At Exhale we're leading a revolution in coffee by souring and roasting the healthiest possible coffee in the most uncompromisingly sustainable way. Oh it also can't sacrifice one iota in taste.
So sustainably sourcing an organic, mycotoxin-free decaf that's been processed using no nasty chemicals and is high in polyphenols is like trying to find an alligator in a phone box. Neigh on impossible, except if you're Team Exhale.
After tirelessly searching we think we've found the perfect decaf, grown by Maria, Esbin and Ivan in their teeny, 2 hectare, neighbouring farms in Northern Peru.
Read on to find out more about the farmers and the incredible association they're part of; and about why the CO2 process is a game changer.
Tasting notes: Milk chocolate, raisin and stewed plum
Process: CO2. (Read on to find out more about that)
Region: Cajamarca, North Peru
Varietals: Red Caturra, Typica, Pache & Bourbon
Process: Fully washed and dried on raised beds
High altitude, organic decaf... fertilised with bird poop. Meet the farmers...
Nestled high up in the mountains of Northern Peru lie the farms of Maria, Esbin and Ivan (photographed below). They're part of a non-profit organisation called Alpes Andinos whose vision is:
"To be promoters of an organic culture with social inclusion for the sustainability of producer families."
Their coffee is all Organic certified and Maria, Esbin and Ivan's farms have been singled out as some of the top lots by our importers this year.
As members of the association they receive training in producing great quality coffee, on more productive farms. Empowering them and offering wider benefits for all coffee families involved.
The coffee is grown at high altitudes of 1800-1900m and intermingled with 'wild native trees' - read our blog on organic coffee to learn more about how that can both lead to a healthier soil, plant and planet... as well as a healthier cup of coffee for you!
For fertiliser, both Esbin and Maria use a mix of compost and ‘guano de las Islas’, meaning guano from the islands. Located just off the coast of Peru are a collection of small islands, home to large sea bird populations. These birds produce large amounts of excrement, or, guano, which settles on the ground as a nutrient-rich top layer. Guano is collected on the island and transported to the mainland to be used as a lovely, organic, nutrient-rich fertiliser!
Consistent ‘selective’ tree pruning is conducted to maintain the quality of the crop and to increase its yield. Farmers work in 15-year rotations, focusing on each variety individually. When a plant reaches the end of its 15-year life cycle, it will be dramatically cut back using the ‘Zoqueo’ practice. This sees the tree cut back to the stem just 30 centimetres from the ground, stimulating the emergence of new growth. In preparation for this event, trees of the same variety are planted two years in advance, meaning there is an uninterrupted supply of mature cherries.
CO2 decaffeination process - a natural process leaving the coffee 99.9% caffeine free
We love the CO2 process, because it's a decaffeination process that results in no waste, is natural and uses no artificial chemicals or ingredients. It preserves the beans’ innate chemical makeup resulting in a wonderfully smooth, clean tasting cup of coffee.
It extracts just the caffeine using only liquid CO2 in a sealed water container known as an extraction chamber.
Liquid CO2 is forced at a pressure of 1,000 pounds per square inch into the extraction chamber, drawing the caffeine out of the green beans and dissolving it.
The caffeine-rich CO2 is then transferred to a low pressure absorption chamber that allows the CO2 to return to a gaseous, caffeine-free state and be recycled and used again and again!
The extracted caffeine is then used in pharmaceuticals, cola's and energy drinks so nothing is wasted.
At Team Exhale we think it's the perfect successor to our insanely popular previous decaf from Mexico. Drop us a line and let us know what you think!
Kirsty, Al and the rest of the team xBack to Blog