Decaf Huila is another in a long string of decaffeinated coffees we’ve featured from Colombia. The country’s ability to export fresh coffee year-round, coupled with its sugarcane ethyl acetate decaffeination procedure means that we can almost always get a fresh, complex, and affordable decaf coffee.
Huila is a well-established region in south-central Colombia known for its clean, complex coffees and high altitudes. It is divided by Magdalena River, which runs from north to south through the region dividing the central and eastern Cordillera Mountains. Since the region contains thousands of farms that are on opposing western- and eastern-facing slopes of these two ranges, there are multiple harvest seasons even within this region. The land is lush, green, and quite rural. Most coffee is grown on small, family-run farms where coffee is harvested, washed, and dried on the farm. Over 95% of Colombia’s farms are smaller than 2 hectares, with farms averaging 2300 pounds (15 bags) of green coffee production per hectare in 2016. Most farmers sell their coffee as dried parchment to exporters or local collection stations. In addition to coffee, many farms grow a number of alternate crops for sale or family consumption.
Café Imports seeks to source great coffees for their Origin Select Decaf program and they have once again succeeded. Through their regional select program, they offer incentives for quality delivery of coffee. As part of this program, Café Imports intentionally sources coffee to be decaffeinated in transit to the United States, protecting the seasonality of the coffee and maintaining as much complexity through the process as possible.