We have spent years searching for a decaf that doesn't taste like...decaf. Most decaf coffees have an aftertaste of cereal or toast, but this decaf was processed in a unique way, and tastes like a sweet iced tea with notes of chocolate!
This lot from Colombia highlights a unique decaf process: sugar cane ethyl acetate, also called natural decaf.
In this sugar cane process, the coffee is first conditioned by water and steam, causing the beans to swell which allows for the caffeine to be extracted. Then comes the ethyl acetate wash. The ethyl acetate process begins by fermenting molasses from sugar cane (which is plentiful in Colombia, making it an excellent resource for the coffee community) to create ethanol which is then mixed with acetic acid in order to make ethyl acetate, which dissolves the caffeine.
The beans are then cleansed with water, and steamed in order to fully clean them out, and the final step is to dry the beans until they reach the same moisture level they were originally at.