On the road between Manizales and Honda sits the small town of Monte bonito that border the slopes of the Cerro Bravo and has a population of less than a thousand inhabitants. The town still holds onto the traditions of the campesinos and allows a view into the history of life as farmers in the high Andes of Colombia. The town has a tumultuos history being heavily affected by the civil war and three times was taken over by the FARC in its past.


Most of the coffee growers from this region, are very small with only between 1 - 3 hectares with 89 associates in this group. They are responsible for full management of the farm and will pick the coffee themselves only asking for help from their neighbours when needed.


During the harvest, the coffee is picked, depulped and left to ferment for between 16 to 18 hours. Next day the coffee is then washed and is ready for drying. Some of them have ´´Eldas¨ (on the roof of the house), some others ¨carros quindianos´´ (drying beds with a rail system ) the rest have a parabolic tent for drying the coffee for between 10 -14 days depending on the climate.


After this the coffee will then be delivered to the Manizales Cooperative collection point in the town. Here it is assessed and separated according to quality where the producers receive extra payment for good quality. There is also an extra premium for producers who deliver the coffee to the Cooperartive below 11% moisture. From the collection point the coffee then travels to the cooperative warehouse in Manizales where it is stored.


Sugar Cane Byproduct Method


To use sugarcane in this way, you take sugarcane molasses and ferment it to produce EA (ethyl acetate), which is commonly found in wine, fruits and in bananas too.


But before you put the EA to work, you have to take a few steps to prepare the beans. First, you steam the beans with water, to open up their pores and soften the beans. Next, you moisten the beans, which swells them further to improve caffeine removal.


Finally, you bathe them in the natural EA bath which dissolves out the caffeine. The EA (with caffeine) gets drained, then distilled, leaving just the caffeine. Apparently, other companies need caffeine as an ingredient (for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics), so it doesn’t get wasted.


Afterward, the beans get steamed one last time, at a temperature higher than the boiling point of EA. This ensures that any leftover EA evaporates, and you are left with just the original beans, minus the caffeine, which are left to cool before they can be sent to a coffee roaster. Any potential residual EA would evaporate during the roasting process so you aren’t consuming it. The caffeine free beans are sent to a roaster to be transformed into a coffee you can drink at any time of the day or night.

Monte Bonito - Colombia (Decaffeinated)

  • Description

    raspberry | kiwi | toffee


    Farm: Monte Bonito, Caldas

    Cup Score: 84.5

    Varietal: Castillo, Colombia & Caturra

    Process: Washed

    Altitude: 1700 m

    Country: Columbia