Sweet Maria's Weblog

New Coffee...Including Colombia

March 23, 2015

Colombia Finca La Mesita - Brayan Joven returns from last year, a real standout on our cupping table. Sweetness, top notes, acidity, and cleanliness, a beautiful Colombia we feel lucky to have.

Colombia Timana de Huila is a blend we constructed from a few of the better small producer lots we tasted. At City+, this coffee is all about balance. A mild cup that can handle roast, it's what we think daily drinking coffee should taste like!

Brazil Dry Process Santa Ines is not as fruit-forward as others (they're there, just subtle), this one's heavy in the developed sugar matrix, and with a nice kola nuttiness. Perfect for dual use brewed coffee/espresso.

Ethiopia Grade 1 Yirga Cheffe Dumerso is our last Ethiopia of the season, and cupping better than some of the fresh offer samples we've been tasting! Stone fruit-forward, with heavy sugar-browning sweetness and citrus top note complexity.

Papua New Guinea Bauka Bena is our final PNG from the Bauka Plantation coffees we purchased. Only 3 bags, it shares much in common with the others from Bauka - earth toned, sweet grain, and fruited. And we also added a Fair Trade Organic coffee,

Sumatra FTO Gayo - Bies Village. This is from the KSU Burni cooperative in Aceh, showing rustic fruits, heavy body, and surprsingly 'present' acidity.

Roasted Coffee: Burundi Kayanza Mpemba & Zimbabwe Chipinge

March 19th, 2015 (above: antique and vintage home roasters in the SM office)

We keep our coffee selection fresh here at Sweet Maria’s (see our recent blog post for more information about that.) We've started off the new year with some excellent coffees from Burundi and chose to roast my absolute favorite, the Kayanza Mpemba. We are also offering a coffee from Zimbabwe for the first time in eight years and I am very happy to offer it as the second roasted coffee in this installment of our bi-weekly subscription.

Burundi Kayanza Mpemba City +

We had a pretty clear idea for the Burundi Kayanza Mpemba's roast profile going into our roast day. So, I decided to take the opportunity to roast a few different batches to a some different roast degrees within the city to city+ range. This mélange blend has great balance. It's one of my favorite coffees from our roasted coffee subscription so far. It has a nice vanilla sweetness and a pleasant citrus acidity that come together a bit like candied orange peel.

Zimbabwe Chipinge...

Adios! We're Out! Hooray!

March 19, 2015

Historically this is the time of year when our selection of coffee slims down dramatically, as we await new crop arrivals from some key origins. You wouldn't think that is something to celebrate... but it is!

Green coffee isn't a fresh product in the way we define other produce.  it's not lettuce or peaches, it's a dried seed. Then again it's not like that bag of dried black beans I bought 3 years ago, behind all the cans of soup in the pantry.

Coffee has seasons, and there is an ebb and flow to availability. Past crop coffee flavors are quite distinct to most palates and interfere dramatically with the flavor quality in the cup, ranging from paper/cardboard notes to burlap/dried-grass taste. Not good. 

So what's all the "Hooray!" about? We have sold out of our last lot of Central American coffee, our last arrival from the last crop, and the timing is perfect. Our new crop Centrals are knocking on the door. Mexico Chiapas is a week away, the first new harvest Guatemalas are coming right after that, and El Salvador is out in the harbor waiting in the excruciatingly long line of containers to be unloaded.

The main point is that we keep it fresh here. If you look around the net at everyone offering Centrals now, roasters and others, you can be pretty sure the clock is ticking on those coffees, and if they aren't being cupped carefully and continuously, those agey tastes are probably showing themselves pretty well. 

Luckily we have a strategy to source extensively from origins where the harvest runs contrary to Central America. That's why our list is loaded with East African coffees from Rwanda and Burundi, with Tanzania landing soon. We have South Americans from Peru and the crew is unloading Colombia today at our Wood Street warehouse. Indos are in good supply, and we have the final lots of Ethiopia that cup clean and bright tailing out of stock at this time, as new ones arrive in April.

Roast up your old stock and get ready for the new...

Happy Friday. Here's Six New Coffees.

March 13, 2015

Brazil Fazenda Borgas Yellow Bourbon is a nice basic Brazil, caramel sugar sweetness, roasted nut, and bittering cacao notes. Viscous body makes it a great option for espresso, and milk drinks.

Brazil Fazenda do Sertao is an approachable cup with a nice base bittersweetness. Expect developed sugar sweetness, hazelnut, and cacao/cocoa finish. This is a bodied cup, and will perform well as espresso or a blend component.

Burundi Bujumbura Risca has a complex profile, but cup flavors show balanced restraint. Citrus flavors and acidity meld nicely with tea and spiced top notes, all atop a base sweetness of light brown sugar.

Guatemala Antigua Estate Peaberry has a grounding sweetness of raw sugar flavors, highlighted by baking spices and mild fruit flavors of plum, apple, and nectarine. A malic acidity shines through, and adds structure across a wide roast spectrum.

Peru FTO Argión Villanueva is a great daily drinking coffee from Agrion Villanueva, toasting sugar bittersweetness dominates the cup, with faint dried apple and almond notes, and a well-integrated acidity. City roast is a shade too light and tends to be a tad 'grassy'.

Sulawesi Bone Bone Kalaciri is a bodied coffee, with best results at City+ and beyond. Flavors of muscovado sugar and brown bread take the lead, with hints of peet and tart berry trailing behind. It showcases a well-balanced base "coffee" flavor and is good for espresso.

Another Home Roaster Takes the Leap

It's becoming more common to hear of our customers growing out of their home roasting machines and starting their own businesses. It seems like there's a lot of opportunity out there with coffee drinkers being open to new business models and so many people learning how to roast great coffee at home.