Sweet Maria's Weblog

Eight New Coffees

July 19, 2015

Colombia Timana Dos Cafetales - a complex cup with tropical punch, berry jam and citrus accents.

Colombia Timana Finca La Colina - a clean, fruited cup with apple, peach, cinnamon and apricot hints.

Guatemala Antigua Pulcal Inteligente - Honey and caramelized sugar, ripe plum, pineapple, blackberry, Asian pear, and elegant acidity.

Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca Rosma - high levels of fruit, sweetness and acidity with  grape, plum and apple notes.

Mexico Organic Jaltenango SWP Decaf - a low-acid, balanced cup with notes of brown sugar, roasted nut, hints of black tea and dried fig

Tanzania Igawa-Mbeya SWP Decaf - developed sweetness from start to finish, boasting honey, brown sugar, and fruited top notes. Good for espresso.

Brazil Carmo de Minas SWP Decaf - molasses sweetness, bittersweet chocolate, and roasted nut. Good for espresso.

Colombia Timana SWP Decaf - white sugar to cane juice - spiced cider and a hint of sweet cocoa. Background notes of rye and barley malt, and clean finish

Behmor Bucks

June 17, 2015

Behmor is getting ready to launch their innovative new product, the Behmor Connected Roaster. It will give the user the ability to control the machine with an app on their smartphone. We haven't had a chance to test one yet but if it works as well as the Behmor Plus and the original Behmor roaster, we think there are going to be a lot of happy coffee roasters out there when this machine hits the market.

So, you are in the market for a new roaster...and you are curious about the Behmor Connected...but don't want to wait around all summer without a cool, new Behmor. Well, Behmor has a new promotion that you should be excited about.

If you buy (or have bought) a Behmor Plus between June 1, 2015 and July 7, 2015, from us or any other authorized dealer, you will receive a $40 credit from Behmor to upgrade your new machine to the Behmor Connected later this year OR free round trip ground shipping if you decide to ship your Behmor Plus to Behmor and have them install the kit for you.


Clever Dripper Pricing: The Inside Scoop

June 16, 2015

Ever notice how a lot of products sold online share the same price? This is due to MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing). Whomever is selling these products to retailers asks that they don't sell them for under a set amount. This is the best way to keep all involved companies sustainable and to maintain the value of the products being sold.

So why are we enrolling you in Merchandising 101? Well, it's because we are dealing with a frustrating issue that we wanted to be transparent about. From a business standpoint, it's a bit illogical to write an article all about how you can purchase a product that we sell, for less, from someone else, but we think this is pretty important.

As you may know, Sweet Maria's and our wholesale company, Coffee Shrub are the importers of the Clever Coffee Dripper. This means Sweet Maria's sells them directly to our customers and Coffee Shrub sells them by the case for a discounted price to retailers. We ask our retailers to sell them for an amount no higher than the price we sell them for. This keeps things fair across the board. MAP is a standard way of selling products...car parts, electronics, cosmetics, garden supplies, etc.

So here's the issue. The Clever Dripper is sold by a number of resellers on Amazon.com. When one of these resellers drops their price below MAP, it's difficult to track them down and ask them to raise their price. We are normally able to contact them and the price is set back to normal but in the meantime, the other companies selling the Clever are at a huge disadvantage and lose money.

So, I Should Pay More, Just to Support This MAP Thing?

It's totally up to you, but there are a lot of companies out there that are dedicated to selling quality coffee products at sustainable prices. Companies that break MAP are looking to shave a few sales away from these honest companies. Some MAP violators will even lower their prices during evening and early morning hours to fly under the radar. The extra dollar or so that you pay to buy from an honest reseller helps them to stay in business and continue to offer great coffee gear.

I noticed someone selling Clevers on Amazon for less but the dripper looks different...

Here's 8 New Coffees

June 15, 2015

Bolivia Organic Caranavi Imperial - date sugar sweetness, notes of dried apricot/raisin and a hazelnut-chocolate flavor in the finish.

Bolivia Organic Taypipla Estate - base sweetness of brown sugar is topped with notes of dried berries, black currant, and dark chocolate.

Colombia Inza de Cauca - fruit flavors and acidity, along with burned sugars and fine dark chocolate. Good for espresso too.

Panama Horqueta La Gloria Estate - cane juice backed by bittering cacao notes, roasted almond and a pleasant tea-like acidity.

Kenya Gatundu Karinga AA - concord grape, plum, black currant and deep brown sugar sweetness. All the exotic Kenya flavor without extreme citric brightness. Good for espresso too.

Kenya Kiamabara Kii Peaberry - loaded with pink grapefruit and fresh orange juice, cane sugar/simple syrup sweetness, and floral citrus oil.

Sumatra Lintong Dolok Sanggul - great rustic syrupy sweetness, cinnamon bark and black tea. Malty roast taste, and fruited chocolate.

Tanzania Mara Tarime - sweet and bittersweet notes, features blackberry fruit, bakers chocolate bittersweet flavor, with a spiced accent. Exceeded our expectations at both light and darker roast levels.

Roasted Coffee Subscription: Rwanda Kivu Kanzu and Organic Uganda Cheema Kapchorwa

Friday June 12th 2015

We have two coffees from East Africa for this installment of the bi-weekly roasted coffee subscription. I like to choose at least one coffee we describe as "approachable", this time around the Certified Organic Uganda Cheema Kapchorwa fitting the bill.

The Cheema Kapchorwa has good overall body and sweetness as well as very low acidity. It is a great coffee for folks who don't usually go for the fruity and floral tastes in other African coffees and more similar to a Central American coffee. I roasted it to a Full City level in order to develop more sweetness. This cup has flavors of dark cacao, roasted nut, raw honey, and vanilla. It's something that everyone in the household can enjoy.

I also do my best to choose a second coffee that has a little more to it. Whether it is in the acidity or sweetness or just an interesting origin, I look for something that might peak a bit more interest for the avid coffee drinker in the house. The Kivu Kanzu from Rwanda fills this second slot. I chose to roast this coffee to a City+ roast level. This coffee reminds me of black tea with a twist of lemon and a little honey stirred in. The citrus acidity also has a hint of green melon as it settles on my palate and there is a bit of caramelized sugar in the finish. This is a well balanced cup.

I roasted a...