Sweet Maria's Weblog

what we mean by hand-sorting

this is pretty much the highest level of hand-sorting, when coffee is visually sorted at a desk, not a conveyor, and not just machine color-sorting. You see this a lot in Guatemala. In one day, a person might do just 50 Lbs. of green coffee. It's another of the behind-the-scenes tasks between the tree and the cup that is too often taken for granted.

Papua New Guinea - Kimel Plantation Peaberry

When Tom re-cupped this Kimel peaberry he noticed that a Full City roast seemed more apropos than a lighter roast. Going a bit darker brings out the complex spice palate in this vibrant coffee, in fact, I totally forgot to change the label to reflect this reassessment, so my apologies. For today's roast we took each batch to 440 degrees and they timed out at about 14 minutes--first crack began at 402 degrees. The reason these batches finished a couple minutes faster than normal is: I cleaned the jets on the gas fired Probat and WOW did it make a difference. I'd become accustomed to roast times more in the 16-18 minute range and every so often Tom would say "we really should clean those burner jets soon, it'll make a big difference". The Probat has a basic layout of 26 gas jet burners that each have a flared tip, by unscrewing each of these I was able to thoroughly remove any build up of carbon that was blocking the pathway for the gas. Now it is running hotter than before and I had to monitor the heat level much more carefully to keep each batch in the same ballpark time-wise. It was a fun challenge and a good way to learn more skills to provide a quality roast for everyone to enjoy.

Yemen Coffee Bonanza (and Tea! and Indonesians ...)

Yemen Coffee Bonanza! It's a first; we currently have 4 distinct Yemeni coffee selections at Sweet Maria's, and one tea. Yes, tea ... coffee tea ... made from the dried skins of the coffee fruit! It's called Yemen Qishr Tea and is a very unique experience. These Yemeni coffee lots are clean and balanced compared to selections from the past, and at least 2 (Ismaili and Sharasi) result in some of the best Single Origin Espresso I have had this year! Yemen Mokha Ismaili is spicy, lush, velvety, and a bit more earthy than the others. It's the best Ismaili in 2 years. Yemen Mokha Mattari has winey fruit and chocolate, my favorite brewed cup. Yemen Mokha Sharasi is a lot I found in Yemen last November, delicate, fruited, refined, and an incredible SO espresso. We have other arrivals too: Indonesia Flores "Jade" is unlike the previous offers from this tiny island, rustic, intense, more Sumatra-like. Speaking of Sumatra, we have a great Sumatra Organic Mandheling that cups better than the numbers indicate. Read the review. And here's robusta you can drink as a French Press brew! (Although we still recommend it chiefly for espresso blend use: India Robusta- Jeelan Estate Sitara.  Yemeni Qishr Keshir Quishir ....