House of Funk Downtempo Decaf, Whole Bean Espresso, 250g

Sale price$22.50
We have spent years searching for a decaf that doesn't taste like... decaf. Most decaf coffees have a flat, starchy aftertaste, but this one is processed in a unique way that retains the delicious richness and vibrance of the natural terroir.


More Info

Roast: Medium Roast
Tasting Notes: Sweet cereal
Variety: Castillo & Caturra
Process: Sugarcane ethyl acetate decaffeination
Region: Colombia
Elevation: 1400-1900m

The process is called sugarcane ethyl acetate decaffeination (also known as natural decaf), and it begins with the fermentation of molasses from sugarcane, which grows abundantly in Colombia. The result is ethanol, and it's mixed with acetic acid to create ethyl acetate. Wine, beer, and certain fruits contain ethyl acetate too, and elsewhere in the world, companies use a synthetic ethyl acetate to decaffeinate their coffee — but with sugarcane so readily available in Colombia, it makes economic sense to use it for a more natural process.

Next, the green coffee is conditioned with water and steam, softening the beans and opening the pores to facilitate caffeine extraction. The coffee is then washed with the ethyl acetate, which binds to the chlorogenic acid and draws out the caffeine. This stage takes about eight hours, after which the ethyl acetate mixture (containing the caffeine) is drained from the beans and distilled, leaving behind pure caffeine that can be used to make pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other products instead of being wasted.

The coffee, meanwhile, undergoes another steam bath to evaporate any remaining ethyl acetate. The other wonderful flavour compounds of the coffee are left relatively intact, which is why it's a popular decaf method (and certainly our favourite). Once the beans are dried, they're prepared for export to roasters like us!