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Flavor Profile Baking spice, hot chocolate, clean

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This is a traditional washed coffee from Copán, Honduras, produced by members of the Cooperativa Cafetalera Capucas Limitada (COCAFCAL) and thereafter decaffeinated at Swiss Water Process. It is certified organic and fair trade.  

The flavor profile compliments classic chocolate, caramel, cherry, and lemon notes with hints of sweet spice like ginger and turmeric. 

Our roasters recommend a gentle approach to this low density decaf. 

When brewed the coffee was savory-sweet as a pour-over, sweet and mouthwatering as espresso, and rich, complex, and juicy as a filtered immersion.  


Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

This decaf caught our attention at the cupping table for its cleanliness and unique spice characteristics. We were drawn in by its ginger and turmeric-like qualities that so nicely complimented the classic chocolate, caramel, and sweet cherry and lemon flavors we love in good decaf options. 

After running a few roast trials, our barista team took the coffee through paces as pour-over, filtered immersion, and espresso, each with a lot of unique expressions. In filtered drip there was a unique, slightly savory chili-pepper note that complimented the sweet spice, while in both espresso and immersion the coffee was much sweeter and rounder. 

We’re planning to feature the coffee as our decaf espresso option in coming weeks here at the Crown, and feel it’s a perfect pairing for cooler weather as the leaves begin to turn. 


Source Analysis by Mayra Orellana-Powell, Charlie Habegger, and Chris Kornman 

We sourced this coffee from family-owned farms organized around Cooperativa Capucas Limitada (COCAFCAL), founded in 1999, is an association of 70 farming families located in the community of Capucas, within the department of Copan, Honduras. COCAFCAL boasts a state of the art coffee processing facility complete with a modern cupping laboratory. The coop’s processing infrastructure includes quad-level drying tables under solar canopy protection, and its nursery boasts a wide range of coffee cultivars as well as fruit, shade, and timber trees. 

The commitment to detail in coffee production is matched with a commitment to impact quality of life. Social programs include a virtual library where community members can access knowledge from the internet – including a partnership with the Autonomous University of Honduras for virtual attendance – and partnerships to bring regular access to dental care and youth athletic programs to the community. 

COCAFCAL also strives to support diversified revenue sources in Capucas through a honey production program and a women’s group called Flor del Campo that roasts and sells high quality coffee for national consumption. To showcase their efforts, COCAFCAL has an annual coffee competition called Te Van a Conocer Compa (“You’re going to get to know us, friend”) where the international coffee community is invited to sample the best coffees in the region and enjoy a bit of eco-tourism. In 2016, the cooperative won Fairtrade “Small Producer of the Year” for Latin America.  

Royal sourced this coffee prior to decaffeination directly from COCAFCAL through our Royal Select program selected based on cup profile, physical preparation, and potential to express excellently once decaffeinated. It was then shipped, in this case to Swiss Water in Canada to undergo “Swiss Water Processing.” During the Swiss Water process, the green coffee is hydrated to expand the beans for caffeine extraction. The hydrated green coffee is then introduced to Green Coffee Extract (GCE), a unique solution of concentrated coffee solubles that allows the caffeine to leave the green coffee via osmosis while minimizing the loss of desired flavor compounds. Once the caffeine has been removed the green coffee is re-dried and re-bagged for transport, and the GCE is filtered of its caffeine through proprietary carbon filters and recycled to be used again. 


Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Decaffeination alters green coffee significantly, in more ways than just removing the caffeine. Because the coffee is dampened or soaked and then redried during the process, we very frequently see greater instability in moisture (a higher percentage of unbound water) reflected in unusually high water activity numbers paired with very normal looking total moisture content. This Crown Jewel reflects that idiosyncrasy, met with relatively low density and a slightly wide screen size falling within standard Central American EP boundaries.

Beyond the interesting green measurements, the coffee also has the characteristic dull gray-green appearance of the Swiss Water processing method. These coffees tend to be a little meek in the roaster when it comes to showing color change, though they should start looking a little more like roasted coffee by the time you reach first crack. 

With all this in mind, keep a look out for our notes on roasting these delicious, unique decaffeinated beans. 


Diedrich Analysis by Doris Garrido 

Two things that I have learned about decaf is that the ones we have here at Royal Coffee do not use chemicals in order to be processed and second (from a controversy we got at the tasting room a couple of years ago with a friend complaining about the water used in decaffeination) is that they do not use as much as we were thinking. Recently I got to meet a representative from Descamex who was visiting Royal offices and he was very kind and gave me a quick lecture on how it is processed. Most recently I attended the roast summit hosted by roast magazine where they talked about how to approach roasting decaffeinated coffees by a representative of Swiss Water. Those two companies decaffeinated many of our coffees here at Royal. After those experiences I would say not to be afraid of decaf. 

We make sure you’ll be served the tastiest coffees 100% free from chemicals and 99.9% free caffeine. And going back to the roasting decaf approaching presentation, I was a little late for this roasting trial. I roasted this Honduras Decaf before going to the summit! But it was similar to what I learned there. Basically, because of the process the coffee has gone through, we must be gentle during roasting. Sinar reading for this coffee shows a 700 grams per liter of density (that will mean a soft start)10.4% of moisture, and coffee size ranges in between 16 to 19 screen sizes. 

This was a 10:15 minute roast, 5:15 minutes in the drying phase and 3:39 in Maillard and 1:21 seconds on post development. I started with a 373 F and 70% gas. I checked for exhaust temperature to reach 400F and started dropping gas to 45% looking to lower the exhaust temperature but it was not dropping as I expected. I decided to go to the lowest 30%. And here is where color change starts happening, decaf has a dark color due to the process which can make it hard to catch, but I was able to notice a slight change to a darker color and I marked color change at 309F. I managed the airflow 50% at 360F and 100% as soon as it started cracking. Near first crack rate of rise was 15/60minutes I call it a good pace. I heard the first crack at 385 F but then the coffee went silent for a moment. I checked the trier and little coffees were expanding, it was really cranking but noiseless. Let it run for a little bit and drop the coffee at 400F. 

I would say that overall, this roast has a rich acidity, and by the notes a complex sweetness: Apple cider, cane sugar, fresh pear, green cardamom, pod, marzipan, milk chocolate, spiced lemonade, sweet spice, sweetened coconut. In the end, the Swiss water roaster was right, being gentle with the decaf will allow the coffee to show its quality and of course a good coffee would make a tasty decaf. This coffee will be hitting the espresso menu at the crown tasting room come and taste it. 


Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 


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


Roasting decaffeinated coffee takes a gentle touch, as Doris noted above. With that delicate touch, it’s possible to pull incredible sweetness and nuanced acidity from a decaf coffee like this one. Honduras’ Capucas has been on the menu at nearly every coffee company I’ve worked, and I’ve come to love the consistency and sweetness of their coffee, decaf or not.  

I started this 500g batch off at my traditional 428F preheating, with stronger power at P8, F2 Fan, and the usual d6 drum speed. This coffee isn’t as dense as any of the others I was roasting, so I knew it would be good to start off with less of a ‘soak’. At peak RoR (around 36F/min), I reduced heat to P7 and increased fan speed to F4 shortly thereafter. Just before what I deemed as “yellowing” — something tough to determine on a decaffeinated coffee – I lowered head once more to P6 and allowed that parameter to ride out until the end of the roast. My only further adjustments were to decrease fan speed for a touch to F3, then back up to F4 and eventually F5 at first crack. This had the effect of raising my RoR a bit towards the end of the roast, but just enough to get this coffee into first crack, as the IBTS RoR was on a nearly constant decline.  

In the cup, this coffee was just remarkably soft and sweet. Look for brown sugar, canned pear, and all sorts of holiday-appropriate comforting spice notes. This is perfect coffee for after dinner accompaniment with a chocolate cake, or an apple pie. Drip coffee or espresso. French press or cold brew. And it won’t even keep you up all night! Chug with confidence and stay warm as the days get shorter.  

Brew Analysis by Meri Smith 

What a joy analyzing this coffee was! There was one point where I completely forgot I was drinking a decaffeinated coffee because of how exciting and complex the flavors were. I wanted to play around with extraction methods this time around, so I tried it as a filtered pour over using the Bee House brewer, as an espresso, and then again as a full immersion filtered pour-over using the Clever. All three produced delicious and unexpected results. Not to mention, the spicy and savory-yet-sweet dry aroma of the grounds alone was enough to make me fall in love.  

For the Bee House brew, my doses were 19g of coffee and 300g of water. My bloom was 50g of water, followed by a quick stir. My initial brew came out a little fast and under-extracted, possibly from too high of a grind, so I wanted to play around with agitation a bit. I also gave it a stir at 200g water, and then again at 300g. I finished with a final brew time of 3:10, and a cup bursting with flavor. Collectively, the barista team picked up notes of sweet peppers, turmeric, ginger, and lemon, with a little bit of ginger spiciness. 

Next, I wanted to try this coffee on espresso, just in case we end up serving this on our espresso bar. I used a dose of 19.5g of coffee and a yield of 40g, and ended up with a tasty 32 second shot. I was expecting it to have a lot more of that savoriness we picked up on with the pour over, but it was actually much sweeter! I got notes of honey, blood orange, earl grey, and sweet pepper. This coffee definitely makes for a unique and mouthwatering espresso! 

While I was happy with the pour over and espresso, I wanted to try one more method… the hybrid power of the filtered-yet-full immersion Clever brewer. I stuck to the same recipe as the pour over, but I let it steep until the 3:00 mark, and then ended with a final brew time of 4:00. This brew was my favorite, and also the one that made me forget I was drinking decaf! Rich, complex, and juicy, I noticed notes of root beer, caramel corn, lavender, tangerine, cherry, and umami. Every sip was giving me more and more flavor! I’m obsessed! 

No matter how you end up brewing this coffee, whether you like savory or sweet coffees, I can promise you’ll be wanting to go back for seconds of this decaf Honduras. Enjoy!