Sweet Maria's Weblog

Nicaragua Pacamara Peaberry

This coffee is a rare beast indeed and the large bean size presents some challenges to the roaster.  On smaller roasters the beans will move and behave differently so care should be taken in order to achieve lighter City roasts.  On the Probat this meant dialing back the heat when the thermoprobe read 370 degrees, normally I would wait another ten degrees but with the larger bean structure there is greater potential for first crack blow outs.  I pulled the batch when the thermoprobe reached 427 degrees and the beans had an even surface color and nice expansion with wide crevices.

A few new things for late summer

While Tom is in Rwanda - I have added a few new merchandise items; at long last we have Ibriks to sell again; we added a Double Wall Glass Bodum French press (which works great to keep the brew hot); and what our customers have all been waiting for.... a Sweet Maria's Soccer/Football! Okay - so no one was waiting for this, no one asked for them, but Tom thought they would be cool anyhow. We decided to sell them to help subsidize the ones we are giving away.- Maria

Race against time: 15 arrivals at once (ugh)

I am racing against the clock to add all these new arrivals before leaving for the first-ever Rwanda Cup of Excellence competition on Thursday night. I am going to split this into 3 parts: New Centrals; South America + a new DP Ethiopia; 6 new decafs arrive at once.
  • Part 1: A smattering of new crop Centrals from mid-harvest. Costa Rica Helsar "Typica Villalobos" is our second pure cultivar lot from this fine Micro-Mill, a balanced cup with soft chocolate tones. On the other extreme, a Central American that cups like a DP Sidamo; heavily fruited El Salvador Santa Rita Full Natural. (Note... I messed up; this lot arrives Thursday August 28). Then there is the famous one, #1 in Cup of Excellence for Bourbon last year, and for this cultivar in '08: Guatemala El Injerto Estate Pacamara (we will have the very spendy auction lot version later). We have a very high-grown Huehuetenango with a classic, bright cup: Guatemala Huehuetenango "Quetzal Azul". Like the Santa Rita Full Natural, we also have the Mexico Organic Nayarit Dry-Process, as we did last year. Dry-Process = Natural. Natural = Dry-Process. In Central America it means lower acidity, heavy body, fruit, and great intensity.
  • Part 2: Brazil -Colombia-Colombia-Ethiopia. It's an odd time to be getting a Brazil, with new crop 4 months out. But this lot was too distinct, with complex character: Brazil Pocos de Caldas -Fazenda Barreiro. The Colombia Organic Cauca Tierradentro (2-Star) is a really nice regional lot we found, whereas the Colombia "Perros Bravos de Huila" (3-Star) is a whole different beast, a lot we built through cupping around a hundred tiny farm-distinct Huila lots. And on a different note, a super wildly-fruited...

Mexico FTO Chiapas - La Union Coop

This week's Roastmaster coffee is a fine pooled lot from Chiapas that boasts a balanced sweet cup and can take a wide range of roasts. The first batch we roasted seemed to hit first crack rather violently, I missed backing off the heat right at 380 degrees like we've been doing and waited until 385. This caused the coffee to enter first crack with too much momentum resulting in a loud snap around 415, which is a bit later than most other coffees. For subsequent batches I was more on target and even pulled the heat back a little before it reached 380, first crack was still very loud and snappy which leads us to think the moisture content of this coffee is a touch lower than some of our other lots. Basically, roasting isn't an exact science, as you all know, each time out you need to get in "synch" with the coffee you are roasting and sometimes it takes a batch to do that. We settled on a roast in the CIty++/Full CIty range which meant a final thermoprobe temperature of 430 degrees.

Ethiopia Organic Sidamo DP Special Prep.

This Sidamo was taken to 438 degrees for a Full City roast. We used a profile that started with the heat at a very low setting then bumped it up as the coffee began to yellow. We then cut the heat dramatically near first crack, which draws out the roast and lengthens the amount of time it takes to complete first crack, especially on this dry processed coffee. Remember to cull out the lightest colored beans, called quakers, and enjoy the rustic blueberry and apricot notes in this outstanding lot. We've been enjoying the test roasts in our Technivorm here at the warehouse and hope that you like the results on the Probat.