Sweet Maria's Weblog

New Library Layout

It is probably no surprise  that we have an internal debate here :  the Website Minimalists vs the Website Maximalists. The Minimalists want the website to be streamlined and easy to navigate; the Maximalists want to keep tons of information, even if it pertains to a product that has been discontinued.  Most of you can likely guess which side Tom comes down on (hint: this is the person who comes home from a two-week origin trip with 800 photos!).  But even Tom and I have to admit that articles and photos have piled up over the years in a disorganized way, or more disorganized than even we want. So we re-vamped the Coffee Library page to make information easier to access. More changes will be underway in terms of how we manage the travelogues and make the Tiny Joy back issues available.  No purging, just rearranging the furniture.  Hope you enjoy it. - Maria

Guat JBM and four other new coffees

http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/CostaRicaChirripoFincaAlaska2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/KenyaKirinyagaKarimikui2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/GuatemalaFincaLaBellaJBMCultivar2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/EthiopiaOrganicShakisoWetProcess2009.jpg Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend! Is everyone rested and ready for five exciting new offerings today?! OK, here goes… Heading things off is a new coffee/farm for us: the Costa Rica Chirripo -Finca Alaska. This is unique in its sweetness and brightness for a Crestones coffee and we're happy to have this intensely fruited cup in our arsenal. Next we have El Salvador Matalapa -Tablon El Amate, a versatile coffee from light to espresso roast, this is from a great older farm that we've enjoyed for quite a few years. Look for orange citrus and buttery body from this Pacas type coffee. We are excited to add another Kenya to our inventory… the Kenya Kirinyaga Karimikui, a complex array of brown sugar, fruit notes, and caramel with a syrupy sweet body to boot. We haven't seen quality Jamaican Blue Mountain in awhile, but this JBM, grown in Guatemala is special indeed. Fans will remember Guatemala Finca La Bella JBM Cultivar's great body, toffee, caramel, and restrained brightness. Look for lemon and apple brightness at the lighter roasts. Last on the list is the Ethiopia Organic Shakiso Wet Process with moderate brightness, caramel and jasmine tones, and lemon scent. Phew! Those summaries were a mouthful. Check out Tom's full reviews too!

Roast Coffee Pairing #40: DIY Mokha Java

Two great coffees equal one super Mokha Java blend. The Yemen Sana'ani is a high-quality Mokha that was roasted to Full City+ with just a shade of second crack.  Thiis should add a nice element of spicey accents to the Bali Kintimani, which is a sweeter, milder Java component, also roatsed to Full City+ but with a few more snaps of second crack.  I just brewed a pot of 50/50 and there is a good interplay between the wilder notes the Yemen brings to the cup and the balanced bittersweet chocolate of the Bali.  It was fun to roast these coffees a litlte darker than normal and target a roast level just before second crack really gets started in earnest. Try them on their own or blended together and let us know what you think.  If you like this two coffee blend try other versions using Ethiopia and Sumatra, or Rwanda and Sulawesi, the sky’s the limit!

Coffee Roasting Basics - Color Changes

Tom has been talking about this for a while ... that we don't have enough basic information about color changes in roasting. Understanding the stages of the roast is fundamental to successful roasting; it is hard to emphasize it enough.   He shot a macro-image video under very strong light to show color changes during the roast process.  He emphasizes the development of each stage (in both air and drum roasts)  and what you can expect to see and hear.  The end of the roast is crucial; in the 15 to 30 seconds from first crack  moving toward second crack, your roast very quickly goes from City+ to Full City+ (and beyond!). Make sure to pull up a stool and pay attention to the end of the roast not matter what method you use. I've added this video to our Visual Guide to Roast page as a permanent fixture. Hope you find it useful. - Maria

Liquid Amber is back! Also, Panama Guyami Robusta,Hawaii Ka'anapali DP Moka,Salvador Bourbon,Colombia Tolima

http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/LiquidAmberEspressoBlend2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/PanamaGuyamiIndianRobusta2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/HawaiiKaanapaliDPMauiMoka16Screen2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/ElSalvadorFincaSanGabrielBourbon2010.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/ColombiaLosChuchosdeTolima2010.jpg Five new arrivals today, two of them Espresso related. Let's start out with the one everyone has been waiting for: Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber Espresso Blend is back! The Vienna roast is a potent and savory cup with chocolate/noir tastes; this blend is perfect also for milk drinks. We also finally have a quality robusta back in stock for espresso blends: Panama Guyami Indian Robusta. Folks will remember baker's chocolate in this potent cup and best to keep these dark and in espresso blends at 15%. Rounding things out are some excellent drip coffees starting with Hawaii Ka'anapali DP Maui Moka 16 Screen with its honey and maple sugar flavors and hint of cocoa. Don't let the tiny screen size fool you - thick body and chocolate flavors here. The El Salvador Finca San Gabriel Bourbon is a classic Bourbon cup with mild citrus, cane sugar, and dense body. Look for even more chocolate and body at darker roasts! Lastly is the 'mutt' of the pack,… literally. It's Colombia - Los...