Ethyl Acetate Decaf process
Ethyl Acetate is a bit of scary "chemical" sounding name, but it helps to understand a bit of the basic chemistry.
Ethyl Acetate is an "ester" and it's derived from the reaction Ethanol (pure alcohol) and Acetic Acid (pure vinegar). Both of these inputs are of course consumable by us! In our case, the Ethanol comes from the fermentation of sugar cane molasses (the sugar cane is grown in Colombia). During the decaf process the beans are heated with steam to open the pores, then an Ethyl Acetate wash is applied. This is one case where water (the universal solvent) is not the best choice.
Caffeine is very stubborn and difficult to remove and it's more soluble in Ethyl Acetate than water. Additionally, Ethyl Acetate boils off at only 77 degrees C, so it can be completely removed by washing the beans in hot water after the wash. The Ethyl Acetate is long gone before the coffee is ever roasted, but if any residual ever existed it would vanish in the roasting process, which heats the beans to over 200 degrees C.
It is also useful to note that Ethyl Acetate is naturally occurring in wine. As you can imagine from the above chemistry, it's produced when the grapes are fermented. Ethyl Acetate at the right concentration is actually sought after in wine as it contributes to a wine's perceived "fruitiness".
Two other steps, that make our decaf a cut above even other Ethyl Acetate processed coffees, are that we select high quality coffee to decaffeinate (most decafs are the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality), as well, the coffee is always fresh-harvested as we get fresh shipments from Colombia two-times per year!