Sweet Maria's Weblog

Coffee Roasting Demo at FCI

Jan. 26, 2016

If you are going to be around Oakland next Thursday night, Feb. 4th, Come by the Food Craft Institute for their "Intro to Oakland's Coffee Industry" event. We will be there demonstrating how fun, simple and affordable it can be to roast your own coffee at home with items you may already have. Also in attendance will be coffee farmer cooperative Catracha Coffee Company and green coffee importers Royal Coffee.

Our demo will be followed by a viewing of "The Way Back to Yarasquin" and a Q&A with the star of the film and Catracha Coffee Company founder Mayra Orellana-Powell.


 The fun begins at 6pm with the movie starting at 7. If you can't make it exactly at 6, don't worry, our demo will be casual and ongoing until the movie starts so come on by, hang out and learn about turning green coffee into brown coffee.


Thursday, February 4th
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Food Craft Institute
65 Webster Street
Oakland, CA 94607
This is a FREE event!

Insta-tour of Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Jan. 13, 2016

Here's a mini-travelogue from our Instagram feed with a few moments from Tom's recent trip to Guatemala. Check out our Instagram to see more photos of travel, hounds, coffee leaves, coffee book pages, motorcycles, etc.




Insta-tour of Ethiopia

Dec. 22, 2015

Here's some Instagram posts capturing a few slices from Tom's recent trip to Ethiopia. We wrangled them together onto one page so you don't have to sort through our Instagrams of home roasting machines, dogs, macro coffee photos and album covers in order to check out his mini-travelogue. If you are interested in looking at photos of home roasting machines, dogs, macro coffee photos and album covers, click here and prepare to be entertained by our Instagram page.

Start 2016 Off Right With Some Great Ethiopian Coffee

Dec. 21, 2015

Right now is a good time to stock up on coffee for New Year's morning. Regardless of what you may be up to on New Year's Eve, you will probably want some great coffee to drink on the morning of January 1st and beyond.

What coffees do we recommend? Well, our current selection of Ethiopian coffees is very impressive. Any of these would be great options to get your 2016 off to a great start.



Ethiopia Dry Process "Gey" Harar

This Harar is very sweet, from berry reduction to earth-toned raw sugars and rice syrup. it still encompasses a bit of the leathery/rustic sweetness that you'd expect. Body is huge, and the sweetness fruited. The cooled cup is so complex.


Ethiopia Illubabor Baaroo Cooperative

Brown sugar sweetness with jasmine pearl, barley tea, rose hips and sweet lemon-like acidity. Dried fruit notes and fantastic body. Good for espresso.


Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Baraka Buna

Intense sweetness, perfumey florals, fresh baked goods and cleanliness define Buna Baraka. Asian sweet lemon, red cherry and a floral scent of mock orange. Transparent body suits the dynamic cup character and bracing acidity.


Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Dry Process - Aricha

Amazing fruit character: strawberry, orange juice, ruby red grapefruit, stone fruit juices. Body, sweetness and a citric brightness often missing in naturals. Intense espresso.


Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Dry Process - Gedeb Asasa

Intoxicating fruit and floral aromatics. Fruit flavors of lemon-lime, red berry, mango and more. Complex sugars, high % cacao bar in deeper roasts. Intense espresso.


Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Kela Kochore Kela Kochore

This coffee shows a delicate, shimmering profile with a saturated red honey sweetness. Acidity is bright, and accentuated by flavors of pomelo, sweet lime and mandarin orange. Overt florals add to this dynamic cup.


Ethiopia Sidama-Limu SWP Decaf Blend...

The Clever Coffee Dripper Revisited

Dec. 17, 2015

We see cases of Clever Coffee Drippers every day here in the Sweet Maria's warehouse. They scoot around on pallets carried by our forklift, our warehouse crew affixes shipping labels to them countless times a week and our stock of them looks like a life-sized lego castle wall. You'd think we would be completely sick of them by now but we have loved Clevers since we began importing them over 5 years ago. 

It's one of our favorite brewers because it doesn't require a special brewing technique to get an excellent cup. It's simple to use and simple to clean. "Clever" couldn't be a more appropriate word to describe it's functionality. There's only one moving part. The base doubles as a plug so when you place the dripper on your cup, the base goes up and your coffee goes down...into your mug.

Non-electric coffee brewers seem to ride the wave of their own hype and are dismissed once a new form of brewing is popularized. Remember when cafes and restaurants each had a fleet of French presses lined up? One day, the now popular ceramic drip cone will be a thing of the past too. This doesn't mean that French presses and drip cones stop making great coffee once people stop Instagramming them and foodie magazines stop featuring them in their holiday gift guides.

So after the past few years, we still feel the Clever makes excellent coffee and we wanted to dig up a few older Clever-related articles for you, to celebrate our favorite plastic (BPA-free) brewer.


The Inside Scoop

Being a smart shopper, you have probably gone online and seen different versions of the Clever Dripper at different prices. The world of internet selling and reselling can be a modern day wild west. Here's why you should buy Clevers from authorized resellers and how you can tell the difference between the Clevers we sell and the older ones floating around the internet.

Clever vs. Technivorm

This is more of a comparison than a competition since they...