This is a "natural" processed decaffeinated coffee or otherwise known as the sugar cane method. Let us take you to Dorkville real quick to provide some insight one what this specific decaffeination process is and how it affects the overall flavor of the coffee. Basically there are four basic decaffeination process that we know of or have been introduced so far. They are the Direct Solvent, Indirect Solvent, Swiss Water and Co2.
For this specific coffee, we're going to focus on the Solvent based process. Now don't freak out. Let us expand on what this process actually is. To simplify, this processes is when the caffeine is removed from the beans with the help of a chemical solvent, such as methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. Those solvent based processes in turn can be divided into methods using the “direct” method and the “indirect” method.
This specific coffee goes through the "indirect" process. What that mean is, instead of applying the solvent chemical directly onto the beans, the beans are soaked in near boiling water for several hours, which extracts the caffeine as well as other flavor elements and oils from the beans. The water is then separated and transferred to another tank where the beans are washed for about 10 hours with either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. The molecules of the chemical solvent selectively bond with the molecules of caffeine and the resulting mixture is then heated to evaporate the solvent and caffeine.
Lastly, the beans are reintroduced to the liquid to reabsorb most of the coffee oils and flavor elements.
However, because of the impracticality of gathering natural ethyl acetate and its cost, the chemical used for decaffeination appears to be synthetic. Ethyl acetate is produced commercially from ethyl alcohol and acetic acid, which in turn may be produced from natural ingredients or petroleum derivatives.
In the direct method caffeine is removed by soaking the materials directly in a solvent; the solvent is directly applied to the beans.
Las Serranias is graded "A" decaffeinated process that uses a derivative from sugar-cane known as Ethel Acetate (EA). The pleasing characteristic from the sugar cane adds to the sweet acidity and banana, apricot and cream notes. More importantly, It's not giving the dirty flavors most decaffeinated coffees are associated with. Overall, it's a well structured, smooth, and balanced coffee.
Although Las Serranias is not a part of the Las Mingas Project directly, it was produce by the founders. Las Mingas Project promotes coffee relatinships, a partnership that brings producers, exporters, and roasters together to collaborate. Giving farmers bargaining power and receive honest pricing for trading practices. La Serrania came directly from Virmax, a premier exporter of Colombian Specialty Coffees that works under Direct Relationship model.
Without a doubt, decaf drinker or not, you will appreciate and adore Las Serranias. Kenneth Davids from Coffee Review scored Las Serranias 89 points and stated this decaf as "delicately rich and fruit-toned. In the aroma distinct cocoaish chocolate complicated by fresh-cut fir. In the cup soft, wine-like acidity, lightly syrupy mouthfeel, and continued fruit-inflected chocolate."