Sweet Maria's Weblog

Pour-Over Mania; Hario & Bonmac

The last year has seen a revival of interest in pour-over brewing. The phenomenon seems a bit odd; how can something so old-fashioned be fashionable?  We have offered Chemex and filter cones for years, but there are some interesting new innovations in pour-over brewing. These relatively new products that have generated excitement and interest in manual brewing methods along with the Clever Coffee Dripper we carry; namely the introduction of the Hario V-60 filtercone that has a single large hole at its base. How can a dripper with a gaping hole in the bottom possibly make good coffee? That is what I asked when I first saw the Hario V-60. The answer lies in using a pouring technique, controlling the rate and pattern by which you add the water to the grounds.  There are lots...

New Arrivals Guatemala, Brazil COE and Decaf, Kenya, New Workshop Blend

Happy Tax Day Eve! To help get you through this yearly hassle we are adding some incredible new coffees. First up is Guatemala Finca La Florencia 100% Bourbon a wonderfully balanced Bourbon lot with tangerine brightness and malty caramel. Brazil Cup of Excellence Fazenda Sertaozinho is another amazing winner with nutty tones, hints of honey with a dense mouthfeel and Meyer lemon finish. Brazil Joao de Campos WP Decaf is a very special lot of decaf that you may recognize from our regular green coffee offerings, expect nice pungency, spice, dark chocolate, and versatility for use in espresso blends. Kenya Nyeri Kiamabara Peaberry is like the greatest hits of Kenya coffees from last season all rolled into one lot, concentrated flavors of orange marmalade, apricot jam, black currant, and peach hints. Finally, Espresso Workshop #10 Espresso Profundo brings the intensity with fruit-laced chocolate and interesting pineapple/citrus notes at lighter roast levels, this is one workshop blend that can handle a bit darker roast which brings out dark berry and Sharffen Berger chocolate...

Getting Close to a Coffee Cherry (Video)

I was shooting cross-section macro images of a coffee cherry from my yard, and thought I would shoot some video too, and explain the coffee cherry parts as best I could: Watch this is HD on youtube for a much better viewing experience...

SCAA Coffee of the Year: Carlos Imbachi Wins Again!

Our Carlos Imbachi coffee (Finca Buenavista, San Augustin, Huila) just won the SCAA Coffee of the Year, AGAIN! I am pretty excited... as you can tell. Here are the results:
  • Overall Point Leader - Score 90.5 Country: Colombia Region: San Agustin, Huila Farm Name: Buenavista
  • Best of Origin - Score 87.375 Country: El Salvador Region: Apaneca/Ilamatapeq Mountain Range Farm Name: El Recuerdo
  • Best of Origin - Score 89.625 Country: Guatemala Region: Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez Farm Name: Puerta Verde
  • Best of Origin - Score 87.563 Country: USA/Hawaii Region: Ka'u Farm Name: The Rising Sun
  • Best of Origin - Score 89.313 Country: Honduras Region: Mogola / Marcala / La Paz Farm Name: La Isabela
  • Best of Origin - Score 89.222 Country: Kenya Region: Nyeri Farm Name: Gichathaini
  • Best of Origin - Score 85.558 Country: Nicaragua Region: Mozonte/Nueva Segovia Farm Name: Un Regalo de Dios
  • Best of Origin - Score 89.125 Country: Panama Region: Boquete Farm Name: Hacienda La Esmeralda
  • Best of Origin - Score 89.2 Country: Perú Region: Puno Farm Name: Tunk
Now, I don't take it too sincerely. After all, we also put Kenya Gakuyu-ini Peaberry in to the COTY and they gave it 75 points! Completely lame. We even recupped it as we have numerous times and it's impossible to give that coffee less that 88 unless you blow the roast on it. Clean cup and acidity gets you over 86 alone. So whatever. But I am excited, and it will be great to take this to Sr. Imbachi next time I visit him... Thanks to Virmax, the exporter, who sent in the Imbachi sample. It is from the same lot that is in transit to Sweet Maria's right now... -Tom

New Shopping Cart-o-mania

Late last week we launched a new shopping cart for Sweet Maria's. The cart has a lot of new features, both on the front end that customers see, and the back end that we work with everyday.  It is the future! And it is good!  The cart is just a few days old, so if you encounter errors or other weird things, let us know, so we can fix them. The new cart will require existing customers to re-create their log in since we were not able to able to transfer that information.   When you create a log in, you will be able to  check the status of your orders, retrieve tracking numbers, view your order history, save items to a wish list, store multiple ship to addresses, and more.  We have a new server set up too that will give us better  speed, reliability and security.  So it is worth it! We will continue to slightly tweak the appearance of the cart as we go forward, and add various features that seem worth while.