Whats in the hopper?
Doi-Caff – Doi Chaang Decaf, Swiss Water Process
We love Doi Chaang coffees so much, we decided to utilise their high quality A grade beans for our Decaf.
The coffee is grown in Doi Chaang Village, in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand by the Akha Hill Tribe. Once the coffees have been handpicked, hand sorted, washed in fresh water and sun dried they are sent to Vancouver for decaffeination with Swiss Water Process.
Beyond Fair Trade Commitment and Partnership
In the beginning, the Akha Hill Tribe of Doi Chaang Village struggled with isolation and poverty, so turned to growing opium as a source of income. The agricultural methods of growing opium were not sustainable and in 1983, as part of the Royal Initiative, the farmers received high quality Arabica coffee plants and instructions on how to cultivate and process coffee. The farmers were successful; however they were forced to sell their coffee for next to nothing. On limited resources and under their own initiative a Co-operative was formed to ensure fair prices, enabling them to build their own facilities and establish themselves as independent coffee producers.
Since 2007, a unique partnership was formed with a Canadian family - 50% of the profits earned by the Canadian Company are returned to the Thai farmers. They also keep 100% of the proceeds from the sale of their green beans. This ever-evolving ‘beyond fair trade’ business is a role model for the trade.
Sustainable Practices and Community Development
Using their own resources and initiatives, the farmers of Doi Chaang Village have established a Coffee Academy (educational centre) to aid their own organic farming co-operative and surrounding villages. The focus is on social responsibility, sustainability, organic farming and maintenance of a thriving eco system. Every year 100,000 trees are planted which help create viable forests throughout the surrounding area, providing reforestation and improved habitat for animals. The profits are all put back into future developments and maintenance of infrastructure, schools, roads
Science of decaffeination - it’s not rocket science, but almost.
Decaffeination is actually quite a challenge to explain, but we will give it a whirl!
The beans are soaked in hot water then set aside and the remaining water is filtered. The filtering process traps the caffeine released from the beans whilst allowing the soluble coffee solids to pass through. The solution that is left is Green Coffee Extract which plays an important role in the decaffeination process. But we aren’t there yet: Now a whole new unsoaked batch of green beans are introduced to this magical GCE solution. While they soak, the caffeine disperses! The GCE is filtered again to capture the caffeine and the process is repeated until 99.9% of the caffeine is removed!
As you can see, it is a process and a half, but it is well worth it if you are a decaf drinker. Right now, methylene chloride and ethyl acetate are the solvents used to decaffeinate approximately 65% of the world’s coffee. The Swiss Water Process is environmentally friendly, chemical-free, 99.9% caffeine-free, without compromising the flavour of the bean.
Read more about it at swisswater.com