Field trip to CR3 Decaffeination plant

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We flew out to Bremen early on the Friday morning. We stopped by our friends Harris and Hoole at Stansted Airport for a quick Square Mile decaf coffee. This had been originally decaffeinated at the very place we were on our way to!

On arrival  we were met by Detlef and Oliver who took us on our tour and gave us a presentation at CR3.

Decaffeinated coffee has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades.  With processing techniques forever improving it is possible to preserve more of the original  flavour of the coffee. This preservation has had a remarkable impact on cup quality. Customer awareness has also driven  demand for a good cup of decaf.

We started decaffeinating our coffee in 2013 at CR3 Kaffeeveredelung Hermsen. This family business has been run for the last 80 years and is currently decaffeinating many thousands of tons per year. To do this they use two different methods of methylene chloride and natural carbon dioxide.

Decaf-12-L

In 1988 CR3 developed their own patent for Natural Carbon Dioxide Decaffeination.  The raw coffee is soaked in filtered water causing it to swell.  From there it is transferred to a large 3 tonne extractor vessel. Co2 is pumped in under subcritical conditions.  This is at relatively low temperature and pressure. The liquid Co2 selectively targets the caffeine while keeping other compounds intact.  The Co2 is in constant motion and carries the suspended caffeine away to a separating tank where it is cleaned and reused. Once the liquid has passed through fresh Co2 it is pumped through the vessel until caffeine residue is 0.08% or less.  0.1% is the minimum level to meet EU regulations for decaffeinated coffee. Interestingly, the extracted caffeine is further processed and sold to the food industry.

DECAF1
DECAF2

CR3 has a minimum standard of 0.08% caffeine residue or less. The Co2 process is becoming increasingly popular with speciality roasters as this method preserves most of the aroma and taste components of the origins coffee. The Co2 process at CR3 takes approximately 4-5 days to decaffeinate depending on the cell structure and the caffeine of the coffee. Origins such as Peru tend to take more time and energy to process.  The Co2 method is free of chemicals and is certified organic.  Once the coffee has been decaffeinated  it is dried back to the orginal 8-12%  water content.  It is then polished and sorted to produce some of the best sorted coffee you will ever find! The CR3 scale is extensive, currently they have 30 specialists analysing 100,000 samples every year for caffeine and other compounds in coffee.

BUY SOME HERE

Decaf Espresso

£12.50

tasting notes

CRANBERRY / BROWN SUGAR / DATE


Tom Flawith

Tom Flawith

Tom Flawith is our head roaster. He has worked in coffee for 6 years, you'll most likely find him either working the roaster or standing over a cupping table.

Tom Flawith

Tom Flawith

Tom Flawith is our head roaster. He has worked in coffee for 6 years, you'll most likely find him either working the roaster or standing over a cupping table.