Decaf

Since late ’02, Sweet Maria’s started obtaining water process decaf coffee from a factory in Mexico owned by a multinational coffee company. The name of the local company is Sanroke, and they call their process “Mountain Water Process Decaffeination” (to distinguish it from the “Swiss Water Process”). The water is from the glaciers of the Pico de Orizaba Mountain in Mexico, they say. The process they use is essentially the same as described above – using water to float the coffee oils and caffeine in a solution, then filtering the solution to remove caffeine, and returning the water soluble oils to the coffee. Sweet Maria’s have had some nice results from this plant, but mainly because they did not send the coffee there: we were buying from an importer list and selecting the lots that tasted good after the fact. It’s a smart way to buy, cherry picking at the end of the process. But they didn’t get to send our own coffee, so they didn’t truly know the quality of what went in the factory doors. And if they owned everything that came out the factory doors, if it was a custom-tolled decaf lot, Sweet Maria’s is not sure we would rate their success level so high. Nonetheless, it remains an option.