This latest custom decaf we had processed at Swiss Water is made up of two cooperative coffees we brought in from Burundi and Ethiopia. The Burundi makes up more than half of the blend, and being entirely Bourbon stock, provides a deeply sweet base. The washed Ethiopia, while not the main component, still comprises a good portion of the blend contributing more than just top notes. It's a beautifully sweet decaf cup, and with surprisingly complex acidity. Having both these coffees as 'regular' offers on our list gives us the great advantage of foresight, knowing that they cup well as non-decaf gives us a good idea how they will taste as a decaf. Well, at least if they are physically able to handle the Swiss Water processing. But there's no guess work here - we just run a few tests (moisture content, water activity, and density) to make sure the coffee meets the base criteria for withstanding the water pressure. This one turned out nicely, and is a fairly easy handler in the roaster. One advantage of Swiss Water decafs is they're not dark brown like many other water-processed decafs, meaning it's much easier to follow roast development. This one in particular also gave off a nice 1st snap, also a feature often lacking in decafs leaving the roaster relying on sight and smell only.
This cooperative blend has structured sweetness and body all the way up to Full City. We found that to be about the cap on roast development, as Full City+ compromises these aspects, refocusing on flavor aspects of roast. The dry fragrance has a caramel-like sweet note, strong raisin, and a bit of 5 spice. Full City roasts take on some developed roast tones with a slightly rustic, brown rice syrup sweetness. The aroma is deeply sweet with a developed sugar smell, dried apple, and a hint of wildflowers. This is one sweet cup of decaf, boasting caramel sugar sweet notes and conveyed with a thick, syrupy body. At City+, acidity is complex and like berry juice, bordering refreshing aspects of their regular caffeinated counterparts. Flavors of light caramels and cocoa intermingle throughout the cup, and the finish is like Dutch cocoa powder. At Full City+ roast flavors build, and even a bit of aromatic wood, but much of the elegance is lost. Our best results were within the City+ to Full City roast range. At these levels the focus is on a layered sweetness of sugar development as well as a light floral note lingering in the background. This one will do great as espresso too at Full City roast level.
|Varietal||Bourbon, Heirloom Varietals|
|Arrival date||May 2014 Arrival|
|Appearance||.6 d/300 grams; 15+ Screen|
|Intensity/Prime attribute||Medium intensity / Developed sugar sweetness, thick body, complex acidity|
|Region||Muyinga, Burundi and Anfilo, Ethiopia|
|Roast||City+ to Full City will capture this coffee's complexity. Don't be afraid to try this decaf on the lighter side of the roast spectrum!|
|Recommended for Espresso||Yes|