New Half-Caff Blend

Posted by Okapi Coffee on 31st May 2021 in Coffee Beans Uncategorised

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Half-Caff blend, with 50% decaf beans, created for those who need a little pick-me-up but are sensitive to the effects of caffeine. We have chosen the smooth textures and round chocolaty notes of our Brazil Café Delas Women’s Project and the sharper nutty tones of our Decaffeinated Rwanda Kigame to make this delicious half-caff blend which bridges the gap between normal and decaf beans.

Brazil Café Delas Women’s Project

The Café Delas Women’s Project is an Olam Specialty Coffee initiative in Brazil to help women get the resources and training to reach their full potential in an industry where women are often held back in low skilled labour roles. More than 500 women producers have benefitted from this programme to date, and we are proud to be involved and to roast the amazing coffees coming from this project.

This coffee is a natural processed bean from the 26 hectare Bom Jardim farm near the town of Patrocinio in Brazil, by producer Telma Batista Machado.

Decaffeinated Rwanda Kigame Blend

Rwanda only really came on to the specialty coffee scene relatively recently, and has provided a positive role in Rwanda recovery since the 1994 genocide. The first coffee washing station was built in 2004, and today there are over 300 across the country processing the high-quality beans grown by the country’s smallholders. Each producer has on average only 180 trees, so all Rwandan coffees are traceable back to the washing station but not to a single smallholder.

Decaffeinated using the CO2 method (see the box below for details), this is a lovely full-bodied cup with great results either as filter or espresso.

Available now from Okapi Café in Neuchâtel or in our online store

Ever wondered how to get caffeine out of coffee?

The decaffeination process happens before roasting, and there are 3 main methods commonly used to decaffeinate green coffee beans.

1. Solvents

This is the predominant and least expensive method, whereas the green beans are soaked in water or steamed and then repeatedly rinsed in a solution containing a solvent, in most cases methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. The solvent extracts the caffeine from the beans, as well as a large amount of the flavour. Needless to say, we avoid beans treated in this way.

2. Swiss Water Method

Starting in Switzerland in the 1930s, the process was first used commercially in 1979. It gained favour because it was the first decaffeination method not to use solvents. Green beans are placed under pressurized hot water causing the beans to absorb the water and swell. The pores of the coffee beans open, allowing the caffeine to wash free of them. The resulting caffeinated substance is run through a series of activated carbon filters, removing the caffeine content. This flavour-charged water is then applied to a new batch of beans, and as the water is already saturated with flavour particles, only the caffeine is removed from the new batch of beans, leaving most of the flavour in place.

3. Carbon Dioxide Method

Beans that have been soaked in water are put in a stainless-steel extractor which is then sealed, and liquid CO2 blasted in at pressures of up to 1,000lbs per square inch. Like the Swiss Water method, it’s the C02 which binds with the caffeine molecules, drawing them out of the unroasted bean. The gas is then drawn off and the pressure is lowered, leaving the caffeine in a separate chamber. Because this process only uses carbon dioxide, water, and charcoal filtering technology, it is completely chemical free. Carbon Dioxide also selectively attracts caffeine while leaving the proteins and carbohydrates that contribute to flavour untouched. By products of this process are natural and recyclable.