Our current Los Sueños Decaf offering consists of lots delivered by producers who belong to two small associations: Divino Niño and ASOCAFOR. Both associations are centered around the Hamlet of Divino Niño in Suaza, Colombia, a community whose coffees have been a fixture of Passenger’s menu since 2018. In many ways, our work with Divino Niño has become the most fully realized example of what our sourcing model at Passenger strives to achieve with each of our Foundational Partnerships: to buy as significant a volume as we can each year on an ongoing basis, intentionally prioritizing the purchase of as broad a spectrum of available quality grades as possible. With that goal in mind, we are delighted to be able to purchase additional volumes of coffee from Divino Niño to be featured as the primary component of our Decaf Los Sueños offering.
The DESCAFCOL decaffeination plant in Manizales is unique due to the fact that it decaffeinates Colombian-grown coffees using a natural byproduct of sugarcane that is also produced locally. In contrast to other decaf coffees that are shipped to Canada or Germany to be processed, DESCAFCOL offers a fully Colombian approach. The process itself is sometimes referred to as “E.A. Decaf”, with E.A. referring to ethyl acetate: the byproduct of fermented sugarcane that serves as a solvent to bond with, and ultimately remove caffeine from the coffee. At DESCAFCOL, the coffee is steamed and then submerged in a solution of ethyl acetate and water which gradually removes the caffeine without significantly altering the cellular structure of the coffee seeds. The finished result is a decaffeinated coffee that, following roasting, offers deep sweetness and appealing flavor complexity.