Taking its name from nearby burial sites of a pre-Colombian culture, Los Idolos is a blend of coffees from Groupo Asociativo San Agustin Los Cauchos located in the Huila department of Colombia. The coffee is grown in the rich volcanic soil of the region that is blessed with year-round rainfall.
In an effort to create a decaf that matches the caliber of our regular offerings, we pre-select coffees with a bright and sweet profile before they are sent to be decaffeinated at the Descafecol plant in Manizales. Here, the caffeine is removed using ethyl acetate, a naturally occurring compound derived from sugar cane. You’ll find ethyl acetate in green coffee, as well as various fruits (it is the most common ester in wine), and the resulting coffee is intensely sweet and fruited both in aroma and flavor.
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Colombia Los Idolos Decaf, from Amaya Roasting Company in Houston, Texas. Feel free to pull up a chair.
region: Los Cauchos, Huila, Colombia
farm/factory: Los Idolos
producer: smallholder farmers
association: Los Cauchos
elevation: 1500 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Typica
process: EA Natural
The aroma of the Los Idolos Decaf is sweet and brims with scents of chocolate, brown sugar, mixed berries, and baking spices.
I have to say—I’m really digging the flavor of this coffee immediately post-brew. A massively full-bodied coffee with a unique syrupy mouthfeel that is buoyant, supple, and dense. Decadent flavors of German chocolate cake, caramel apple, brown sugar, and a light tamarind tartness. There’s also just a bit of juicy fruit just beginning to bubble up on the middle of the tongue: raisin, fig, and black cherry.
As it cools off, the coffee becomes markedly brighter and livelier, but it manages to maintain its syrupy texture, as notes of blackberry, zesty lemon, bubble gum, and cotton candy emerge while a winy red grape acidity washes over the palate.
Full body; syrupy mouthfeel; grape acidity; clean finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Decaf coffee is kind of frowned upon by the specialty coffee industry; decaf coffee is served best as the butt of a joke. When social media outlets start buzzing with baristas raving about some new coffee that’s absolutely dazzling their palates, 9.9 times out of ten that coffee isn’t decaffeinated. Personally speaking, I can tell you that, while I have been interested in reviewing a decaf coffee here at the Table, I was also not looking much looking forward to it.
However, while researching today’s coffee, I was very surprised at just how well-loved it is! Some of the best specialty roasters in the country—including the likes of Brown, Heart, and Ritual—are huge fans of it and, after giving it a taste, I can see why!
The Colombia Los Idolos Decaf, from Amaya Roasting Company, was a real treat of a coffee. One that doesn’t even need the disclaimer, “…for a decaf…”
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.