Latest Posts

  1. Intro to Home Roasting Class

    Intro to Home Roasting Class

    Sign up for this roasting basics class. It's going to be a lot of fun.

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  2. Our New Postcards

    Our New Postcards

    Placing an order with us soon? Look in your box for a basic guide to some of the new features on our website

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  3. A few roasting articles to get you started

    A few roasting articles to get you started

    Did you catch our Maker Faire demo? There's more roasting info here...enter if you dare.

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  4. Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting Demo at The Bay Area Maker Faire

    Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting Demo at The Bay Area Maker Faire

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  5. 5/15 Tonight's Scheduled Maintenance and Other Website Stuff

    5/15 Tonight's Scheduled Maintenance and Other Website Stuff

    Cracking an egg to make an omelette.

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  6. New Product Photos from SCA 2018 in Seattle

    New Product Photos from SCA 2018 in Seattle

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  7. Sweet Maria's Featured on The Coffee Podcast

    Sweet Maria's Featured on The Coffee Podcast

    Listen in and share with a friend that needs a little motivation getting started with roasting on their own.

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  8. The New Postcard

    The New Postcard

    We are really proud of our latest postcard because it captures an aspect of one of Tom's photographic projects; shooting realistic macro photos of coffee beans.

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  9. Coming Soon - The Victorio Stovetop Popper for Coffee Roasting

    Coming Soon - The Victorio Stovetop Popper for Coffee Roasting

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  10. Noah Saves a Hummingbird

    Noah Saves a Hummingbird

    No, it's not a children's book. It's the real life tale of Noah, the hummingbird savior.

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  11. Got Dog Jokes for the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar?

    Got Dog Jokes for the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar?

    The 2018 Dogs of Coffee Calendar needs your funny dog jokes and riddles.

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  12. Our 20/20/20 Sale! 20% off 20 coffees because we are 20.

    Our 20/20/20 Sale! 20% off 20 coffees because we are 20.

    We are 20 years old, so take 20% off

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A Prize in Every Bag?

A Prize in Every Bag?

Every roaster cherishes their collection of extraneous matter found in coffee. You hear stories of such glamorous items as live bullets (that expode in the roaster of course) and fingers. But that doesn't happen to mere mortals like myself. In fact, good coffee isn't supposed to have any "chud" in it ...but wouldn't that be dull?

So here is a selection from my humble collection of Misc Stuff found in my coffee:

Sticks, mostly found in DP Ethiopians. Most appear to be from the coffee-trees themselves...
Assorted Beans: red beans, black beans, and an odd acorn or two. Not enough to make Jambalaya though...
One genuine Sumatran Bee. I imagine to poor thing was enjoying a sweet coffee-tree flower when his time came ---wouldn't his buddies be suprised he ended up on the Internet!
Corn, corn, corn! Mostly found in Colombian and Mexican
This is the grinder-killer: nails (perhaps from a wood skid) and other metal items. Install magnets in your grinder hopper!
Unidentified frond
Rocks, certainly the most common foreign material. Found in every coffee, washed or dry. That bright one is colored concrete
Pods and parchment. Amazing how much parchment some East African coffees can have ...I mean, good ones!
This is my prize! An unidentified globule that emerged from the roaster with a cluster of roasted beans stuck to it, and chaff. It reminds me of some kind of candy. I have no idea what it is....

Now, if you are seeing this and freaking out, don't. This represents foreign matter found in many many thousands of pounds of coffee. Coffee is strictly graded and priced based on the absence of defects like these and the quality of the milling and sorting.

The globule was probably just melted plastic. And the only finger I found in the coffee was my own, and they DID reattach it (just kidding). If you want to scare yourself, you would have access to the stuff a low-grade commercial roaster finds in their coffee Vietnamese Robusta or Chinese Yunnan Arabica. THAT might be really horrifying...

Another point of interest: if you ever see fine round, dark green granules in a bag with green coffee, don't worry. I know it looks like insect poop, but it is quite likely the dried up coffee embryo that normally lives inside the fold of the bean. Sometimes they dry up and fall out, accumulating in the bottom of the bag. You know how a peanut has that little thingy on the one flat interior side of the nut. Well, its the same thing. Chances are you have seen this in Costa Rican, Colombian or other wet-processed Central American.

 


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