Whenever our Casa Sauza's visitors take the guided tour of our facilities, they usually ask us why do we make our extraction process by means of a diffuser rather than with mills. The answer is simple: that is how we achieve a natural and gentle extraction of the agave sugar. We must start by defining:
What is the extraction?
It is a mechanical, physical, chemical, biological -or combination of the above- procedure that allows the separation of sugars or carbohydrates from the agave plant.
How many means of sugar extraction for the tequila process are there?
There are 3 different methods:
1. Tahona Extraction
This extraction method works by means of pressing a stone (tahona) against the floor where a small bed of agave bagasse lies, squeezing thus the juice contained in the -previously cooked and torn- agave, in order to achieve the extraction of its sugar. Although it is a very authentic (original) process, it is easy for the sugar to get contaminated with other elements (minerals from the rock or soil, elements of the surroundings...)
2. Mill Extraction
This extraction method works by means of pressing the previously cooked and torn agave with a series of 3 or more mills made of iron rollers, squeezing thus all of its juices in order to achieve the extraction of sugar, waxes.
First the agave is baked in an oven or an autoclave, then it is torn and then finally reaches the extraction by the mill.
- Agave input
- Agave output
- Recollection of the agave juice (sugar)
3. Diffuser Extraction:
This extraction method is gentle, it consists in the washing of the fiber against the current of agave bagasse by means of water. This is achieved by preparing a bagasse bed of agave -previously torn- on a conveyor belt. Water is added at the opposite end to the discharge side of the conveyor and is filtered through the agave bagasse bed and the perforated paddle belt of the conveyor or chain. Water then dissolves the sugar contained in the bagasse, giving rise to a juice that is rich in sugar and that is then collected in a tub. This juice moves one stage forward by means of pumping and the whole process repeats itself until the juice reaches its maximum concentration at the end of the diffuser. This is how by means of the gentle extraction of agave sugar, we Casa Sauza, achieve the most pure form of agave sugar that can be found.
First, the agave is torn when raw and then reaches the diffuser where the extraction of sugar will be made.
I hope that with this information I have helped you to better understand how the agave sugar is extracted for the elaboration of tequila, since each of the different methods develops different sensory notes in the final product. So now I invite you to discover the different sensory characteristics of tequilas that can be achieved with a gentle extraction process.
Come and visit Casa Sauza and see for yourself how the modernization of our production processes delivers the purest tequila that you will find in the market.