Sweet Maria's Weblog

Did Fido Make The Cut?

Dec. 4, 2015

Our 2016 Sweet Maria's Dogs of Coffee Calendar is finally complete and available on our site. It's filled with great photos of dogs that Tom spotted during his trips to coffee origins. It also contains two pages packed with dozens of photos submitted by our dog-loving customers. It was a pleasure looking at so many amazing photos of everyone's pets and reading about how much we all love our animals. 

We did our best to include every photo submission. Here's the inside back covers of the calendar. Take a look and see if your pet made the cut. Look carefully, you'd be surprised at how easy it is to miss your dog amongst the ocean of dog love. Click here to see a larger pdf version...so you don't have to squint with your face too close to your screen.

...

Three Entry Level Roasters

         

          We have quite a variety of products for sale here at Sweet Maria’s, we try to stock something for everyone. We do realize, however, that choosing between all of these items can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to finding a roaster that’s right for you. Especially true if you're just starting out. So we made this video! We chose 3 roasters that we think work well for the beginner, or perhaps as a gift for the coffee person in your life this holiday season.  

The first device shown in the video is a hot air popper, the Nostalgia Electric Popper. We've carried several different popcorn poppers for roasting coffee over the years, but our all-time favorite models keep getting discontinued! We don't let that deter us though, and after a lot of searching and testing we found the Nostalgia popper, and we think it works well at a very reasonable price. This method of roasting uses the movement of hot air to heat the coffee and agitate it enough to achieve an even roast. This method is also referred to as fluid bed roasting. In the Nostalgia popper you can roast 3-4 ounces of coffee at a time, and it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on desired roast level. We think this is a good entry level roaster for several reasons: not only does...

Product Guide: Sample Sets

Dec. 2, 2015

Our sample sets are great for coffee roasting beginners and for experienced roasters who want to mix it up and have a little variety sent to their doorstep. Sometimes, our offerings list can be overwhelming so ordering a sample set can be a convenient way to order, especially if you aren't too picky about origin and you just want "good" coffee.

Standard 4 and 8 Pound Sample Sets

These consist of 8 or 4 different coffees. 

Each set contains coffee from different growing areas (Central America, South America, Africa and Indonesia) which means that you can expect a wide spectrum of flavor. This is as great way to educate your palate and associate growing regions with certain flavor notes. If you are thinking of purchasing a roaster, keep in mind that we ship free sample sets with most of the roasters we sell.

The coffees change almost daily so we can't take requests in regards to what coffee ends up in your set. We can promise that you will get an excellent variety of high quality coffee and that you will save money at the same time.

We have espresso and decaf options too. If you choose an 8 pound espresso set, we will send you a mix of our Sweet Maria's blends and single origins determined to be great for espresso. The 4 pound espresso sampler will be mostly/all espresso blends.

 

Single Origin Sample Sets

These are really fun ways to taste what an origin has to offer. We curate these when we have enough coffee from a single origin to sell as 4 or 8 packs. If you are trying to educate yourself about the overall taste of an origin's coffee or if you just can't get enough of an origin's coffee, these are for you.

-Ethiopia 8 pack

-Guatemala 8 pack

-Kenya 4 pack

 

Flavor-Based Sample Sets

If you know what you like to taste in your cup, these are great ways to lock in your favorite flavor notes for the next few weeks (or days if you drink a lot of coffee).  We only have one right now, but plan on introducing...

Day after Day Job

Part 5: Falling through the cracks. Time management in theory and practice.


What are the greatest barriers between you and your new roasting business? There are certain to be some on your path to turning your hobby into a profession. The most common one is of course capital; the money to get started is usually the greatest stumbling block for any small business. But that said, I’m not going to spend too much time talking about it. You’ll find a way, I believe in you.

 

Where are you going to find the time to do what you need to do? Besides funding, time is sure to be one of the biggest transition factors in your new endeavor. In this particular scenario where we’re talking about what was once your hobby becoming your full-time job. . You may be thinking to yourself; I’m spending all my off-time roasting anyway, so now I’ll actually be making money while I do it. Well, unfortunately, very little of the time you’ll need for your new business will be spent roasting. This is why building a schedule for yourself is a must. You must be in the business of making time.

 

I’ll go ahead and admit to being not very good at this myself, but clearly blocking your time for your various tasks will make a tremendous difference in keeping your peace of mind. Keep your schedule sacred. You’re starting this business because you love roasting, so your roasting time must remain your roasting time. This is a good rule of thumb from a quality control perspective as well, but maintaining your focus on your roasts, while not answering emails or phone calls, will ensure that you still have that part of your day to do the thing you love.

 

...

Product Guide: Roasting Starter Kits

November 25, 2015

Roasting starter kits, what are these all about? Maybe you've been steady roasting for a while now, and sharing your roasted coffee is your gift of choice around the holidays. What if this year, you shared the gift of homeroasting instead, with one of these Starter Kits? Perhaps you've been roasting in a popcorn popper or a cast-iron skillet and it's time for an upgrade, or you could be tired of your friend, roommate, significant other smoking up the house and scorching all the baking sheets with their coffee roasting and it's time for them to go legit. Whatever your reason, these homeroasting starter kits have everything one needs to roast, track, and store their own coffee, in a nice discounted price for the bundle.

...