Our Brazil Mountain Water Processed Decaf.

mcr_decaf12There are many ways to produce decaffeinated coffee and as we started to educate ourselves about these processes, it became clear to us that there was only 2 viable options.

Maine Coast Roast was not willing to roast and sell chemically processed decaffeinated coffee, so we not only looked at the options, we tasted them.

Below is a summary of just the water-based process:

Swiss Water Process

This is an "indirect" decaffeination method, Beans are soaked in near boiling water, extracting the flavor oils and caffeine from the coffee. The water is separated into a tank where it is forced through charcoal filters and generally stirred around in hot water to remove the caffeine. More flavor oils (colloids) are damaged/removed. The beans are then reintorduced to the swill, absorbing their flavor. Since no chemicals are used, there's nothing to worry about but higher prices and duller coffee. We have had trouble in the past with the cup quality of SWP coffees ; bright, lively coffees especially can end up cupping quite flat. The Indonesian coffees seem well-suited to SWP processing.

Mountain Water Process

We get water process decaf coffee that is remarkably good quality from a factory in Mexico. The name of the company is Sanroke, and they call their process "Mountain Water Process Decaffeination" (to distinguish it from the "Swiss Water Process"). The water is from the glaciers of the Pico de Orizaba mountain in Mexico. The process they use is the same as described above - using water to float the coffee oils and caffeine in a solution, then filtering the solution to remove caffeine, and returning the water soluble oils to the coffee. The only difference is that the cups are delicious!! The SWP decafs we cupped often were bland and lackluster, whereas the WP decafs taste very close to premium regular coffees.

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