Decaffeinated coffee is usually known for its metallic flavour. Due to Menno’s experience at Trabocca, he found out why: most of the time, very old coffee harvests are being used for this undervalued coffee. At Bocca however, we only use high quality, fresh harvest. Since a couple of years, we have an organic Ethiopian decaffeinated coffee in stock that comes from the Shakisso farm, owned by farmer Haile Gebre. The biggest complement we get is that people don’t even recognize it’s a decaf!
This is because of the way it’s being processed. During the so-called CO2 process, liquid CO2 – just as in soda’s we drink – is being used to absorb the caffeine in the beans. The CO2 selectively picks up caffeine in the beans and is then taken out of the vessel into an evaporator. There, it is evaporated and re-condensated so the caffeine is precipitated from the beans, then CO2 can be re-introduced to the coffee. This process is repeated over and over again, until the caffeine level in the coffee is less than 0.01%. The great thing about the CO2 process is that carbon dioxide is a 100% natural (and organically certified!) chemical. It is found everywhere and we consume it daily. It’s in the carbonated water that we drink and in the air that we breathe. So, as opposed to other processes which use products like methylene chloride, it does not leave any toxic material. CO2 also only extracts the caffeine from the coffee beans, leaving all the good stuff. This means that the flavour and aroma compounds stay right where they need to be – inside the bean.