Sweet Maria's Weblog

Costa Rica, and 2 new Sumatra lots.

We have another coffee to release from our vault of mid-crop Costa Ricas (i.e. lots we have vacuum packed to roll out later in the season). Costa Rica Guillio Francesca -Finca Guadelupe is a classic, crowd-pleaser cup profile from a coffee farmer who is quite a character! We have our first premium Lintong-area coffees, coincidently arriving just as I returned from Sumatra. The king of all Sumatras is the large bean selection Sumatra Lake Toba 19+ Extra Bold (formerly Lake Tawar - see the review) is a potent, brutish cup, and the specially-prepared Sumatra Lintong Blue Batak is really no less potent, with chocolate, caramel, herbal hints, tobacco, and that bittersweet finish.

Sumatra and Sulawesi ... the long and short of it.

I just returned from Sumatra and Sulawesi; it was a looonnng trip that seemed all too short. I divided the pictures into groups because there are a bazillion images:

  • North Sumatra, including Lintong and the Lake Toba area
  • The Aceh District of Sumatra (actually north of North Sumatra!) which includes Takengon and the areas around Lake Tawar
  • .... and then Sulawesi and Tana Toraja, an amazing, mystical place, where I handily whacked my head crawling through a tunnel in a Toraja traditional burial cave. It still hurts. -Tom
(another soccer ball finds an appreciative home in Takengon, Aceh, Sumatra!)

Papua New Guinea AA Maloolaba

I'm back from Europe and jumping right back into the roasting with this funnily named Papua New Guinea lot.  Derek and I tried a test roast that was Full City and it was very pleasing with both the aromatic wood notes and chocolate Tom mentions in the review.  However, I felt it was perhaps a bit too dark so decided to go for more of a City+ roast and that meant a final thermoprobe temperature of 435.  After about 200 crappy cups of coffee in Europe I'm looking forward to a nice balanced cup from this lot.  We also roasted the Papua New Guinea decaf and although I too tried to baby the small batch sizes up to City level, there may be a small amount of oil that escaped, darn decafs are so delicate.  As for the Espresso Monkey, I listened closely and tried to hit the right spot far enough into second crack for the Northern Italian roast Tom recommends, this wound up being around the 459 degree mark at about 15:30 minutes into the roast.  The batch continued to snap and pop away for a good 30 seconds after hitting the cooling tray due to the slow build and then reduced heat profile we've been employing on the Probat.  So nice to be back in California and with my trusty pal the Probat delivering perfect roasts batch after batch.

early roast session: el salvador yellow bourbon

since i leave for sumatra and sulawesi on sunday and josh is in europe doing his band thing, we roasted and packed the coffee satruday. the el salvador yellow bourbon is all about body ... incredible body and that classic bourbon balance. the label mentions melon but i get mild citrus hints, moderate acidity, toasty roast notes, nutty in the dry fragrance, sweet, and body, body, body. the puro scuro is right at our target roast, a tad lighter than monkey blend, and way lighter than classic italian. that's why it is truly dual use. costa rica decaf was showing a drop of oil today, but that is deceptive ... the usual decaf hyjinks. it's a city+ roast, but since decafs have already had their structure "compromised" by the decaf process, they can show oil pre-second crack, on occasion. it would indicate a fast roast, sometimes, but i guarantee you i babied it to 430 and finished it very slowly. it's just the way that coffee is...

disappearing post? Tanzania Blackburn and Espresso Guatelope

Hmmm .... I posted about this weeks roasts, the Tanazania Blackburn Estate AA and the special espresso blend I did, Guatelope. But the post seems to have disappeared into the ether. The Tanzania was very juicy, lighter in body than I expected, but appropriately so. You can catch the Kenya-esque hints in there, the dark fruit, berry, black currant, slightly winey, sweet. The Guatelope was a special blend with the focus on flavor and sweetness, not body and mouthfeel. It may seem a little thin, but after 4 days we found it to be pleasantly syrupy. It is 40% El Salvador Mauritania, 40% Guatemala San Jose Ocana and 20% Kenya French Mission Bourbon. So actually it is an all-bourbon blend! We are enjoying it here immensely, pulling shots on the Andreja.