CROWN JEWEL DECAF PERU NORANDINO FT-FLO/USA ORGANIC MOUNTAIN WATER PROCESS CJO1547 – 31397-2 – SPOT RCWHSE

Price $176.00 per box

Box Weight 22 lbs

Position Spot

Boxes 19

Warehouses Oakland

Flavor Profile Lime, orange, caramel, and cherry

Overview 

This is a decaffeinated, traditional washed coffee from multiple regions throughout Peru, produced by farmer members of cooperatives organized under the Norandino collective. It is certified Fairtrade and Organic, has farmgate pricing transparency, and was decaffeinated via chemical-free “Mountain Water Process” at Descamex in Veracruz, Mexico.

The flavor profile is both dense and comforting; we found notes of marshmallow, caramel, citrus, pistachio, and cherry. 

Our roasters prefer a gentler approach, with lower charge temperatures and longer drying times than other conventional coffees.

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

The best decafs, in my opinion, reflect the flavors of their state pre-decaffeination. We chose this Peru for its marshmallowy sweetness, its great citrus character, buttery body, and hits of cherry, pistachio, and caramel.  

Our selections for Crown Jewels usually revolve around what will work best for us in service, particularly as espresso, and to be perfectly frank we’ve been auditioning new candidates for months without something that really captured our attention. Until, that is, this unassuming Peru – a multi-region, multi-cooperative blend (!!) – crossed our paths. 

We serve our decafs here as espresso, and while I’m usually a drip lover, a decaf oat cortado in the afternoon is an especially decadent treat I often can’t resist. When paired with the right roast, the right beans, the right ratio of non-dairy to espresso… it’s something special. 

So of course, we put this Peru through the hoops before its release, trialing it on our La Marzocco as well as through a few pour-overs, and we’re pleased as punch to share what we found. It’s a comforting coffee with lots of depth. You can easily forget yourself in its s’mores-around-the-fire first impression (and I wouldn’t hold it against you if you did), but there’s also plenty going on just under the surface for those inclined to nuance. Cuppers noted apricot, chamomile, and other more delicate flavors not immediately apparent by just looking at the big words on our flavor cloud.  

Some say decaf drinkers are the purest at heart of all coffee lovers, as there’s no psychoactive incentive for consumption. You’ll have to be the judge for yourself, but if this example were less the exception and more the rule, I’d be entirely convinced. 

Source Analysis by Royal Coffee 

In Peru, the bulk of production comes from small farms owned and managed by indigenous people who follow organic farm management practice attuned to their cultural connection with the land. Producers typically cultivate coffee on just a few acres of land intercropped with shade trees, bananas, corn, and beans. They carefully harvest and sort cherries before depulping, fermenting, washing, and drying the coffee using their own micro-mills. Simultaneously, cooperatives carry out activities that often go unnoticed but are crucial for small producers. These cooperatives are often divided into smaller locally run organizations, larger regional organizations, and even larger umbrella organizations. The local cooperatives focus on training producers in best organic practices and invest in basic infrastructure needs like road improvements and establishing local warehouses. The regional cooperatives focus on creating credit for producers and investing in social programs on a larger and more impactful scale, using the collective resources generated from the sale of coffee. Environmental training programs, healthcare initiatives, life insurance, and educational opportunities are just some of the ways these cooperatives strive to improve the quality of life for coffee producers and their families. 

Cooperativa Agrícola de Servicios Múltiples Norandino (Norandino) is an umbrella cooperative formed to support three regional cooperatives called CEPICAFE, CENFROCAFE, and Sol y Café. Combined, these organizations have approximately 7,000 producer-members who cultivate 25,000 acres of coffee in the regions of Piura, Cajamarca, Amazonas and San Martin. Preparing coffee for export produced through these regional and local cooperatives is all coordinated through Norandino, which ensures traceability and quality control throughout the post-harvest process. Norandino boasts one of the most state-of-the-art dry mill operations in Northern Peru along with a fully staffed and SCA certified cupping lab equipped to cup through thousands of samples and identify the potential for every coffee that is received. The cupping lab also serves as a training facility for the entire region and a place to take the Q certification exam.

In an almost-unprecedentedly transparent report, we have full farmgate pricing transparency on this regionally blended decaf! According to the producers, this lot was purchased from farmers for an average $157/QQ, or the equivalent of $2.21/lb.

This Peruvian coffee’s origin story is only part of the journey, however, as once this 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 Ethiopia to Veracruz, Mexico, 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 

Among the great roaster debates of our time, few prove more divisive than the Mountain vs. Swiss Water divide. I’ve had delightful and disappointing coffees using both similar proprietary methods, and while Canadian-prepared SWP produces nice looking unroasted coffee, it’s the Mexican iteration that seems more normal during color development in the roaster, and you can expect the same from this Peru, which made a stopover in Veracruz to be decaffeinated by Descamex. 

The “green” – if you can call it that – falls within our usual expectations for decafs. It’s in the range of standard European Prep style size constraints (mostly 15-18), stable in moisture and a little higher that we’d expect for a conventional coffee in water activity (likely due to the rehydration and drying process involved in decaffeination). It’s somewhat remarkable for its moderately high density, unusual for many decafs. 

Keep an eye on our roasters’ notes for suggestions on how to work with this delicious decaffeinated offering. 

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido

Roasting a decaffeinated coffee is always a challenge, and I will always hesitate at the beginning with gas application since sometimes coffee will run fast at the beginning of the first crack. This is because of the decaffeination treatment that the coffee has gone through, making the loss of moisture faster than other coffees. 

On the green grading, Peru Norandino, our new Decaf, has marked average density and moisture content, which made me decide to start low on charge temperature, and pay extra attention to the turning point to take further decisions for the rest of the roast. 

To start I used a batch size of 5.5lbs and I planned to roast on the 5-kilo Diedrich roaster. I set the charge temperature at 411F.  

For the gas movements, I started with 30% at the beginning of the roast then 100% before the first minute, and lowered to 70% after I had passed the turning point. The turning point (1:24/182’F) let me know that coffee was receiving the heat fast and I wanted to slow down the drying stage by lowering gas. 

After the color change I set the gas at 30%. From there I got a safe rate of change to finish the roast. In general, for the gas adjustment, I just add the push at the beginning and lower the heat until the end of roast. 

As for air, I started the roast with 50% air from the beginning and left it for the first 3 minutes. I was not sure if I had applied excessive heat at charging, and the air may help to soften the stress on the coffee at the beginning as is needed. I use air again when the coffee starts cracking, this time to push the smoke out of the drum. 

Things to notice on decaf. Because of its dark brown color, catching color change tends to be challenging. The way I caught it here was by smell, I looked for the hay aroma and ended marking at 310F, I was also able to notice small changes in color.  

Getting into the last stage of the roasting, I got 14F/minute rate of change at first crack. This left me with a soft cracking, and I called it at 398F.  

 

I gave this coffee a long development time at nearly two minutes, and dropped it at 399F. I ended the roast with 64 Colortrack (whole bean) and 58 Colortrack ground. I was worried that with the development, the coffee would taste ashy, but in the cup the coffee performed cleanly with notes of apricot, black tea, brown sugar, chocolate mousse, graham cracker, grapefruit, hazelnut, lemon-lime, marjoram, peach, and s’mores. This Peru has won its position on our menu and will be served as our new decaf espresso offering here at The Crown! 

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! 

As I sip this cup of decaf, I find myself deconstructing all the coffee scoffing that seems to surround decaffeinated coffees. This is expertly processed coffee from picking to packing, and the fact that it has taken more steps than usual to get to us and still tastes fantastic is a testament to the care that has been taken along the way.  

I like to handle decaf coffees gently, as they tend to have less moisture content and density than their more caffeinated counterparts. I also prefer to spend most of the roast cycle in the Green/Drying stage, as I’ve found that it helps attenuate some of the flavor related to the decaffeination process – though that wasn’t much of a problem in the case of this coffee. I started this coffee off with a low 437F charge temperature, P8 power, and F3 fan to draw the roast out in its initial stages. This felt dangerous at first, but proved to be very effective.  

At yellowing, I reduced power to P7 and then waited until about 360F / 6:20 to increase fan speed to F4. As I generally expect with decaf coffees, I reached crack early at 379F, but I didn’t reduce my heat or increase my fan speed since my rate of change was on the low end. Only at 390F / 8:45 did I raise fan speed to F5 to abate some smoke from the drum and really shoot for a clean, well-developed coffee. 

The results were fabulous. I am honestly drinking some as I write this, and it’s only 9:30am. Gentle cinnamon, dark cherry, butterscotch, and milk chocolate notes abound. There’s a ton of sweetness in this cup, and I don’t feel bad about having another two cups back-to-back. If you’re skeptical about decaffeinated coffees, I can wholeheartedly recommend this one to change your mind. 

You can follow along with my roast here at roast.world: https://roast.world/egilman/roasts/jUmynIOv_XejXiMkceX0d 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano  

Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here.
 

This decaf release went through an especially vigorous selection process. With two lots head-to-head, the final battle ground was in the espresso hopper and this lot won with its exceptional performance. On first pass at the cupping table, we got notes of orange zest, apple, brown sugar, and cacao nibs. 

With the help of Doris, this lot underwent further evaluation to find the ideal Ikawa roast profile for this decaf Peru. The high-density roast had some notes of cream soda, citrus, lemongrass mild spices and lime. Acidity presented as being a bit higher on this profile in a pleasant citrus way, but overall the cup had a slightly thin body.  

The low-density roast of this profile was a bit more developed and had a delicious dark caramel sweetness. Additional notes like orange zest and hard candy round out the rest of the cup profile. The telltale decaf processing flavor comes out slightly in this profile but remains deliciously sweet nonetheless. 

Doris and I were divided in preference in this round of Ikawa cupping! While I preferred the smooth and slightly zippier version of the high-density roast Doris leaned towards the caramelized sweetness of the low-density roast. Although it tastes great in any variation, we highly recommend it for espresso. It is headed to our espresso bar here at The Crown in Oakland and I’m excited for the chance to sneak in a late afternoon drink without any of the sleep repercussions. 

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast 

Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Joshua Wismans 

Peru is a country. They have coffee. Some of this coffee gets sent to Mexico. There, they put it in water.  Then they send it to us. It doesn’t have caffeine anymore. It still has good taste.

The “Mountain Water Process” used by Descamex has made its mark on our Crown Jewel program over the last couple of years. This beautiful decaf from the Norandino cooperative in Peru continues that trend, bringing another stunning option to our menu. We discovered a few different brew recipes that brought out different iterations of this coffee, but ultimately found that this coffee could sustain being stretched out a bit, providing a surprisingly delicate brew not often found in decaf.

We started our analysis by brewing an “average” brew. Using a moderate grind and dose, the resulting cup had good weight and acidity, but had a touch too much chicory flavor that we were hoping to minimize in the following brews. 

For our next brew, we tried a much finer grind, while also lowering the dose to not get too heavy of a brew.  This brew had some really great buttery flavors and some subtle fruit. We still wanted to explore the other side of this coffee however. 

The two following brews confirmed that this coffee was its best self when dosing higher with a coarser grind. Really beautiful floral nutty sweetness arose while highlights a more delicate citrus. All the while the processing flavors remained minimal, if present at all. 

For this coffee, we recommend a conical brewer, higher doses, and coarser grinds. Make sure to try this coffee on espresso as well.

Espresso Analysis by MJ Smith 

If you’ve read any of my past decaf espresso analyses, you’ll know how excited I get whenever we get a new decaf Crown Jewel coming down the line. Like Chris mentioned over in the Taste Analysis, it’s often said that decaf drinkers are the “purest of heart” coffee drinkers, but it’s not often pointed out how so many non-decaf drinkers will quickly snub their noses at the very thought of decaffeinated coffee. There are times when I’m walking our customers here at The Crown through our espresso offerings and I’ll get through listing the two caffeinated options, but then as soon as I start to say the word “decaf” I’m shut down as if I insulted them. Hey, I get it! We all need to wake up, right?  

But back to my original point, part of the reason I get so excited about new decaf Crown Jewels is because they’re constantly exceeding my expectations of how delicious a decaf coffee can be! This coffee from Norandino in Peru is absolutely no exception. It’s unique in a way that I think only decaf coffees can be (and I mean that with nothing but love), simply because I feel the decaffeination process has the potential bring out so many wonderful tasting notes that aren’t commonly found in a normal, caffeinated processed coffee, yet at the same time, will make you forget you’re drinking decaf at all. 

The first shot recipe I’m going to discuss has a dose of 18.5g, a yield of 38g, and a time of 28 seconds. It was a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little bit tangy too. With initial notes of candied orange peel and honey, complimented by slightly savory yet tangy Za’atar-like spices, finished off with some lingering notes of lavender and apple cider, drinking this shot felt like taking an express trip around the world. Every sip brought out a little something new to experience and enjoy.   

For my next recipe, I wanted to experiment with pulling a slightly higher yield than I normally would because I’ve found that some decaffeinated coffees are even more delicious when you stretch them out a bit. Pulling at 35 seconds, with a dose and yield of 19g in, 48g out, this shot occupied every corner of my taste receptors. I don’t think I’ve ever pulled a shot with such a high yield before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with an exceptional shot of espresso. I picked up notes of lemonade, candied ginger, honeysuckle, sesame, coriander, and salted caramel. A little something for everyone! I shared some with Evan who found notes of cherry, cocoa, cinnamon, brown sugar, and ripe pear. 

Honestly, I’m beyond excited to welcome this incredible decaf coffee to our espresso offerings here in the Tasting Room in the coming weeks. A lot of decafs can be a bit monochromatic in their flavor expression, but this coffee was truly exciting and delicious. While these recipes listed were my favorites of the ones I pulled for this analysis, I found something to enjoy about every shot I tasted today, making it a very easy and fun coffee to work with on espresso. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!