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Touring Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company

In conjunction with the annual SCAA 2014 Event in April this year, Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company (SWDCC) invited its customers to tour their global decaffeination facility in Vancouver, Canada.


As Bennetts is the exclusive distributor of SWISS WATER® Process products to the Australian market, we were eager to take the opportunity to attend an all access tour of the plant to see first-hand how the process works and find out where the industry is heading.

The research and development team at SWDCC has been improvingand refining their decaffeination process in an effort to maintain as much of the original qualities of the green coffee bean. If you are a purchaser of SWISS WATER® Process green beans you may have noticed these changes of late, both in the colour of the raw green beans and in the way they roast. Technically speaking, these improvements have come about from a more controlled and consistent process where key variables are being permanently and continuously monitored.

A more gentle process has resulted in less physiological changes to the structure of the beans and better acids retention, which in turn maintains the colour, flavour and roast profile of the beans in line with their original pre-decaffeinated state.

To check out how the process works, click here.

Due to these improvements to the decaffeination process, we recommend that when roasting your SWISS WATER® Process coffee that you follow your usual roasting profile, whether based on origin or bean composition (moisture and density, etc).

However if you find that your roast results are not as desired, it may be due to a lack of exothermic heat generated at the “first crack” phase of the roast. During the decaffeination process, internal cell structures are firstly expanded in the pre-wetting phase and may not fully return to their original form during the drying phase. This physiological alteration of the some of the internal cell structures can lead to a slight change in bean density which means that there is a potential for reduced energy generation in the exothermic phase of the roast. If you encounter this issue, one method to remedy the situation is to increase heat in the roast manually by either turning up your heat source slightly or adjusting your air flow.  If you have an Agtron in your lab, or a set of Agtron tiles, ground colour is an excellent way to dial in roast profile. Our target is 63, with an acceptable range being 60-66. As processing will change the darkness of the surface of the unroasted beans, it is key to monitor the colour of your beans after grinding as well as the appearance of the outside of the beans as they are roasting.

Please note these trouble shooting tips are just suggestions and should your current production method work for you, we suggest you don’t change a thing.

If you wish to discuss roasting with us further please feel free to contact us, send us a DM on Facebook or tweet @HABennetts.


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