Sweet Maria's Weblog

Roast Coffee Pairing #36: Africanized--Uganda and Tanzania

Here is a reprise of a pairing we had last year; two wet-processed African coffees that are different both from each other and from other wet-processed Africans. The flavors of both the Tanzania and the Uganda seem related to their powerhouse coffee neighbors (Kenya and Ethiopia) but then different.  The Tanzania Nyamtimbo Peaberry is Kenya-like in that it has some citrus-y acidity, but is more rounded, with a creamy mouthfeel and better body. The Uganda is more rustic and sweet, a surprise for a wet-processed African coffee, in a way that always makes me think of Indonesian coffees like Sulawesi or Java.  Here we kept the roast rather light to highlight the origin flavors, both were roasted to City+ at around 14:30 roast times for the rather small batch size.  Each of these coffees excel at darker roast levels but for this lighter roast level be sure to cull any quakers out of the Uganada to keep the cup as sweet as possible!

Roast Coffee Pairing #35: Two Processing Styles of Brazil

In this pairing we will offer two different Brazilian coffees that were processed by two different methods, one a pulped natural and one a dry process.   This will highlight the influence of processing method on the coffee you taste in the cup. Both coffees come from the same region of Brazil Alto Paranaba, Cerrado, Minas Gerais.  The pulped natural Brazil Joao de Campos Yellow Catuai was roasted to Full City+ and is a balanced cup with chocolate caramel harmoniously evdient.  Brazil Dry-Process Rodomunho was roasted to a bit lighter degree, around Full City and reveals a sweet and somewhat fruity cup low in acid.  There is definitely a striking difference in the body of the two with Rodomunho having a softer mouthfeel and Yellow Catuai with sharper bittersweet notes.  Roast times around 15:30 with final thermoprobe temperatures of 430-433 degrees.

New arrivals- Guatemala Fraijanes-Finca Agua Tibia,Costa Rica Finca La Ponderosa 100% Bourbon,Costa Rica Cafetalera Herbazu

http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/GuatemalaFraijanesFincaAguaTibia2009.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/CostaRicaFincaLaPonderosaBourbon2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/CostaRicaCafetaleraHerbazu2010.jpg 5/10: Happy Monday, it's the arrival of three favorites at Sweet Maria's ... 1) The Guatemala Fraijanes - Finca Agua Tibia: an exemplar of a Guatemalan cup profile with maple syrup sweetness at light roasts and tangy chocolate at darker roasts with a rounded body and mouthfeel. Try this also as a single-origin espresso. ... 2) Costa Rica Finca La Ponderosa 100% Bourbon: a classic Bourbon with bittersweet milk chocolate and raw sugar tastes.This is another candidate for espresso. Look for blackberry and rich caramel-chocolate in your shots! ... and 3) Costa Rica Cafetalera Herbazu: It's the return of the Villa Sarchi cultivar, with classic CR profile and high flavor notes that give a lemon zip to the cup. This has a balanced profile with a well-defined sweetness; just rest the darker roasts longer to develop the body. Check the links for the full reviews with farm information and photos!

FYI: New Crop Week

We have one new crop Guatemala and two new crop Costa Rica coffees coming on line tomorrow (about noon our time).

Small Quality-Obsessed Coffee Roasters On the Rise!

[caption id="attachment_765" align="alignnone" width="388" caption="Totally Unrelated to Anything. Captain Scarlet.What coffee would the Mysterons drink?"]Totally Unrelated to Anything. Captain Scarlet. [/caption] Yawn. Double Yawn. I feel like it's groundhog day, except this never-ending story is about exciting and fresh-faced coffee roasters who are obsessed with quality and decide to open up shop in NYC, or SF, or some other glamorous place. Never Kokomo, Indiana or Dayton, Ohio. Search "coffee" on the New York Times web site and read the same story, rewritten, over and over. It's the basic premise of "God in a Cup" the gawd-awful book about personality-driven business. Without any substantial information about coffee itself, these stories are just a new type of consumer fetishism, but instead of being on the scale of the grand corporation they are the "humble neighborhood small-batch roaster" makes good and grows, but darn if  they don't do  it in their own anachronistic quality-driven way. No matter how you wrap it, it's a story about conspicuous consumption, about "where do you get yours?" as if it is a triumph of personal character to know which is the best shop to walk into and ask for coffee. If we substitute "coffee" for "perfume" or "Rolex" or typical, highly fetishized luxury goods, does it take on a new aire? And yet it is the same conversation, but with coffee brands. I am only peeved because each time I see a coffee headline, I hope that it contains some small bit of good information, planting some seed in consumer consciousness to change the way they think about coffee a bit. But I fear what we get, repeatedly in the cast of the NYT, is a basic shopping guide for those who want to be "in the know". Unfortunately, they miss that coffee itself is more interesting than the business about business, even if you dress it up in trendy fashion. That's too bad, I think. The odd thing is that these are some really good roasters too, offering good coffee. The roasters they reference and others are worth writing real coffee stories about. Not fluff. -Tom