Sweet Maria's Weblog

Rhyme or Reason: Why You Roast - Carlos Aguayo

November 26, 2014

When I started this project of reaching out to roasters and asking them about why they roast and what their aspirations with roasting were, one of the first home roasters I had thought of was Carlos Aguayo because of his posts in the Sweet Maria's forums. For some time Tom and I have talked about designing a Sweet Maria's home roasting starter kit, and the flour sifter design that Carlos and some others have been discussion on the forum is one of the most inspirational set-ups that I've yet to come across as far as something to base it off of. I reached out to him to ask him about his how and why.    -Chris Schooley

CS: What’s your name and what equipment have you used?
CA: I use my own homespun roaster built with a heavily-modified Poplite popcorn popper and a flour sifter. My modifications include splitting the fan and heat power so I can adjust the airflow (and thus, the air temperature) manually, and putting a thermocouple in the air flow to measure that temperature accurately. I don't know that I am the first to use a flour sifter for this, but it works really well in this configuration. See the original thread for details: http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5331

CS: What do you most love about roasting?
CA: I love that I can control the roasting process to get coffee that meets my tastes and preferences. I also really enjoyed the tinkering and experimenting that it took to get my roasting setup working well, and look forward to another design iteration when time permits.

CS: How did you get into roasting?
CA: I have moved to a new state several times in the last decade, and have struggled to find a consistently good source of coffee that I love every time. I got spoiled by fresh Peet's in the San Francisco Bay Area, and found that even if a place roasted it's own coffee, it often did not measure up. So when I found myself with a bit of time to tinker and a local source of green beans, I decided to give it a shot.

CS: What's your dream roaster set up?
CA: I'm more of a roast-your-own fanatic than a gearhead, so I don't know the various brand names and commercial options. But I would love to move closer to a true...

Two New Guatemalan Coffees

Guatemala Xinabajul Tres Fincas is loaded with heavy sugar sweetness, cocoa, and has an easy going malic acidity in the finish.

Guatemala Proyecto Xinabajul - Marlon Palacios has sweet and rich cocoa, dark berry, peach, clean acidity and juicy fruits throughout with lots of body. Both of these Guatemalan coffees make a delicious espresso.

Five New Coffees.

November 5, 2014

Colombia El Nacedero - "El Loco" Camacho, is a brilliant cup, and more balanced than the name would suggest. It shows elegance, with blackberry and honey, brisk tea, and a note of fresh basil.

Kenya Nyeri Kigwandi SWP Decaf has all the citrus characteristics and acidity you'd expect from a Kenya - definitely the most pronounced we've ever tasted in decaf coffee!

Guatemala Huehuetenango Small Producers SWP Decaf is a densely sweet cup, with lots of raw sugar and cane juice sweetness, and subtle fruited top notes.

Guatemala Atitlan - Juan Pira is a nice daily drinking coffee with mild acidity, pronounced sweetness, and baking spice top notes. Also makes a classically profiled SO espresso.

Sweet Maria's Moka Kadir Blend has sweet fruits and brooding chocolate notes highlight both applications when roasted toward the Full City range. It sticks close to the original idea of creating a Moka Java with fresh, clean ingredients.

Podcast: Ferment in Colombia with Leo

November 4, 2014

Thompson talks with Leonardo Henao about breaking the rules on coffee fermentation, and how a focus on microorganisms might alter the conceptual framework of what processing and fermentation are to coffee flavors.

Download for free on iTunes.

Roasted Coffee: Colombia Timana Principales Lotes + Nicaragua Dipilto Finca La Laguna

October 29th, 2014

Trick or treat? Well, treat yourself to these Central and South American coffees! You better believe Dracula will be sucking down both coffees this Halloween. Swamp Thing said he loves the difference with the roast profile between these two coffees. They both are very sweet, but while one has a deep chocolate richness, the other has a raw sugar sweetness. Don't ask the Wolfman though, he likes to eat the coffee raw. 


Colombia Timana Principales Lotes City+ 

Unrefined sugar, candy apple sweetness, and raw honey right up front. Fresh and clean acidity and a juicy finish. Frankenstein's Monster and The Mummy both agree that this Colombia shines bright at a City+ roast.

Nicaragua Dipilto Finca La Laguna Full City

Bakers Chocolate, Anise, hazelnut and toasty Cinnamon. There is even a touch of acidity that hits the back of the mouth at the finish. This Full City roast also comes with lots of body and layers of cocoa. 


*Blending these two coffees work very nicely too. I would recommend 1 part Nicaragua Dipilto Finca La Laguna and 3 parts Colombia Timana Principales Lotes. But, try a few other combos and see what you think! 

Happy Halloween!

-Danny Goot


Just in case you would like to check out the green coffee offering of these two:

Colombia Timana Principales Lotes

Nicaragua Dipilto Finca La Laguna