Sweet Maria's Weblog

Mountains of Gold and Bonko Black Sun (!)

I added two new lots today. Costa Rica Tarrazu -Montes de Oro is from a small Micro Mill and farm run by Emilio Gamboa and his family. In a cupping with Costa Rica farmers here at Sweet Maria's a month ago, this coffee impressed everyone, and it still does today! It is also one of the early lots in which we are transitioning to our new scoring system! Check it out. We have used the new numbers on our second lot too, another stellar dry-processed Ethiopia in a season of gems; Ethiopia Organic DP Bonko "Black Sun." (It's our new favorite name too). -Tom

Roasted Coffee Pairings

So if you have followed our coffee roasting, we have decided to take it in a new direction... and we are pretty excited about it. Roasted coffee pairings means 1 lb each of 2 coffees, selected to illustrate a specific cup quality, processing difference, cultivar comparison ... the possibilities are nearly endless. For more information see our Roasted Ordering Page. To start we are roasting a Wet-Process versus a Pulp-Natural coffee from the exact same harvest of the exact same estate. It's rare to have a chance to evaluate the difference in these post-harvest treatments when all the other variables are the same. I roasted the El Salvador Finca Mauritania to 432 f, a City+ roast, and used the exact same roast curve for both coffees. I noticed the Pulp Natural took a little bit more heat and time to roast ... interesting. The flavor difference we experienced in cupping the samples before this roast session were subtle, but with more rest they became clear. The Wet-Process is a refined coffee, more dynamci, vivid brightness, clean flavors, lighter body. The Pulp Natural has thicker body, quite evident, with fruited and chocolate backdrop to the cup and lower acidity. It shows how processing influences the final cup flavors, and helps the taster to define their palate preferences by presenting two clear differences. Let's see where the chips fall in terms of which is favored, traditional wet-process or this hybrid process, used most widely in Brazil. We also are announcing our next 4 roast sessions (2 weeks apart, roughly, so 2 months total), and up until the next Pairing, you can actually order the complete set of 4 (a great gift as well). Here's our plan for the next 2 months: 1 All Out Africa Slugfest Is Kenya or Ethiopia the regining "King of All Africa Coffee?"  Both certainly produce phenomenal lots of bright, floral, vividly fruited coffees. How do they rate head-to-head. We choose Kenya Marua Peaberry versus Ethiopia Wet-Process Kebado as representatives for this special pre-Holiday roast session. This pairing will definitely solicit comment from your holiday dinner guests, as each of these are top-pick coffees for 2008. And with this weeks pairing, you have the rare chance to buy into the series of the next 4 roasts, a great gift to give (maybe even to yourself!) 2 Fruity of Fruited? How do fruity flavors manifest themselves in different coffees, ones derived from different processes? We want to compare the full-on Dry-Process of Ethiopia versus the hybrid Wet-Hull process of Indonesia. Here are two totally different origins. How does altitude, cultivar, and (perhaps most importantly) these "post-harvest" processing difference change the way that fruit comes out in the cup? We chose our new lot...

Brazil, El Salvador and Guatemala CoE

12/9: The new coffees keep comin'! We have listed just now Brazil Ipanema "Tree Dry Process", a coffee from an estate that is familiar to our customers, but this time as a dried on the tree coffee that makes an excellent coffee for espresso use, mildly fruited, strong chocolate roast taste, and heavy liquor-like body. Also two exceptional cofffees, El Salvador Peaberry "Aida's Grand Reserve", a great coffee of careful propagation, harvesting, picking, processing, and blending, and the Guatemala Cup of Excellence #1 -El Injerto, a 100% pacamara cultivar that is clean, sweetly fruited, and spicy in the cup. We are selling this Guatemala CoE coffee by half pounds, since it is so pricey.

Costa Rica Guillio Francesca - Finca Guadelupe

Uh, so it has taken me all week to finally write this post and that's because we had quite a log of orders coming out of the thanksgiving holiday.  We've been picking and packing as fast as we can and just might catch up today, TGIF!  I just brewed up a pot of this Costa Rica from Guillio Francesca and it tastes wonderful, with the balanced nutty flavor profile that goes along with our light City+ roast.  This coffee would be nice roasted a bit darker with more of the chocolate flavors coming to the fore, but Tom wanted to keep this light so we roasted only to 425 degrees by thermoprobe.  The roasting profile we used slows the roast down dramatically toward the end which allows the coffee to gently cruise through first crack around 402 degrees and at 12 minutes in to the roast.  Final roast times were in the 15:30 ballpark.  I roasted the Moka Kadir just a shade past the Full City+ range, with second crack beginning to pick up steam but not quite full-blown.