Sweet Maria's Weblog

New Coffee from Peru and Guatemala

Peru FTO Junin Trujillano has sweet flavors of raw sugar, along with a bit of top-note elegance - apple juice and dried wild flowers. A nice cup profile, propped up on structuring, malic acidity.

Peru FTO Cajamarca Leoncio Perez has a nutty sweetness, like dark sugar-and-butter caramelized almonds. A nice daily-cup, this dense bean is nice in the Ciy+ range, but can also take a bit of heat - a nice option for those who like to take coffees toward 2nd snaps.

Guatemala Proyecto Xinabajul - Miriam Herrera. Brown sugar, honey, golden raisin, stone fruits - this is the level of quality we hope for with our Proyecto Xinabajul coffees. A cup of elegance, and one heck of a SO espresso.

Are you ready for a couple of new Ethiopian coffees?

October 24, 2014

Ethiopia Dry Process Yirga Cheffe Konga has a delicious clean assortment of peach, mango, guava, and tropical fruits galore with a beautiful finish of molasses and sweet date sugar.

Ethiopia Illubabor Baaroo has complex sugars, florals and fruited notes balance out nicely with a citrus acidity and notes of cocoa. Have a happy roasting day!

Rhyme or Reason: Why You Roast - Hunt Slade

October 24, 2014

A couple of years ago when Hunt Slade of Safehouse Coffee Roasters called me up to ask me about my opinions on some different roaster models, we ended up having an even bigger conversation about realizing and actualizing the potential of any roasting machine. From that I knew that Hunt would be a perfect roaster to talk to about “why” he roasts in the first place and what has pushed him to take his interest in roasting and turn it into a profession. Building a business for the purpose of supporting a community and organization could easily put any number of extra pressures on maintaining a love for roasting coffee, but Hunt faces all of it with a contagious positivism.


CS: What roasters have you played with? Everything.

HS: Chronologically: Many different consumer popcorn poppers, both stock and hacked Various heat gun/metal bowl combinations Freshroast ( I forget the model - from 9 or 10 years ago ) Long handled pan over open fire RK 5lb perfed drum in a LP gas grill - this is what we actually started SHCR with Sonofresco fluid bed 1lb roaster (LP gas) Freshroast SR500 Has Garanti 5k (natural gas) Behmor 1600 Quest M3 110v Limited roasting on: Deidrich 24k both IR and direct flame Probatino (natural gas)

CS: Have you ever built a roasting device or kit?

HS: I didn't originally build our old RK drum/gas rig - Ron Kyle gave it to us years ago, but I have deconstructed and reconstructed it many times. I learned several things through this although much of what I learned was really only painted in broad strokes. In this rig, I found that modifying drum speed would either promote or inhibit scorching and tipping. I also found that air flow for removing effluence from the roasting chamber was highly desirable to limit certain "roasty" attributes in the coffee. Other things learned: the need for roaster cleaning, even in a grill rig; the limitations of batch size/ achievable roast profile vs available BTUs; slow batch cooling robs your coffee of sweetness in the cup.

CS: Do you enjoy roasting more on a bigger machine, or did it ruin a hobby you like?

HS: It may not be the right choice for someone else, but I absolutely love roasting on machines larger than home or sample roasters. For me, it felt like a natural progression of learning. However, I have no experience with anything...

How we do. How we brew. Tim's camp coffee set-up

October 21, 2014

Fall is the rock climbing season here in Northern California, so it often means I'm camping in the Sierras to be closer to outdoor rock climbing when I'm not answering emails here at Sweet Maria's! I generally just car camp, so I like to bring a good coffee set-up, even if it takes up a bit of room in the car. If I'm backpacking or going somewhere remote, I'll take something more like Tom's travel kit.
This past weekend I brought what I had left from our roasted suscription program of the Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Zonegediyo, which had great floral notes and brightness.


New Coffee: Excellent Colombias and a New Ethiopia

Colombia Finca La Esperanza - Brayan Joven is such a complete coffee, dynamic yet well balanced, top notes that seem to multiply as the cup cools. Characteristics range from Honey sweetness, to plum and cherry fruits, to a fruit-juice acidity - a real standout, suited for competition! We've begun to work with a new intermediary in Colombia, gaining us access to producer groups new to us. This first container is nearly all from one group in the Timaná region of Huila, and I have to say, quality is more than up to par, a few exceeding our expectations. 

Sweet Maria's Container Sampler - Colombia 10 x 1LB samples of each lot of coffee that was in this Timaná container. Not every coffee will be available on SM (we buy for Coffee Shrub too!), so this is truly the only way you will be able to try all of these coffees. There's only 150 available, and so we are limiting 1 per household.

Colombia Organic Tres Parques - Apia is a fruit forward Colombia, long sweetness, and brightening acidity.

Ethiopia Dry Process Gey Harar....