Crown Jewel Decaf Guatemala Suchitepéquez Familia Bressani Mountain Water Process CJ1479 – 28482 – SPOT RCWHSE

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Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Apple juice, caramel, cocoa, clean

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Overview 

This is a traditional washed coffee from the Bressani family and their farm Finca Atitlan San Jerónimo Miramar in Guatemala, which has been decaffeinated by chemical-free Mountain Water Process. 

The flavor profile is creamy and sweet with notes of cherry, marshmallow, and almond. 

Our roasters recommend a lower-than-usual charge temperature, extended drying phase, and caution that first crack and color change may be a little difficult to detect. 

When brewed the coffee impressed us as both a batch brewed drip coffee and as an espresso. 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Delicious decaf has been a staple of the Crown’s menu from the beginning, and it drives us on a never-ending search for excellence. This Guatemalan decaf is creamy and smooth, with a prominent orchard cherry note and plenty of sweetness. 

Underpinned by a chocolaty, coconut milk body and loads of almondy, marzipan-like and marshmallow notes, we immediately thought “espresso.” When roasted and dialed on our La Marzocco, the coffee really sprung to life with a little lime-like brightness and hints of warm spice like clove and cinnamon. 

Source Analysis by Chris Kornman and Mayra Orellana-Powell 

In a rarity for Royal and the Crown Jewel product line, this coffee came to us in its already-decaffeinated form. As we sample and select coffees in any given season, serendipitous coffees occasionally frequent the table, and some of our favorite long term relationships have started with cold calls. 

For this Guatemala from the Atitlán designated growing region, one of our senior coffee buyers and the VP of Trading Activity Alex Mason noted, “I bought it for old fashioned reasons… it cupped well.”  We ended up doing a little detective work, as the original offered sample came to us with minimal traceability, and to our surprise we found out the coffee was grown on a renowned estate: Finca San Jerónimo Miramar. 

Fourth-generation farmers Giorgio and Gina Bressani run the farm, a relatively large estate which is situated in Guatemala’s Suchitepéquez department on the literal slopes of Volcán Atitlán, one of Guatemala’s over-30 active volcanoes (Atitlán last erupted in 1853). 

San Jerónimo is a multifaceted endeavor, and surprisingly, its most prominent feature is likely its active creamery, where it processes dairy products (notably cheeses) from the herd of cattle and those of neighboring farms. The cows also contribute to a healthy biosphere on the farm: in addition to coffee production, there is also an active lab (the farm produces its own composted fertilizer, for example) and a small village for farm workers including a school. A large portion of the land is native forest, and a river that cuts through the land powers the electricity for the farm itself. 

Once the coffee finished harvesting and processing, it was exported for decaffeination. Royal exclusively decaffeinates coffee by two processes: Water and Ethyl Acetate (aka “Sugarcane”) process. This coffee was sent from Guatemala to Veracruz, where it began its next steps at Descamex, whose proprietary decaffeination method is called Mountain Water Process.  

During the water process, the green coffee is pre-soaked in water to expand the beans for caffeine extraction. The hydrated green coffee is then introduced to a unique solution of concentrated coffee solubles that draw out the caffeine while minimizing the loss of flavor compounds. Once the caffeine has been removed the green coffee is re-dried and re-bagged for transport, and the extract solution is filtered of its caffeine and recycled to be used again.  

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

In step with many of our recent decaffeinated offerings, this Mountain Water Process Guatemala comes in with a few unique idiosyncrasies. It’s pretty low density and fairly high in water activity despite a normal looking moisture percentage – this is common in decafs and likely related to the processing method of hydrating and redrying to remove caffeine. 

Mountain Water Processed coffee also takes on a brownish hue and won’t begin to look normal until well into Maillard Reactions, so if you’re used to roasting coffee by color, expect this to start looking yellow or brown around the same temperatures as usual. 

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

For this particular coffee I was feeling confident with the idea of letting the coffee go and seeing what happens. I didn’t plan much and ended up doing two roasts. 

For my first roast on the Diedrich, I batched 5.5lbs, preheated and charged the coffee at 408F, adding 85% gas and 50% air. Turning point happened at 1:26 and 186F. For any other process of coffee this would be a normal roast but I wasn’t sure if it would work with a low-density decaf. Just after the turning point I dropped the gas to 30% and marked color change at 310F (even though it is extremely hard to catch the color with this Decaf). After yellowing, my rate of rise started dropping fast so I added 60% gas for about a minute just to help reach the first crack. Finally, the coffee cracked at 381F and dropped at 394F with 1:34 of post-crack development. 

Tasting notes: I got marshmallow, nougat, and simple syrup with a milk chocolate mouthfeel as well as graham crackers on the aftertaste. On the acidity side I got low citric and a hint of tamarind. Not too bad, but I thought it could be better. 

For the second roast I charged 5.5 lbs at 386F and waited until 1:13 to add 70% gas. So far, it was looking good. At minute 3:30 the rate of rise was getting faster and faster so I first dropped gas at 60% but a few seconds later to 30%. As I have said before, it is really hard to catch the color change so I ended up marking yellow at 320F. Starting 50% air at minute 3:31, and reach first crack at 380F, it was quiet at the beginning so I needed to look closely into the trier (take in consideration that using the trier many times can impact the probe reading on your curve) I gave it 1:55 seconds and dropped the coffee at 401F. 

On my cupping notes I got a nice brown sugar sweetness, but I was surprised by the clementine acidity. Also, decaffeinated coffee tends to have a taste from the processing that is particularly strong in some roasts, and on my second roast that flavor was noticeably lower. And now, while I was finishing this writing Joshua Wismans, the new Tasting room manager, and the team on bar were working on the brew analysis by doing some batch brews and espresso shots using my first roast. Regardless of my notes during cupping, this coffee is going to perform simply great! The espresso had big acidity and sweetness, with a tasty mouth feel but what surprised me the most was the taste of the batch brew. This is a perfect option for decaf lovers. I cannot wait to read the full brew analysis. We will serve this coffee at the Crown soon as our new espresso option! Please come by for a shot.  

 

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  

Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

Decaffeinated coffees, especially water-processed types, tend to have high water activity due to the processing they undergo. This one was no different, and I approached this roast with the intention of moving quickly through Green, and spending as much time in Maillard as possible without letting the roast ‘take off’ into Post-Crack Development.  

To do this, I started with a lower charge temperature of 418F, and experimented with a lower drum speed as well in order to hit the coffee with more conductive heat. Coupled with P8 heat application well past yellowing, I was able to push this coffee pretty hard in the Bullet. I only reduced heat to P6 as I anticipated first crack at roughly 6:30 / 365F, then engaged P4 at First Crack proper. My airflow was set at F2 from the start as per usual, increasing to F3 at peak RoR, then again to F4 a little before ‘yellowing’ (a bit of a misnomer with a decaf coffee), then to F5 when RoR began to spike a bit before First Crack.  

My initial heat application may not have been enough to give this coffee a majority of time in Maillard, but I was able to achieve some good Post-Crack Development without overshooting my temperature goal. My ratio of Green/Maillard/PCD was at 53% / 24% / 22% – definitely less time than I wanted in Maillard, but then again, the ‘yellowing’ may have been marked a bit late as I was hesitant to call out when this coffee had entered Maillard. 2:18 in PCD may seem excessive, but I have had excellent results in the past when developing decaffeinated coffee more extensively. Likewise, I’ve had great results having coffees with high water activity spend a significant amount of time in Green. The proof is in the pudding! 

And pudding it was, though I would have liked to take this coffee a bit darker. When hot, this coffee had a bright limey acidity with strong cocoa powder undertones, but this cooled into a very distinct umami note somewhere between coconut milk, very light soy sauce, and mounds bar with roasted almond. The body on this coffee is spectacularly smooth. As it cooled, some fresh cherry flavor came out, but I think taking this coffee a bit darker might serve everyone well in terms of balanced sugar and acidity. So take my parameters below with a grain of salt, and don’t be afraid to hit this coffee with plenty of heat! 

https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/BnzpjOeo78tZZyfCO2Ig5 

 

Brew Analysis by Joshua Wismans 

The decafs of the Crown Jewel program have a history of defying expectations for what a decaf can be and taste like. This decaf from the Bressani family in Guatemala is no exception. Often the flavors of the water process can be detected, but this decaf had our baristas fooled. Understanding that most of our customers will be serving this as either an espresso or on batch brew, those are the avenues we decided to explore in our brew analysis. 

For the espresso, we explored a ratio of 1:1.9 with a 20 gram dose and a 38 gram output. We’re lucky to be working with a Linea PB with built-in scales in the tasting room, but a small Acaia Lunar scale will also help achieve accuracy in measuring your output. The shot was 29 seconds long, which is normal on our machine, though each machine has its own median. This coffee was stellar as an espresso, with notes of cherry, lime, and almond shining through for almost everyone who tasted it. We really cannot recommend this coffee enough for espresso.   

As a batch brew, we used a fairly high dose of coffee compared to water used, coming in at a ratio of 12.8. The coffee was rich with toffee sweetness and baking spices and fruit notes of cherry and peach. Again, what may normally have been described as notes of the water process method transformed into ferrero rocher and almond paste. This coffee was a joy to brew and taste. While we didn’t include our pour-overs here in the brew analysis, rest assured this coffee tastes spectacular whether brewed by the batch or by the cup. 

Coffee Background

DECAF GUATEMALA WATER PROCESS HG is curated from lots that the Royal team has selected based on cup profile, physical preparation, and potential to express excellently once decaffeinated. During the water process, the green coffee is pre-soaked in water to expand the beans for caffeine extraction. The hydrated green coffee is then introduced to a unique solution of concentrated coffee solubles that draw out the caffeine while minimizing the loss of flavor compounds. Once the caffeine has been removed the green coffee is re-dried and re-bagged for transport, and the extract solution is filtered of its caffeine and recycled to be used again.