tea.