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Darwin's Leatherback Decaffeinated coffee 250g bag
  • Darwin's 'Leatherback' - Mexican Grapos (De-caffeinated)


    Tasting notes: Chocolate, caramel, lemon and lime, honey

    Strength 3/5

    • Additional Infomation

      CO2 Decaffeinated

      Farm: Grupo de Agricultores Positivos S.P.R. de R.L. (GRAPOS)

      Varietals: Típica, Marsellesa, Bourbon

      Processing: Fully Washed; CO2 Decaf

      Altitude: 700 – 1,600 metres above sea level

      Owners: 2,708 smallholder producers

      Town: El Porvenir and Llano Grande

      Region: Chiapas

      Country: Mexico

      Average Farm Size: 3 hectares



      Throughout the Chiapas region, specifically in the El Porvenir and Llano Grande municipalities, are collections of smallholder coffee producers growing coffee in the rich upper reaches of the mountains. The GRAPOS organization was founded in 2007 has expanded to support the 2,708 producers involved today, 772 of which are women.


      El Porvenir translates to mean ‘the future,’ which is evident in its high altitudes, rich biodiversity, and potential to create a harmonious future with high quality coffee production and ecosystem preservation. The area also borders the Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, which explains the biodiverse array of native flora and fauna in the area.


      GRAPOS seeks to provide each of these producers with the necessary guidance to produce high quality coffee. This comes in the form of technical assistance, free seedlings to replace damaged trees, in addition to other educational programs. The producers live in remote farms, making communication and travel difficult – so GRAPOS provides the necessary assistance to the producers, making it easier to deliver and sell cherries.

      Thanks to the organization’s involvement, these producers have seen an increase in yields and quality, thus leading to an increase in overall income. This then allows more funds to be invested in the farms and creates a future for coffee production in this region.


      After the producers pick and deliver the coffee cherries, they are sorted for quality and pulped to remove the exterior skin. Once clean, the coffee is then fermented for 24 hours to breakdown the external mucilage.

      After fermentation is complete, the beans are washed and spread evenly on patios to dry in the open sun until the ideal moisture content is reached.


      Description of the CO2 Coffee Decaffeination Process

      Many coffee decaffeination processes nowadays use aggresive solvents such as ethyl acetate (used in nail varnish remover and glue), or dichloromethane (also used as a paint stripper).  These rinse the caffeine out of the green beans which are then steamed to remove traces of the chemicals.  It is a very efficient industrial process - so efficient that it also removes a lot of the original taste and character of the green bean alongside the caffeine.


      A much more gentle and natural process uses CO2.  CO2 is in the air we breathe, it is the gas that makes sparkling water effervescent and, by assimilation, enables plants to grow. It is also a very selective extractor for caffeine.


      CO2 is used under sub-critical or super-critical  conditions, i.e. in a liquid/gas state at low temperature and high pressure.  The raw, unroasted coffee is moistened with water and put into a vessel where it is brought into contact with pressurised, liquid carbon dioxide. By circulation through the coffee, the carbon dioxide draws the caffeine out of the bean. The caffeine precipitates out from the CO2 in an evaporator.  After evaporation and re-condensation, the CO2 is pumped again into the vessel containing the coffee for a new cycle. When the required residual caffeine level is reached the CO2 circulation is stopped and the coffee is discharged into a drier where it is gently dried until it reaches the original moisture content.


      The specific characteristics of the CO2 Coffee Decaffeination Process are that the compounds responsible for the flavour and the taste in the roasted and brewed coffee, as well as the cell structure of the green and roasted bean, are left essentially intact.




      Why the 'Leatherback'

      The leatherback turtle is the largest of all living turtles and the heaviest non-crocodilian reptile, reaching lengths of up to 1.8 metres and weights of 500 kilograms.  Their range reaches as far north as Alaska and Norway and as far south as Cape Agulhas in Africa and the southernmost tip of New Zealand.  The leatherback is found in all tropical and subtropical oceans, and its range extends well into the Arctic Circle.


      The leatherback is listed as endangered - it is estimated that the global population has declined 40 percent over the past three generations.  One cause for their endangered state is plastic bags floating in the ocean which they mistake for their principal food - jellyfish.  One-third of adult leatherbacks are estimated to have ingested plastic.  


      Light pollution is also a serious threat to hatchlings which have a strong attraction to light. Human-generated light from streetlights and buildings causes hatchlings to become disoriented, crawling toward the light and away from the beach. Hatchlings are attracted to light because the lightest area on a natural beach is the horizon over the ocean, the darkest area is the dunes or forest.

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