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overview

Overview 

 This is a traditional washed coffee from farmers in multiple regions of Colombia. After sourcing, the green was decaffeinated by Mountain Water Process in Veracruz, Mexico. 

The flavor profile is malleable in the roaster, but centers around toffee and caramel-like sweetness, elements of citrus fruits like lime and lemon, a creamy body and a mix of dried and fresh stone fruits. 

Our roasters found the coffee to take changes and absorb heat quickly, likely fueled by its high water activity. 

When brewed, baristas noted floral flavors and good complexity as a pour-over, and – while it took a little extra effort – made an intense, buttery espresso. 

taste

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

It might sound like kind of an odd flex, but we’re enthusiastically proud to carry exceptional decafs, and this Colombian coffee is our latest favorite. 

Sample roasts grabbed our attention easily with hints of ripe and dried fruit notes. We knew there was potential here from the onset. Ikawa roasts demonstrated flexibility and versatility, with ample sugar browning sweetness and the potential for bright, even citrus-like zest. Roasted for espresso, the coffee is decadent and viscous, with notes of marshmallow, melted chocolate, and graham cracker. 

Whatever you plan to roast this coffee for, you’ll find a lot of potential here. Delightfully, you can always go back for another cup without risking overcaffeination. 

source

Source Analysis by Chris Kornman & Mayra Orellana-Powell 

Smallholders in Colombia benefit from one of the world’s highest profile farmer support organizations, the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC). While there are undoubtedly drawbacks (bureaucratic bloat, lack of understanding of high end specialty), the FNC guarantees that all coffee grown in the country can be purchased, and that farmers have access to education, infrastructure, seedlings, and more. 

The remarkable result is that disparate producers, separated by hundreds of miles, are able to harvest and process coffee with remarkable homogeneity. This coffee was sourced from a wide array of smallholders in the network of our export partner, Expocafe, and sampled to us prior to decaffeination.

Royal exclusively decaffeinates coffee by two processes: Water and Ethyl Acetate (aka “Sugarcane”) process. This coffee was sent from the port of Buenaventura 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

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

As we’ve seen often enough before, decaffeinated coffees frequently have unique physical characteristics. In some cases the screen sizes seem to be a little larger and with wider variation than we see in conventional green. Mountain Water Processed coffee also takes on a brownish hue, and won’t begin to look normal until well into Maillard Reactions. The other item you might note is the high water activity, a reading that for standard green I’d be quite shy about sharing, but we often observe high water activity in decafs with few ill effects under good storage conditions. Don’t be surprised if the coffee moves fairly quickly through browning reactions as a result, though! 

diedrich ir-5

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Chris Kornman 

Taking decafs for long, slow rides in the roaster for espresso service has been my modus operandi of late. Our recent Honduran Decaf Crown Jewel was developed similarly for service here at the Crown on our Diedrich IR-5, and I used that profile as the baseline for roasting this delicious Colombian iteration. 

The idea here is that the best decaf espressos tend to emphasize sweetness. By extending Maillard reactions and drawing out a very low, slow rate of rise at the end of the roast, we can achieve a light colored coffee with abundant sweetness and preserve the very best of its subtle fruit flavors without overwhelming the barista with aggressive acidity. 

This Colombian coffee took heat rapidly despite a moderate charge temperature and slightly delayed burner adjustment. Color changes were apparent surprisingly early, well before the bean thermocouple read 300F. With things happening so quickly and a rate of rise still hovering above 30F/min I pulled my foot off the gas and returned the burner to idle setting. 

It was just a little too much. After 90 seconds of Maillard extension I realized I was en route to a baked batch. I opened the airflow and returned the burners to a modest 50% setting, which was enough to put the coffee back on course to reach first crack on time for the profile. As first crack started, I backed off the burners again and with airflow fully open set about coasting towards the finish. Eyeballing the color, I waited what felt like a very long time, nearly two and a half minutes after the start of first crack, to drop the coffee. 

ColorTracking the coffee immediately made me nervous. While the difference between whole bean and ground was decently wide, the ground color score was 59, a good bit darker than our current spec of 55. This might be too roasty. 

A low end temperature and high water activity presumably saved me here, because the cup was delicious and decadent. Immediately evocative of s’mores (minus the campfire smoke) the coffee cooled into a lush, date, plum, and dried cherry-flavored  experience with loads of sweetness. 

I tasted a shot dialed about a week off roast and was pleasantly surprised at how bright and juicy it tasted. I was told it took a little bit of work to get there on the part of the barista, so keep an eye on brew notes for this one, and we’ll be working to dial the roast a little to make our baristas lives a little easier. Overall, however, this was a solid first go at a coffee with some challenging, but surmountable, physical specs and a lot of complexity of flavor to play with. Happy roasting! 

Aillio Bullet R1

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 195C / 383F preheating, P2 power, F4 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing!  

A decaf coffee is always a toss-up to roast, but this one performed so smoothly in the Bullet that I was surprised that it was decaffeinated at all. I took the easiest approach I could think of for roasting this coffee, and I was floored with the results.  

Starting with a slightly higher charge temperature of 392F, I kept P6 heat on for the entire roast, with zero heat application adjustments. I kept F2 fan on until a little bit before First Crack, then ramped up to F4, F6 for a quick bit once crack had concluded, then back to F4 to finish the roast. My roast percentages were a whopping 51% spent in Green/Drying, 34% in Maillard, and a healthy 13% spent in post-crack. Due to the time I spent in Green/Drying phase, and my hefty post-crack development, this was a very mellow and sweet cup with a lasting finish completely devoid of any decaffeination process-related flavors. Honestly, this may have been my easiest roast in the past year, and with great results.  

Heavy milk chocolate, brown sugar, and cherry cordial notes came through in this roast when brewed as a drip coffee, characteristics I associate with Colombian coffees in particular. The origin shines through here with great clarity, and the cup will make you think you’re drinking regular ol’ coffee. A highly recommended decaf option! 

Here is a link to this roast on roast.world: https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/Ebb3tbdKWMnfe6jDhmrhd  

ikawa pro v3

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Doris Garrido 

 

Here at the crown, we are lucky to work with some of the tastiest coffees, and now is the time of this decaffeinated coffee from Colombia. At the bar I have heard different opinions about decaffeinated coffee, I have also dismissed decaf myself in the past but now I feel proud of the coffees we get to work with. After cupping this one, I can say that here, we take decaf with serious respect.  

I did two roasts on the Ikawa using our two main profiles and this is what I have tasted: 

I have had good notes in both profiles, even when both of them went a little different in terms of the heat during Maillard. 

First, the Crown Maillard +30 profile had a thicker body, having a little less time in drying and little more in Maillard results in this tastiest hazelnut chocolate, sweet brown sugar, dried fig, and some black cherry. 

The standard roast, with higher heat during Maillard, has brings a nice clean cup, whit Meyer lemon and a sweet strawberry jam, acidity was showing better in this profile but I cannot choose a favorite, instead I will suggest the crown Maillard as an espresso and the crown standard as a drip, and both for sure will taste delicious!  

You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0 

Roast 2: Crown Standard SR 1.0       

brew

Brew Analysis by Nate Lumpkin 

I had a great time brewing up this Decaf Colombia with the other baristas on our team, and discovered a rich, buttery, and deeply fruited coffee, which I can’t wait to serve on bar here at the Crown. We brewed this up three different ways, two on pour-over and one on our espresso machine, and each method resulted in a unique and delicious cup. 

We started with the Hario V60, using a standard recipe of 18g coffee and 300g brew water. It took a long time to brew, at over four minutes, and resulted in a slightly higher TDS and extraction of 1.48 and 21.73%, respectively. In the cup, we tasted hyacinth, oolong tea, lime zest, graham cracker, and vanilla, with a butterscotch sweetness, creamy mouthfeel, and a finish reminiscent of dried strawberries. This was delicious and complex, and I don’t think you could go wrong using this method. 

Next up we used the Fellow Stagg, which usually creates a higher extraction and more concentrated flavors, so I was curious to see how this coffee would react. The coffee brewed through slightly faster, at just about four minutes, probably due to the multiple openings in the brewer as opposed to the V60’s single opening. Against expectations, it had a lower TDS and extraction, of 1.36 and 19.95% respectively. In the cup, this coffee had an intense peach aroma, and notes of that same hyacinth from before, along with chirimoya, nectarine, lime, and hibiscus, with a clean body, toffee sweetness, and pie crust finish. I loved this cup—its complex florals and stone fruits made this particular brew style really stand out for me. 

On our La Marzocco Linea PB, this coffee took a little work to dial in, but we settled on a recipe with a slightly lower dose, at 17.5g, with 38g out in 33 seconds. As espresso, this coffee tasted intense and buttery, with flavors of ripe yellow peach, lime peel, yellow cake batter, dark chocolate, and nutmeg, with a rich and creamy body. I loved this shot and can’t wait to be serving it on bar this winter! 

Origin Information

Grower
Producers from coffee communities in Colombia
Variety
Caturra, Typica, Castillo, and Colombia
Region
Colombia
Harvest
April - June | October - January
Altitude
1300 - 1650 masl
Soil
Sandy loam | Clay minerals | Volcanic loam
Process
Washed after pulping and fermenting, dried in the sun. Decaffeinated by Mountain Water Process (Descamex).
Certifications

Background Details

Decaf Colombia Royal Select Water Process 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.