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This CO2 processed decaf coffee comes to us from La Libertad in Guatemala from a long term relationship of ours, Finca La Bolsa – the C02 process leaves much of the coffees character intact so that there is good body and balance in the brew.
Learn more about Finca La Bolsa by reading the blog that documented James and Ollie’s last visit back in 2019.
The Sparkling Water CO2 Process
This process was first discovered by a scientist called Kurt Zosel at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in 1967 as he was looking at new ways of separating mixtures of substances. In 1988, a German decaffeination company called CR3 developed this process for decaffeination whereby natural carbon dioxide (which comes from prehistoric underground lakes) is combined with water to create ‘sub-critical’ conditions which creates a highly solvent substance for caffeine in coffee. It is a gentle, natural and organically certified process and the good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees a high retention level of other coffee components which contribute to taste and aroma.
The process is outlined below:
1. The green beans enter a ‘pre-treatment’ vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
2. After the water has been added, the beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.
3. The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
4. This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.
5. The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content, after which it is ready for roasting.
There are several benefits to using this process for decaffeination:
• The agent used for extracting the caffeine is entirely natural and the process can be classified as ‘organic’ due to the complete lack of chemicals used throughout. There is also no health risk by consuming coffee that has been decaffeinated in this way.
• The way the process works means the other compounds in the green bean are left untouched, meaning decaffeination has no effect on the flavour and aroma of the finished product. The carbon dioxide is very selective and doesn’t extract the carbohydrates and proteins in the green bean which contribute to flavour and smell.
• The cell structure of the green bean and the finished roasted bean is unchanged which is of great advantage when working with specialty coffees.
• The by-products are 100% natural and recyclable.
Orders received from 27th December-2nd January will be dispatched week commencing 3rd January. Once you have placed your order, you will receive an email to confirm it is being processed and then another one to let you know when it has been dispatched. We are currently operating with 3 working day lead time to process your order once you have placed it.
Local pickups take place from the Roastery on Tong Road. Please note our shutter doors will be down for security and temperature reasons but we are always in Monday-Friday between 9 and 5pm – just ring the doorbell on arrival. We are offering free shipping for orders above £20 🙂
A really lovely decaf coffee for everyday drinking.
Really great, managed to keep the roast lighter than most decaf, which is a big plus. Spot on, will be ordering again!
Brewed this mainly v60, and I think one batch brew and was very impressed.
Ground lovely on my Ode and Comandante and the resulting brew was very tasty indeed, it was strong enough and with no nasty notes at all, and so I would highly recommend this as a great decaf coffee for these brew methods.
Will try some more and run it as espresso to see if that is just as great.
Delicious - amazing flavour even as decaf
I tracked down this North Star decaf as it is used in my favourite coffee shop in Manchester. It makes a great cup using a French press - but a very impressive espresso which really is up there with some of the best I've ever had (and by this mean artisan coffee shops in California or espresso bars in Italy). It really is that good.
We work directly with growers we know and trust to source specialty grade coffee from farms that promote agroforestry techniques and social responsibility to not just sustain, but to improve how things work.Find out more