Sweet Maria's Weblog

African Video Extravaganza

August 13, 2015

Tom brought back some great footage from his recent trips to Rwanda and Burundi. Here's a few edits we put together.


Rwanda Coffee Processing

Here's a look at the process that happens at Gitesi in Rwanda near lake Kivu and how the workers there manage the channels.


Burundi Dry Process (Natural) Coffee

Tom comments on dry process coffee as he takes a look at coffee cherries drying on raised beds in Burundi (not Ethiopia).

Burundi Wet Process

Here's a look at wet processed coffee in Burundi....and some shots of folks around the mill.




Revisiting our Current Burundi Selections

August 11, 2015

Before our Burundi stock is completely whittled away, I thought now's good a time as any to pull samples of current coffees to taste how they're holding up. We also happen to be cupping very fresh Burundi samples from the new harvest - selections still a few months away from being available - and so a chance to see how the current lots stand up to incredibly fresh coffees from the same stations. I have to say, the level of quality in the coffees we're selling is astonishing, and a testament to the affects proper rest has on a coffee's cup-profile. Flavors taste fully-realized and without any of the 'edginess' that comes with real freshness.

We're down to two final coffees, surprisingly unique from one to the next. Both were roasted to right around City+ for the cup notes. I also happened to roast one batch of Ruyaga to Full City (don't walk away from your roaster!), a happy accident that spawned a few shots of espresso. ...

Five New Coffees

August 7, 2015
Our first coffees from Urrao, Antioquia have arrived - Colombia Cup of Antioquia - Hugo Sepulveda, and Colombia Cup of Antioquia - Jose Leobardo. Both coffees were in the top 50 of 2014, Hugo actually took 5th place, quite a feat when you consider there were over 800 entries last year! These two coffees represent our introduction to the region of Urrao, a highland are tucked away in the northwest corner of Antioquia with a strong small-holder coffee growing tradition. We paid a handsome price for these two coffees to keep them out of the auctions. They show extremely unique cup profiles - cleanly fruited and integrated acidity - and perhaps most importantly, this purchase helped solidify our interest in growing a buying program in the region. Consider these a window into "what's to come", as we have 1/2 container-full of Urrao micro lots and blends landing in the next couple weeks.
Colombia Cup of Antioquia - Hugo Sepulveda - cups like a competition winner - fruit punch, stewed stone fruits, mulling spice hints and well-integrated acidity. Descriptors build as the cup cools, an array of fruit-juice flavors, backed with thick, honey sweetness, and mouth-cleansing finish.


Colombia Cup of Antioquia - Jose Leobardo - cups with fruit-forward complexity, from tart berry to orange-infused honey. The body is lush like fruit juice, and deeper roasts bring on a delicious dark-chocolate flavor to the mix. Amazing for espresso.



Fresh Roasted Coffee

August 6, 2015

Here's four new coffees just roasted yesterday. Enjoy!

Burundi Kibande Ruyaga roasted to City+This coffee has flavors caramel, honey sweetness, citrus acidity.

Cameroon Mifi Bamboutos Mountain roasted to City+. This coffee has flavors of pumpkin, sweet yam, brown sugar and spice.

Moka Kadir Blend roasted to Full City. This coffee has flavors of dried apricot, plum, tobacco, layered chocolate and dense, thick body.

Espresso Workshop #35 - Aruuugas! roasted to Full City. This coffee has complex chocolate tones, citrus zing and dark fruit notes.

Podcast: Morning Sounds from my Coffee Travels

August 4, 2015

For many years I have recorded the ambient sounds I awake to while traveling in coffee-producing countries. Without many podcast ideas lately, and not really wanting to hear myself talk much, I thought these might be interesting to hear as ambient sound. But I found I had to add a voice-over track to explain where I was, and what was happening at the time. Oh well, here it is...



Click here to listen to the rest of our podcasts.