Sweet Maria's Weblog

Product Guide: Travel Mugs & Bottles

Nov. 24, 2015

Travel mugs are everywhere. So why does Sweet Maria's even bother selling products that you can find for a lot less at department stores, convenient stores, gas stations, 7-11, etc?  Well, if you have a busy lifestyle, travel or commute a lot, a high quality, durable mug is important. Those cheap-o coffee vessels with leaky lids, thin walls and plastic interiors walls are bad news if you want to use them more than a few times. All the travel mugs we carry, are durable, easy to clean and have a variety of capacities. They may be a little more expensive in comparison to what you will find in the checkout line at your local supermarket, but we promise that they will last for a long time and will keep your coffee hot for hours.

Every coffee vessel is tested and skeptically scrutinized before we carry it. Also, we stay away from offering mugs with complicated levers and tight crevices. Mechanized flip tops and fancy lids are cool but after a few months, develop goop and residue (yuck) that is hard to clean, even in a dishwasher.

 

Nissan Leak-Proof Travel Mug

We have been selling this mug for years and it's still an employee favorite because of it's simplicity and durability. It's made to take a beating, keeps your coffee hot and is comfortable to drink from. The handle may seem cumbersome but after using it for the first time, you will find that it doesn't get in the way at all.  The carabiner is great for hanging your mug from a backpack. You can always remove it if it bugs you....

Podcast: Coffee Cultivation in Colombia PART 2

Nov. 13, 2015

PART 2 of 2

"This second part is a discussion of coffee varieties like Caturra and Castillo. This isn't really a podcast. It's a recorded Skype conversation. The quality is pretty low. But if you are dying to know details of the issues facing coffee farmers in Colombia, there's some nuggets of wisdom in here (if you can hear them over the car alarm in the background, ha ha). Leonardo Henao occupies a unique position to discuss Colombian coffee. He has training in agronomy and business, works with many small farmers around the country to source and export their coffee, is a confident cupper and roaster, and now is planting a farm in the Urrao area of Antioquia with unique (and technically forbidden) varieties of coffee like Moka, old Caturra, Gesha and Bourbon.  For most, this is dull stuff. Not for me, and maybe not for you."  -Tom

CLICK HERE to listen to part 1

...and HERE to listen on iTunes.

Podcast: Coffee Cultivation in Colombia PART 1

Nov. 12, 2015

PART 1 of 2

"This first part deals with cultivation temperatures for arabica in a warming climate. This isn't really a podcast. It's a recorded Skype conversation. The quality is pretty low. But if you are dying to know details of the issues facing coffee farmers in Colombia, there's some nuggets of wisdom in here (if you can hear them over the car alarm in the background, ha ha).  Leonardo Henao occupies a unique position to discuss Colombian coffee. He has training in agronomy and business, works with many small farmers around the country to source and export their coffee, is a confident cupper and roaster, and now is planting a farm in the Urrao area of Antioquia with unique (and technically forbidden) varieties of coffee like Moka, old Caturra, Gesha and Bourbon.  For most, this is dull stuff. Not for me, and maybe not for you."  -Tom

CLICK HERE to listen to part 2

...and HERE to listen on iTunes.

 

 

This Week's Fresh Roasted Coffee from Burundi, Colombia, Rwanda and our Liquid Amber Blend

Nov. 12, 2015

1Lb bags. Roasted on 11/10/2015.

Roasted Burundi Kibande Ruyaga - from Burundi's Muyinga province.  A nice citrus acidity and great caramel, honey sweetness. City roast level.

Roasted Colombia Huila Caficultor Perfil - from producers in the Timana region of Huila. Flavors similar to cherry, raisin, and chocolate with a honey/raw sugar sweetness. City+ roast level.

Roasted Espresso Single Origin Rwanda Mutovu - Flavors like mulling spice, caramel, and cocoa. Full City +roast level.

Sweet Maria's Roasted Espresso Liquid Amber -  Rustic sweetness, spice, savory notes, long aftertaste. Fully City + roast level.

 

...

Sweet Maria's Got a Brand New Bag

Nov. 11, 2015

For years, we have been packaging our roasted coffee in valve bags with a gold, metallic back and a clear plastic front. Our tastes have changed and we decided to ship our roasted coffee in new white, opaque bags with a metallic lining. The barrier is just as good but gone is the floor-to-ceiling window that was great to view roasted coffee through. The trade off is that a totally opaque bag blocks out light. Light is one of the major enemies of coffee freshness so having you coffee live in darkness is a good thing. The zipper seal works great, the valve keeps out oxygen and the heat-sealed opening assures that you won't have a coffee blow-out when USPS uses your mail as a step stool....