Sweet Maria's Weblog

Central America and Ethiopia Updates: June 30th

The Centrals: It's June 30 and the Centrals are starting to come in en masse. You have already seen the Costa Rica micro-mill lots arriving, kicked off with the AMAZING wet-process Cafetalera Herbazu. Small lots of La Guaca Bourbon, La Yunta Organic and the award-winning Sin Limites have made for a full list of offerings right now. And more are on their tail, including the CoE winning Genesis. We have had the Guatemala Agua Tibia for several weeks and now comes quite a few new arrivals in the next week or so, including the spectacular Guatemala Gesha we have stocked the last 4 years, as well as Huehuetenango La Maravilla (we had it in '05 and I have been trying to get it ever since) and a really interesting JBM cultivar lot from El Progresso state, Finca La Bella. El Salvador new crops are 10-14 days out, Matalapa Estate, and later we will have some micro-lots from Matalapa as well. Honduras new crop we have had for a while, and we have one more lot in the works as well as our CoE lot we split with Ritual coffee roasters. Panama La Berlina Organic has been in stock a week, and gosh, where is our vacuum packed Esmeralda Gesha from the auction. In transit, but arrival date unknown. Anyway, that's a short rundown of where we are at today! _______________________________________________________________ Ethiopia: It's June 30th and usually we would have incoming Ethiopia coffees arriving around now. In fact Harars have typically been arriving in March or so, much earlier than others. Sadly, the whole Ethiopia ECX boondoggle has turned an already chaotic system on it's head, and hopefully it will be straightened out for next years crop. As for this year, I have finally been cupping some very nice DP coffees from Sidamo and Yirga Cheffe as well as Guji lately, and some from the West. We have some very promising lots "on the water" that had very nice samples in the pre-ship as well. So it's not like there won't be great Ethiopia coffees. They are just late, a little harder to find, and a few, if they went through the exchange, may not have the exact producer name attached, although they are identified by region and in some case subregions. One victim of all this seems to be Harars. I have only cupped 2 or 3 that made it to the US and they were, well, not the kind we buy, even when desperate. There was one with very nice body and good chocolate and positive earthy and herbal notes, but around 25% of the cups were musty; unacceptable! Musty goes beyond just a bad taste, I consider it a possible danger since it must originate in a mold or fungus ... even if it is roasted at 450f and brewed at 195f, I wouldn't trust it and I would sell it to anyone... so Harar is in Limbo. I will be a little surprised at this point if a...

Clever Coffee Dripper: Our new "Full Immersion" brewer...

I am really excited about this little filtercone, the Clever Coffee Dripper. It greatly improves the quality of the coffee you brew. It is a simple #4 cone with a drip-stop mechanism. You let the coffee and water infuse for whatever length of time you want, place the filter on a cup or other vessel and let the filtered coffee drain down. Maria and I have been using this to make coffee at home for a couple of months now - and it works great. It actually does not drip! Well, not when it is not supposed to. It is an in-expensive way to make great coffee; all the body and full-flavor extraction of french press, without the sediment. That's why we call this a "Full Immersion" brew method - coffee and water can infuse for the recommended 3-4 minute time, rather than a normal filtercone where you can only hope to control brew time by grinding coffee ridiculously fine. The Clever Coffee Dripper blends the convenience of filter drip, with control over extraction. It's great for camping and travel as well, and can make coffee for 1, 2 4 people ... exceeding the limitation of the Aeropress. -Tom

New arrivals - Panama Org. Berlina, Kenya Karinga PB

6/25: Wait, two more coffees to add: We're excited to have the new harvest to offer from of our regular farms: Panama Organic La Berlina Estate Typica, this lot is a creamy classic Central with caramel-malt sweet notes. and a savory tone as well. Secondly we are adding a new peaberry today: Kenya Kirinyaga -Karinga PB which cups as a more balanced Kenya than recent arrivals. It has a reduced acidity and does well at dark roast levels too.

New arrivals - Kona Kowali JBM, Costa Rica Candelilla Guaca, Costa Rica Magnolia Decaf, & Tanzania Blackburn PB

We are adding four coffees today: Hawaii Kona -Kowali Farm JBM Cultivar, a classic is back with sweet floral aromatics (Limit to 1lb) Next up is Costa Rica La Candelilla Guaca Bourbon, a great drinking coffee with bittersweet chocolate, thick body, dark fruits. We also got a good decaf Central, the Costa Rica La Magnolia SWP Decaf, which has with a 'fudgesicle' note. Last, we have the return of Tanzania Blackburn Estate Peaberry, a wine-like coffee with berry notes - a favorite of Kenya fans. note: we should be adding Panama Berlina and a Kenya PB in a couple of days as well.

Honduras Cup of Excellence 2009!

Honduras Cup of Excellence 2009!
Is this the finest and most inspirational photograph ever taken at a
Cup of Excellence coffee competition. Yes, yes it is. Kudos to the
photographer who captured this moment as producers in Honduras watch
the live internet auction. That donut looks soooooo tasty! We are sharing lot #8 with Ritual Coffee Roasters.