COFFEE WASHING PROCESS

EA Sugar Cane Decaf

The sugar cane decaf process uses a naturally occurring compound called Ethyl Acetate (EA) to extract at least 97% of caffeine from green coffee beans. Firstly, ethanol is created through fermenting molasses of sugar cane; the ethanol is then mixed with acetic acid to create EA. 

After being harvested, the green coffee beans will be sent to the decaffeination plant to be steamed for 30 minutes. The steaming process helps to open up the pores of the beans and soften them so that caffeine extraction can happen. 

Next, the beans are submerged in a tank of solution created through mixing water and EA. During the submersion, the solvent will naturally bond to the salts of chlorogenic acids from the coffee beans and dissolve the caffeine. Whenever the coffee beans are saturated, the tank will be drained and a new mixture of water and EA will be added again. This process repeats for up to 8 hours. 

After all caffeine has been extracted, the beans will undergo a final low-pressure steaming at a temperature higher than the boiling point of EA. This ensures that any residual EA surrounding the beans will be evaporated and removed. 

Finally the decaffeinated coffee beans will be dried until the moisture content is similar to that prior to the decaffeinating process. The most challenging part of this process is trying to retain the rich flavours of the original coffee while removing the caffeine itself. However, a well-processed coffee will be able to produce decaf coffee which has a deep profile as well as sweet notes of milk chocolate and sugar cane.


EA Sugar Cane Decaf
Steam
Low-pressure steam is used to soften the coffee beans and open the pores of the beans to facilitate caffeine extraction.
Submerge in EA solution
Ethyl Acetate (EA) is a naturally occurring compound which is created through 2 mixtures: Ethanol is first created from fermenting sugarcane molasses and after which, it will be mixed with acetic acid, resulting in the creation of EA. Another solution will then be created through mixing water with EA. The post-steamed green coffee beans will be submerged in this solution so that caffeine will be extracted (caffeine is dissolved) when the solvent naturally bonds to the salts of chlorogenic acids in the coffee.
Final Steam
Low-pressure steam is once again used to remove (evaporate) any remaining traces of EA that is coating the decaffeinated green coffee beans.
Dry
Drying is a phase where the quality of the green bean and developed coffee flavours are preserved. Typically, drying takes about 23 days and during this period the water content in the coffee beans are reduced to the appropriate range at around 10-12%. Usually, drying is done with a suitable temperature through using convective hot air
Prepare to Ship
Milled beans, which are also referred to as green coffee beans will be evaluated by professional coffee graders to ascertain the coffee’s quality. By taking “primary and secondary defects” into consideration, the coffee will be classified accordingly. From there, the coffee beans will be stored in burlap bags and shipped to roasters and consumers.