Populace Coffee - Decaf Colombia Caldono

$18
6.9

Acidity

10.0/10

Aftertaste

8.0/10

Aroma

0.0/10

Balance

7.0/10

Body

6.0/10

Complexity

6.0/10

Flavor

7.0/10

Forgiveness

10.0/10

Sweetness

7.0/10

Versatility

8.0/10

Pros

  • Smooth acidity
  • Consistent and forgiving
  • Refreshing flavor
  • Excellent for drip methods

Cons

  • Thin body
  • Minimal complexity

After an entire 2015 without any decaf coffee reviews, I’m making up for the neglect with the second of this month alone! Today’s review is the Decaf Colombia Caldono from Populace Coffee Company (Bay City, MI).

About Populace Coffee Co.

Populace Coffee Co. is a specialty coffee roaster located in Bay City, Michigan.

I first learned about Populace last year through their “Flight of Fancy” competition, where they sent 4 unlabeled coffee samples to everybody who participated. From here, contestants had to try and identify the origins of all 4 coffees for a chance to win a Malkhonig EK43 grinder ($2000+ value).

I regretfully did not participate, but hopefully they do another one in the future because this was a super cool idea. You can read more about Flight of Fancy here.

About The Producers and Decaffeination Process

Since this is a blend of coffee, it comes from multiple farms and producers in Colombia.

Similar to Ceremony’s Decaf Espresso that I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Caldono is also decaffeinated through EA decaffeination.

The EA stands for ethyl acetate, which is ethyl alcohol mixed with acetic acid. The EA itself is derived from fermented sugar cane, so it is quite a natural decaffeination process that leaves much of the coffee’s nuanced characteristics intact.

General Notes & Observations

Roast: Medium
Producers: Various
Country of Origin: Colombia
Region: Cauca
Variety: Various
Processing method: Wet Processed (EA decaffeination)
Farm altitude: 1400-1800 masl
Aroma: No notes
Roaster tasting notes: Citrus, caramel, honey
Coffee Concierge tasting notes: Lime, cola, floral

Brew Methods

I did a very poor note-taking job with the Caldono, but I did brew with the Behmor Connected and AeroPress pretty frequently.

There wasn’t a lot of notable variety that I was picking up between brew methods, so unfortunately my details are pretty sparse this week.

Ratings

If you’re new here, you can check out how I rate whole bean coffee here.

Acidity

Very bright, but sits well in terms of mouthfeel.

Score: 5

Aftertaste

Nothing really note-worthy in terms of flavor. Finished nicely, though.

Score: 4

Aroma

I didn’t take any notes on the aroma. Shame on me.

Score: n/a

Balance

A pretty bright coffee given its roast level. I was hoping for a little bit more darkness in the flavor to balance out the high acidity.

Score: 3.5

Body

Quite thin, but pleasant nonetheless.

Score: 3

Complexity

Simple, straightforward flavors that didn’t vary too much across brewing methods in my experience with it.

Score: 3

Flavor

I liked it, but didn’t love it. Overall, this coffee didn’t posses super-memorable flavors for me.

Score: 3.5

Forgiveness

Don’t remember any bad brews off the top of my head. I’d say this was a very forgiving blend.

Score: 5

Sweetness

I definitely wasn’t picking up honey notes. The sweetness was mostly present through the lime-like acidity.

Score: 3.5

Versatility

I thought it did well across drip methods. I can’t say for sure how this would do with immersion methods.

Score: 4

Summary

A nice decaf option if you like a coffee that is very easy to drink. What it lacks in body it makes up for in acidity.

Really wets the palate and works nicely as a drip coffee to go with your evening dessert.