REGION: Huila, Colombia

PROCESS: EA Sugarcane

VARIETAL: Castillo, Caturra & Colombia

ALTITUDE: 1400 - 2000 MASL

NOTES: Honeycomb, maple & pecans

We're very proud of our decaf offering, an EA sugarcane process from Colombia. Sweet and rich, with a pleasing pecan nuttiness - and just as good as our caffeinated coffees! EA (ethyl acetate) is a naturally occurring ester, meaning no chemicals are used to decaffeinate the green coffee. Read on for more from our importing partners, Cafe Imports.


Program: Decaf EA

Ethyl acetate is an occurring ester (present in bananas and also as a by-product of fermented sugars) that is used as a solvent to bond with and remove caffeine from green coffee. First, the coffee is sorted and steamed for 30 minutes under low pressure in order to open the coffee seeds’ pores and prepare them for decaffeination. The coffee is placed in a solution of both water and ethyl acetate, where the E.A. will begin to bond with the salts of chlorogenic acids inside the seeds. The tank will be drained and re-filled over the course of eight hours until caffeine is no longer detected. The seeds are steamed once more to remove the ethyl acetate traces, though E.A. is only harmful to humans in very high quantities (400 parts per million or more). The coffee is then dried and polished for export.

Process: Washed EA Decaf de Caña

Colombia is best-known for its Washed coffees. While the processing details might vary slightly from farm to farm or by association, generally the coffee is picked ripe and depulped the same day, then given an open-air fermentation in tanks or buckets for anywhere between 12–36 hours. The coffee is washed clean of its mucilage before being dried either on patios, in parabolic dryers, solar driers, or mechanically. Some Washed coffees in Colombia are mechanically demucilaged.

Variety: Castillo, Caturra & Colombia 

Although this offering is not traceable to a specific variety, the most commonly grown coffee varieties in Colombia are Castillo, Caturra and the Colombia variety. This lot is representative of this blend of popular varieties, two of which (Castillo and Colombia) were developed by CENECAFE — the agronomical research arm of Colombia's FNC.

Region: Huila 

Located in southwestern Colombia, Huila is nestled in-between the Central and Eastern ranges of the Andes, with the middle area called the Magdalena Valley. The variation in elevation results in Huila being one of the country's most unique and complex regions of coffee production. Its terroir, climate, and harvest cycles all contribute to the quality of coffee produced here. The most impressive quality behind the coffees coming out of Huila lies in the people producing them. While Huila accounts for nearly 20% of the country's production, 80% of coffee producers operate on less than three hectares.

Country: Colombia 

For us at Cafe Imports, there’s something about Colombia.Actually, there’s not “something” about Colombia, but many, many somethings that make this place particularly special among coffee-growing countries, and as famous. Everyone knows Colombian coffee—or thinks they do. However, to simply say a coffee is from Colombia is to tell just a fragment of the story, like recommending a book to a friend by only telling her the name of the publisher. To really get to know Colombian coffee is to travel thousands of miles, taste through thousands of cups, and wear out dozens of pairs of hiking boots touring hundreds of coffee farms from north to south. Even that’s just the beginning—but every beautiful story needs a beginning.We have had boots on the ground (and spoons in the cup) here since our earliest days, and we fall in love over and over again with the regional variations, the varieties, the landscape, and the producers themselves. From our work sourcing strong, versatile workhorse coffees for our Excelso Gran Galope signature offerings; to our celebration of the taste of place with Regional Selects from Cauca, Huila, Nariño, and Tolima; to the discovery and development of microlots from all over the country with our export partners and the producers with whom they work closely—we simply can’t get enough.Neither can our customers: Our offerings sheet comprises a wide selection of flavors, farms, and terroirs, and we will continue to explore new-to-us regions and support the mostly smallholder farmers of Colombia into the future, as long as they’ll keep letting us come back again and again and again.

Sourcing: Colombia 

Our approach to sourcing coffees and developing coffee programs in Colombia has always been rooted in relationships. The large majority of our Colombian coffees are sourced through a few long-standing partnerships that have developed over time into some of our most intentional work. In any normal year, our green buying team travels to Colombia multiple times, visiting farms, meeting with producers, cupping coffees, and approving samples for exportation. Beyond this, we have been able to connect roasters with producers through origin trips and events like “Best Cup”. This has resulted in the development of partnerships between roasters and producers which, for us, is an absolute joy to be a part of.

To get the best from your coffee please take a look at our brew guides HERE


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