Our Guatemala Decaf M/C is cooperatively grown and cups clean with a nice woodiness, medium body and medium acidity. While grown at a lower altitude than some of our other Guatemalan coffees, this Guatemala Decaf M/C is still grown at 3,000+ feet elevation, earning it a HB (Hard Bean) grading.
Decaffeinated coffees are notoriously difficult to roast due to their unique cell structure, composition and moisture content as a result of the decaf process. Roasters should be mindful of drum temperatures as decafs have the tendency to develop significantly faster than non-decaf coffees; this should always be taken into consideration when roasting decaf coffees like this Guatemala Decaf M/C, as well as our other specialty green decaf offerings.
M/C decaffeinated coffees use Methylene Chloride (or dichloromethane) a colorless, non-harmful, chemical solvent to extract caffeine through a distinctively gentle process, known for its exceptional preservation of flavor, profile and aroma. Chemically it’s comprised of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine (CH2CL2) and is a naturally occurring compound found in oceans, wetlands and seaweed. It is the oldest and most common form of decaffeination, FDA-approved and perfectly safe. Regulations in fact allow for consumption of up to 10 ppm (parts per million), yet the industry norm is closer to 1 ppm, which is for processing only, as virtually all traces of M/C are removed long before the coffee is roasted.
It is a four-step process whereby green, unroasted coffee is steamed and soaked with clean water to loosen the cell structure, enabling the caffeine to diffuse out of the bean into the M/C solvent. The wet beans are then contacted with M/C and the caffeine is extracted. The beans then undergo additional soaking and steaming to remove any residual caffeine and M/C. Finally, the decaffeinated coffee is then thoroughly dried to return its moisture content to optimal levels before being packed and shipped. After the process is complete, any remaining M/C is considered negligible due to the fact that it vaporizes at 104° F, and roasting occurs at temperatures exceeding 400° F.