Sweet Maria's Weblog

Three New Coffees

Sept. 25, 2015


India Tree-Dried -Mallali Estate Amrita

This coffee has a fruited sweetness with an earthy undertone. There's a grain-sweetness flavor that comes through in the cup, toasted barley and even a bit of honey-wheat bread. This cup cools well, with fruit flavors you might expect from naturally-processed coffees: strawberry, wine grapes, and hibiscus tea, offset earth-toned and grain-like sweetness. Definitely one of the more complex Indian coffees we tasted.


Sumatra Organic Buah-Buahan

This coffee is really sweet, with burned caramel to cane sugar and a lychee jelly-like smell. The cup has a layers of fruit - aspects of both fresh and dried - and earth tones you might expect from Mandheling coffee. City+ roasts are sweet and bodied, and with pulpy fruit juice flavors, caramel and butterscotch and spiced cider. Darker roasts show elements of red fruit punch, tropical characteristics flourishing, along with a woodsy attribute. The finish carries bittersweet cocoa and earth tones long into the aftertaste. This will make an interesting, rustic-tinged single-origin espresso.


Nicaragua Ocotal -Java Cultivar

A nice sweet cup, with slightly rustic cane sugar appeal and refined fruit flavors. We even noticed notes of Fruit Loops cereal. The cooling coffee shows black, English Breakfast and Darjeeling tea flavors and plain old Lipton with lemon. Subtle flavors of golden raisin, black currant, and a lemon-lime 'tang' show too, along with a unique jasmine hint. Acidity is also tea-like, mild and tannic, but a bit mouth-cleansing, an aspect that holds on well into the aftertaste.

A Whole Bunch of New Kenyan Coffees

Sept. 18, 2015

Kenya Nyeri Gatomboya AA shows an array of citrus and dark fruit flavors - pomello, Naval orange, kumquat, plum and blackberry. Acidity is high, a 'grabby' citrus juice with pulp cuts through across the roast spectrum. Great Kenya espresso.

Kenya Nyeri Thageini AA is loaded with fresh fruit notes, a remarkable depth of flavors - ripe plum, citrus, cherry, and pineapple. Acidity is brilliant and citrus-like. Expect flavors of chocolate and hazelnut uncommon to the region.
Kenya Nyeri Ichuga AB shows a nice range of fresh citrus to dried fruit flavors. Orange/tangerine, dried blackberry and strawberry, and tart mango. Sweet/tart notes add a puckering mouthfeel. Moderate acidity and dark, deep sweetness make this a great dual-use Kenya.  Great Kenya espresso.

Cascara Cherry: Coffee...Tea...Food?

Sept. 18, 2015

In previous years, our Cascara reviews started out with "coffee, tea..or both!". Well, this year we’ve tagged onto this…”or a snack?”. That's right, we're sitting around eating the stuff, something we just wouldn’t do with previous lots. But this one’s crunchy, tart, sweet, and tastes a lot like dried cranberries...I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat it?! So what makes this cascara different from the sort of “traditional” cascara of years past? While this cascara looks similar at a glance, the work behind producing it is substantially different. This isn’t just a by-product of the coffee processing; it is a very intentional product, using different methods that belong more to a food processing facility than a rural coffee mill. But I think I’m getting a little ahead of myself. First, a little background is necessary in order to provide context. 

What is “Cascara Tea?”


Cascara (or Qishr/Gesher as it's called in Yemen/Ethiopia) is the Spanish term for the dried coffee fruit skin. The fruit of the coffee cherry makes up over 50% of the total coffee cherry mass. During the pulping process, this fruit is removed from the seed and exhausts through a channel into an area separate from the beans. That’s quite a bit of potential waste. Traditionally, the cherry is mainly reused for fertilizing the farm, a nice way to complete and then begin a new life cycle, right? But somewhere along the way in Yemen, the potential to dry the cherry and use as a tea-like beverage was realized, and the production of Qishr tea was born. It tastes tart and sweet, a bit weightier in body than most teas, and considering that the...

Fresh Roasted Coffee

Sept. 17, 2015

Roasted Guatemala Antigua Pulcal Inteligente - from the Antigua region of Guatemala with honey sweetness and blackberry acidity. Roast level: City

Roasted Honduras San Fernando Rodriguez Pacamara - with flavors of tamarind, date, sweet tobacco. Roast level: City+

Roasted Rwanda Nyamasheke Mutovu Cooperative - roasted for single origin espresso has flavors of caramel, cocoa, sweet spice, and a citrus acidity. Roast level: Full City


We have all of these coffees in their green, un-roasted form too.

-Guatemala Antigua Pulcal Inteligente

-Honduras San Fernando - Rodriguez Pacamara

-Rwanda Nyamasheke Mutovu Cooperative

Coffee Roasting Demo at Eat Real Food Festival

Sept. 16, 2015

If you are going to be in or around Oakland this weekend, join us for our coffee roasting demo at the Eat Real food festival. This annual festival takes place at Jack London square which just happens to be about 2 miles away from our warehouse. We are packing up a trusty hot air popcorn popper and some green coffee to show coffee lovers how easy it is to roast their own coffee at home. We'll be on the Marina Dock at 2pm but come by the dock early to check out Black Medicine's iced pressure brewed coffee tasting that takes place right before our demo. If you want to rush home after the demo to dust off your electric popper and try it yourself, we are bringing free samples of green coffee for you roast.

If you love (or even just "like") food, you owe it to yourself to spend the day at Eat Real...and don't eat before you come. The selection of food vendors is always amazing.


Sept. 19, 2015

Jack London Square

Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA 94607

2pm at the Marina Dock

Click Here for the Facebook event page.