In case you had not noticed, we are able to offer the very popular blends Liquid Amber and Moka Kadir again, since their ingredient coffees are back in stock. While we are really enthused about the new "Espresso Workshop" limited edition coffees, it's nice to have our Standards. But when we can't find the correct ingredient coffees for the Standards, we chose not to offer them. In this case, there was a gap in time where a really good Yemeni coffee for Moka Kadir was not available, and that is a key component. With the Liquid Amber, the trouble was with the quality of India Monsooned lots, and with a perfect Robusta component. Both of those lots, while available from any number of coffee brokers any time of the year, are very difficult to find at high quality levels. We have a new Rwanda Robusta, the first time we have ever had one, and it does the trick perfectly for the blend! We'll be offering it as a selection on our list soon as well, so folks can experiment with it in their own blends. -Tom
Sweet Maria's Weblog
New coffees just keep coming. We have two Kona coffees to offer - a bit earlier this year than other years. With the economy the way it is, I know we will not sell a huge amount of expensive coffees, but for Kona fans, this is going to be a good year. Skip and Rita Cowell's coffee is back with the Hawaii Kona XF -Kowali Farm Typica, a classic Kona, big and sweet. Skip and Rita placed first in the Kona Cupping Competition this year with this coffee. Hawaii Kona Lehuula Farm is a new Kona farm for us this year, owned by Bob Nelson. This coffee placed in the top 10 in the cupping competition and makes a nice single origin espresso. Also just added are: Guatemala El Injerto 100% Bourbon - a farm we have carried for many years, a classic Bourbon; Bolivia FTO SHG EP Caranavi, a lively, light-bodied, bright, dynamic coffee; and Brazil Cerrado DP Fazenda Aurea, a balanced coffee with great body with lots of espresso potential.
I just finished pouring over 30 samples from an interesting text conducted in Aceh Sumatra. The idea was to identify the best cultivars for cup quality, in a place where there is little attention payed to such things. It was part of a project by an Australian coffee consultant, Anthony Marsh. Unfortunately, I didn't know about it when the REAL experiment occurred, so I received samples that are a bit old and baggy. One of the brilliant things here is that each cultivar is available as a wet-process and a wet-hulled (the Indonesia method) sample. In this, I get the chance to taste the cultivar in a more direct, undistorted way with the wet-process, and then with the flavors imbued by the wet-hull method usual to "Mandheling" coffees and such. I made a table of my results, but it is not of great use since all I have right now are the codes, not the cultivar names these represent. The results were tainted by the older samples, and by a couple mis-roasts on my part. But I could cup through these problems and there were 5 cultivars that were definitely superior (including a couple interesting longberry types) and 3 that were absolute duds. Many others were average or below average, with scoring range for all between 76 and 85. Nothing fabulous, but that's not the point with a test like this.
I wasn't kidding ... I am going to start using this blog for real certified blogging chatter. Now is your chance to unsubscribe, to cancel your RSS, to bail out. Anyway, I recupped the very first Main Crop Auction Lot Kenyas today, with mixed results. I am always suspicious about early offerings. They tend to be from lower altitudes. But I was impressed how many Nyeri region lots there were. Familiar names were Karagoto, Kagumoini, Kieni and .. ugh... Deep River. What's with that? Not too sad about the fact that Deep River ended up with my lowest score. I would be embarrassed if that name made our offer list. There were nice lots, but nothing I felt I absolutely "must have" so we didn't enter any prices into the auction. There's always next week, and the next, and the next. Also was cupping Kona arrivals today, that should be on the list next week. Skip and Rita Cowell are tops again: Kowali Farm is really excellent. My City+ roast was so floral and sweet. Really sweet, delicate and sweet. The new offering from Lehuula farm came in really nice too, very happy with it. Lehuula was a finalist in the Kona Competition this year too (Kowali won 1st place in the so-called "larger farms" category). Moki's is cupping really well too, and we should have that later. Roger (Moki's) made the finals as well this year. Also cupped some unrequested samples: a Papua New Guinea from a Bahai faith community grown at 400 meters! Groan ... And a Laos coffee that has some promise, but not right now and that's for sure. It's from a whopping 800 meters but cupped really baggy. Trying to get time to work on the new "coffee glossary" database (more on that later). But I am on Dad duty with Ben now, so everything comes to a halt! -Tom