This rich, silky decaf opens with aromas of dark chocolate, raisin, and clementine. Graham cracker and orange notes mingle with chocolatey sweetness and black cherry acidity. Toasted pecan and vanilla provide the finishing touch.
Producer: UNECAFE (Unidad Ecogica para El Sector Cafe Oaxaquenos)
Farm: 48 smallholders
Region: Lachao, Sierra Sur, Oaxaca
Altitude: 5,577-6,234 feet | 1,700-1,900 masl
Varietal: Typica La Pluma, Mundo Novo
Process: Mountain Water Process
Notes: Milk Chocolate, Orange, Toasted Pecan
Oaxacan coffee is grown on small plots spread over large, diverse mountain ranges with pine-filled forests and steep, craggy coffee fields.
Joaquin Santana is head of UNECAFE (Unidad Ecogica para El Sector Cafe Oaxaquenos). This 48-member group is held together by Joaquin’s will, appeal to the benefits of cooperation—and incessant cellphone use. While the group only meets a few times a year, Joaquin tours the different stations once a month to drink coffee with members, trade tips, and talk shop.
The group’s success is apparent. Since forming in the early '90s, members have expand their farms to an average of 5 hectares, each hectare producing 800-1200 pounds of export-grade coffee (3-4 times the average). This is due to aggressive organic practices, constant pruning, and the continual investment in new trees. This is the heart of La Pluma, and there is pride that comes with planting this specific varietal.
The Mountain Water Process
Mountain Water Process is a chemical-free method for removing caffeine from green coffee. The process involves soaking green coffee in fresh mountain water until it reaches a saturation level that allows the dissolvable solids, including caffeine, to be extracted. The water then passes through carbon filters, removing the caffeine before being returned to the tank. Using pressure, the coffee oils are reintroduced to the green coffee, leaving it around 98% caffeine free.