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This Tanzanian decaf shows developed sweetness from start to finish, boasting honey, brown sugar, and fruited top notes as the cup cools. Acidity is structuring and citrus-like. City+ to Full City+. Good for espresso.
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"Igawa-Mbeya" actually refers to two different Tanzanian districts, and the coffees that make up this blend are from two separate villages within these districts. Both coffees were purchased as non-decaf for Sweet Maria's, and we bought enough of each to put together a limited decaf blend. As non-decafs, these are extremely solid coffees working great in both brew and espresso applications. We have all our custom decaffeination processed at the Swiss Water plant in Vancouver, Canada, where water is the main ingredient (go figure!) used to extract caffeine from the coffee. Decafs are often a pale version of their non-decaf originator, but not the case with the Swiss Water process. This coffee retains much of its "Tanzanian" characteristics, offering an origin-specific experience for decaf drinkers.
The dry grounds have a malty sweetness to them, a smell of molasses sugars and maltose. Fruited notes come into focus in the wet grounds, a mix of fig and plum is noticeable, and a sweet chocolate smell is present in City+ roasts. The cup is quite impressive, very un-decaf, and showing clean sweetness all the way through to the finish. Notes of honey and nut come through in a hot cup, shifting into citrus and brown sugar sweetness as the temperature begins to fall. Acidity is often one of the first things you lose with the decaffeination process, but this Tanzanian decaf is a testament to how much of the volatile compounds remain with the Swiss Water process. A citrus-like brightness cuts through even at Full City, adding a nice structure to the cup. This is a bodied decaf, especially so in City+ and beyond roast levels, and FC roasts will translate well in the espresso machine.