Sweet Maria's Weblog

Professional Coffee Community Member Struck by Car

On the morning of Saturday, September 26th Adam Koehler, green coffee buyer for Sightglass and a beloved member of the coffee community, was hit by a drunk driver while bicycling home in Oakland, CA. He was taken to the ER with major head trauma and is still in intensive care for his brain injuries. The prognosis is unclear at this point but we're all hopeful for a fast recovery. Some good friends have started a GoFundMe page to help Adam's family to cover some of the expenses related to his recovery. Please keep Adam in your thoughts and take the time to donate to his fund.


Fresh Roasted Coffee

Oct. 1, 2015

We roasted these delicious coffees on Tuesday, bagged them up in 1lb valve bags and now they are ready to ship. Order some while you can. We roast a limited quantity every 2 weeks and once we are out, we are out of stock until our next roast date.


Roast Date - 9/29/2015

Tanzania Mara Tarime - is from Tarime in the Mara district of Tanzania with flavors notes of berries, chocolate, spice, and muscavado sugar. Roasted to a City+ roast level.

Nicaragua Dipilto Finca La Laguna - from the Dipilto region of Nicaragua with flavor notes of roasted nut, cinnamon, stone fruit flavors, low malic acidity, and heavy cocoa in the finish. Roasted to City+.

Single Origin Espresso - Burundi Kayanza Mpemba - roasted for single origin espresso and has flavor notes of spiced apple cider, candied citrus peel, black tea with lemon, and dark chocolate.  Roasted to Full City

Liquid Amber Blend - is ideal for milk drinks and it's intense bittersweetness cuts through steamed milk. Rustic sweetness, spice, savory notes, long aftertaste. Monsooned coffee and a small percentage of Robusta add crema and body. Roasted to Full City.

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...