In Primavera, the much beloved flavors of
Atitlan and Chimaltenango are blended and
then preserved using the natural Swiss
Water decaffeination process
Young consumers are driving decaf’s resurgence and,
like their caffeine-drinking peers, they’re expecting
specialty coffees and often traceability and certified.
With more than 50% of the world’s population under
30, the demand for decaffeinated coffee – and the
need for specialty decaf that tastes good and meets
ethical or environmental standards – is rising.
Swiss Water offers an alternative to consumers
concerned by methyl chloride (MC) and ethyl acetate
(EA) processes. Because water processing does not
use added chemical compounds, coffees can maintain
organic certifications and customers can be assured
by the absence of additional chemicals.
The difficulty to decaffeination is that many of the
flavor compounds that give coffee it excellent taste
are, like caffeine, water soluble. Thus, any
decaffeination method needs to single out and
remove the caffeine molecule, while preserving as
many of the flavor compounds as possible.
The process begins with a batch of green coffee beans
that are soaked in water to remove the caffeine. In
water, many of the flavor compounds are also
removed as well, but don’t worry! This is intentional
and will preserve help flavor in the future.
This first batch of beans are then discarded. This
process only needs to happen once because the
mixture produced by soaking those beans, called
green coffee extract (GCE), can be maintained and
reused to decaffeinate many batches of green beans.
The principle behind WP is that water can only absorb
a set amount of flavor compounds and caffeine before
it is completely saturated. When water is fully
saturated, it cannot accept (and remove) any more
flavor compounds, even if they’re in the coffee. That
first batch of beans created a fully saturated water
mixture, the GCE. In order to process the beans for
decaffeination, the GCE is run through a filter to
remove only the caffeine.
Now the GCE is fully saturated except for caffeine.
When a new batch of green beans are placed in the
GCE, the only compound from the new beans that will
be accepted into the GCE is caffeine, everything else
will remain in the beans because the GCE is already
saturated with those chemicals and unable to ‘take’
Strictly Hard Bean (SHB)
Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) specifies the altitude at
which the coffee was grown. A coffee must be grown
at 1,200 meters above sea level or higher to be
considered SHB. The higher altitude and lower
temperatures mean that the coffee fruit matures
more slowly, creating a denser bean