Sweet Maria's Weblog

The Grounds for Health Roasters Challenge

April 27, 2015

We are participating in the 2015 Grounds for Health Roasters Challenge and we are hoping you can help too.


What is it and how can I help?

It's a friendly competition between coffee companies east and west of the Mississippi to see which coast can raise the most money for cervical cancer prevention in Ethiopia. Donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in its support for Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a public-private partnership focused on reducing deaths from cervical and breast cancer in Latin America and Africa. We recently made our donation and we hope you can make a donation too. Of course, we really want the West Coast to win but we totally understand if you live on the East Coast and you want your donation to fund the East's donation. Either way, everyone wins.

CLICK HERE to learn more and donate.

The challenge ends on Mother’s Day 2015 and the goal is $200,000


Four New Coffees

April 21, 2015

Colombia Familia Gutierrez Moka - a teensy tiny bean with humongous flavor - tropical, floral, candy sweetness

Colombia Rioblanco - Los Cristales - balanced flavors of honey and nut, with fruit and cocoa hints

El Salvador Tablones Calagual y Naranjo - complex for El Salvador coffee, with a center of caramel and cocoa

El Salvador La Libertad Caracol - caramel and cocoa butter are central, with mellow citrus zest acidity

This Week's Roasted Coffee

April 15, 2015

This week I roasted both coffees for our subscription program to a City+ roast level, albeit different ends of that rather small spectrum. Two vastly different coffees from neighboring countries and similarly roasted. Our Tanzania is bordering on Full City roast level while the coffee from Rwanda is just beyond City, entering City+ territory upon exiting the roaster.
The Kanji Lalji from Tanzania is a well rounded coffee with extraordinary sweetness that shows very well at this more developed City+ roast level. There are fruited notes that remind me of Maraschino cherries. The body is like black tea and the roast tone fits in nicely to bring out just a touch more viscosity and tie back into the thick sweetness. This Tanzania is one of my favorite subscription coffees so far.

The Rwanda Coffee Villages is a more complex cup. Flavors reminiscent of clove and cinnamon spice, as well as an apple like acidity make this a brighter cup. It finishes with a moderate amount of body that comes across as cocoa powder and dark honey. I had roasted this coffee before and I felt we were able to find a better balance this time around.

When roasting a new coffee, it takes us a couple batches to dial in the profile, and then we hope to repeat those desired results. It's not so much about replicating every single temperature and time mark. But rather when we find the agreed upon approach for a given coffee, we strive to be...

Four New Coffees

April 10, 2015

El Salvador Finca Matalapa Mirador - has great body and complex chocolate flavors with moderate acidity. An exceptional espresso option

El Salvador Matalapa Puerta Zapa - with unrefined sugar and roasted nut, and a cocoa bittersweetness as it finishes. A prime espresso candidate too.

Tanzania Mbozi - Kanji Lalji Farm - has a mixture of honeydew melon, burned sugar, fresh papaya, marachino cherry, and a citrus bite.  Sweetness and body, and contemplative top notes add a touch of complexity.

Tanzania Pulp Natural Igamba Mpitu PB - hefty sweetness and body, pulp natural process bolstering the latter of the two. Grain, barley bread, brown beer, and even hops - a unique Tanzania profile. The finish is chocolatey with fruit/pectin sugar flavors.

Our Technivorm Lid - The Dirty Truth

May 19, 2015

We always obsess about keeping coffee gear clean but the reality is that the Technivorm brewer in our office kitchen/break room gets neglected longer than it should between cleanings. We brew at least 6 batches a day and are always impressed with it's durability...so there's a little guilt associated with not cleaning it as often as we should. We should be using a descaler like Dezcal to clean out the water lines and Cleancaf to wash out the brew basket and carafes every week or so. If you own a newer model Technivorm, you probably don't have to worry as much since your lid is built with a tighter connection between the two pieces (we honestly haven't had the chance or a reason to open up a new model lid yet).