Some coffee drinkers insist that decaffeinated coffee does not taste nearly as good as regular because the flavors and aromas are affected by the decaffeination process. Others have been drinking chemically decaffeinated coffee for so long that they either don’t mind the difference in taste or don’t notice it at all. Whichever group you fall into, it might be time to try Infusco’s decaf coffee and see if you can taste the difference.
All decaf coffee beans are decaffeinated when they are green – before they are roasted. Most coffee companies use what is called the direct method to decaffeinate their beans, a process that involves steaming the beans and rinsing them with chemical solvents like dichloromethane and ethyl acetate for ten hours. These chemical rinses remove the caffeine from the beans, which are then steamed for another ten hours to remove any chemical residue.
The problem with this method is that because there are hundreds of components in every coffee bean that are critical to the taste and aroma of the brew, it is difficult to isolate and extract only the caffeine. Other components are likely removed as well, and traces of the chemical solvent rinse can be left behind. This affects the way the drink tastes, and explains why some people have never met a decaf coffee that they liked.
So how do we solve this problem? Infusco purchases beans that have been decaffeinated using a method known as the Swiss Water Process. This method takes 8-10 hours, and results in flavorful coffee beans that are 99.9% caffeine free and 100% chemical free. A batch of green coffee beans are immersed in hot water, which extracts the caffeine as well as other flavors. This water, called green coffee extract, is then passed through a charcoal filter that catches only the caffeine molecules. The first batch of green coffee beans is tossed out, and the next batch goes through the same process – but instead of new, clean water, the fresh beans are immersed in the green coffee extract produced by the flavors of the first batch. This almost eliminates any loss of flavor in the second batch of beans, while removing all of the caffeine without chemicals. Pretty cool!
So next time you’re craving the taste of great coffee, but you don’t want the caffeine kick, stop by and try Infusco’s coffee decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process!
We have some exciting news! If you love Infusco and you’ll be in Chicago this weekend, be sure to stop by and see us at Navy Pier!
The 21st annual SOFA Chicago will be held November 6-9, and Infusco will be serving coffee for the 30,000 person event. SOFA (Structural Objects Functional Art) is a series of lectures, events, and galleries from fourteen different countries. It’s one of the world’s largest international art fairs. Just for this event, we’ll be roasting 400 pounds of coffee and 160 pounds of espresso. It’s going to be a crazy time of serving two places at once – Chicago and Sawyer! We even bought two brand new espresso machines just for the event.
We’re really excited about this opportunity, and hope that you’ll come see us if you’re in Chicago this week!
Last month Infusco held it’s first Coffee Cupping in the shop, and it was a great success! Ticket buyers had a great time exploring the look, feel, and flavor of many different coffee beans and blends. If you came out for this fun evening, Infusco thanks you! If not, be sure to join us next time!
Between rounds of coffee tasting, Jeff and Tammi Brown shared about the work they will be doing in Costa Rica, which the coffee cupping helped to support. Ronny and Kari Silva also shared what they will be doing when they return to Peru. You can learn more about both families and their goals in our previous post.
Everyone in attendance was invited into the back room of the shop, where all of Infusco’s beans are roasted. Rich fired up a batch and showed examples of the coffee beans when they are received from the farms, before they are roasted.
After roasting, the beans turn a lovely brown, which was seen at the counter in both whole bean and ground forms during the cupping.
One lucky winner took home an Infusco shirt and diner mug, both of which are for sale in the coffee shop, and every one enjoyed these delicious snacks and desserts from Bit of Swiss Bakery.
Infusco has been overwhelmed by the support of our loyal friends and families! But for those who are new customers, just discovering our coffee, we want to share the story of Infusco Coffee Roasters with you, too.
Rich’s interest in coffee shops first began way back in 2001, when he was going to school in Mishawaka and visiting Higher Grounds coffee shop in South Bend (no longer in business). Coffee shops in general were pretty new to the SW Michigan/NW Indiana area, but Rich was in youth ministry at the time and thought a coffee shop would be a great place to connect with teenagers. Research was done through Alex Fisenko, who runs a consulting business intended to help individuals get started with their own successful coffee shops. This research revealed that New Carlisle, where Rich and Stacey lived, was not an ideal location for a coffee shop to thrive. Watching coffee shops fail one after another was discouraging. Rich has a love for tinkering, and as a hobby he had begun roasting coffee in a pizza oven he had converted into a one pound roaster. The concept that a roasting company with it’s own brand of coffee could support a coffee shop in an area like Sawyer began to emerge as a sustainable option.
The one pound roaster made roasting slow going, but it was the convergence of friends that pushed Infusco out the door. Some friends of the Siris were talking about opening a brewery in downtown Sawyer (hm, wondering what that could be?), and their excitement was catching. Other friends, Seth and Shannin Vander Ark, expressed interest in a coffee business, and a partnership began. Meanwhile, Greenbush ordered 30lbs of Infusco coffee to use in their Mr. Hyde Java Cream Stout. Confident that at least this order would come again, Infusco decided to invest in a larger roaster in 2011.
Infusco has only grown since then, most recently with the opening of the coffee shop located in downtown Sawyer behind the old fire station. The Vander Arks withdrew from the company in early 2014 due to family complications – if you’d like to read about their journey, you can keep in touch with Shannin’s blog at Don’t Doubt Jack. Meanwhile, Infusco’s vision to provide a delightful coffee experience, build relationships, and be involved in the local Sawyer community while supporting orphans and widows in Kenya remains.
One last thing you might be wondering is, where did the name “Infusco” come from? Rich and Stacey homeschool their three children, and back when the company was getting started the oldest son, Noah, was taking Latin. Stacey realized that the word “infusco” meant “to make dark or blacken,” and when the logo was made the name was to stay. (Another of the Siris’ goals with Infusco is to educate their kids about running a business – Noah even proofread the business plan!)
On Memorial Day weekend the Infusco Coffee Shop opened its doors to the public for the first time – and was met with overwhelming friendship, support, and success!
Many customers loved the incredible space that the Siris have put together for them to enjoy good coffee, and promised to bring friends back with them. People were united in the opinion that Sawyer had always needed a coffee shop, and customers thanked Rich and Stacey for opening one. Throughout the day friends could be seen playing games and laughing, older couples were sitting outside at the bistro tables to enjoy their cappuccinos, bicyclists pedaled many miles to pit-stop at the shop, and many friends and family came to show their support for Infusco.
The shop did exceedingly well this Memorial Day weekend, and managed to triple the normal sales of the Infusco coffee cart of 2012-13. The sales, which are necessary to keep this shop open for all to enjoy, were impressive, but not what primarily touched the shop owners. Stacey Siri says she “had to busy myself often to hide the tears of joy that might spill over… I didn’t hide my bawling when my sister showed up with her jaw dropped wide open at how awesome she thought the place looked!”
Stacey’s sister was not the only one impressed with the space Infusco has created. Customers had positive things to say left and right:
“Stopped in for coffee at this wonderful new establishment in Sawyer today. Amazing! Great people — great coffee. Bonus: a window into the roasting room!”
“I just got my first house latte here this morning – most excellent. More importantly, you can feel the love in this place. Thanks Rich.”
“So happy for you guys. You have enhanced the ambiance of Sawyer.”
“Love your coffee!”
“Coffee was great today guys! Congratulations on a great looking coffee shop too… I always buy Infusco Coffee – Kenyan roast… delicious!”
Everyone at Infusco hopes that when you stop by to try it out for yourself you’ll heartily agree and become one of many beloved customers. Come check it out!