Latest Posts

  1. Understanding Our Coffee Reviews:

    Understanding Our Coffee Reviews:

    This blog post sets out to explain how the coffee scores and flavor graphs in our green coffee reviews work.

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  2. New Informative Postcards

    New Informative Postcards

    Why tasting chocolate flavors is not simple

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  3. Staff Picks - Featuring Lana

    Staff Picks - Featuring Lana

    Some awesome coffee recommendations from Sweet Maria's staffers.

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  4. Colombia: Travel on hold, but buying is not

    Colombia: Travel on hold, but buying is not

    Traveling to visit farms and select new harvest coffees has been curtailed. Well, it's actually stopped altogether. But that doesn't keep us from pursuing the rigors of the selection process. We haven't been traveling but it doesn't change the way we work that much

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  5. Blog: Sweet Maria's Donates to Local & National Charities

    Blog: Sweet Maria's Donates to Local & National Charities

    Giving back

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  6. Sweet Maria's Staff Picks: Featuring Ryan Part II

    Sweet Maria's Staff Picks: Featuring Ryan Part II

    Ryan loves cold coffee - iced coffee, flash brew, cold brew, you name it. This time around, she's picked some prime options for iced drinks that will keep you cool all summer long.

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  7. Guatemala: A Post-Harvest Update from Origin

    Guatemala: A Post-Harvest Update from Origin

    A post-harvest update on our Guatemala supply chain in the wake of COVID-19

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  8. Chocolate, Coffee, Bitterness  (Part 1)

    Chocolate, Coffee, Bitterness (Part 1)

    What are the types of chocolate found in coffee aroma and flavor? Why is chocolate the go-to descriptor for bitter-sweet coffee flavor?

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  9. Live Stream June 18

    Live Stream June 18

    Join us for another great online question and answer session

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  10. You Asked. We Answered.

    You Asked. We Answered.

    Miss the live show? Watch the re-run.

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  11. Blog: These Weird Times

    Blog: These Weird Times

    Thoughts on the economic impact of the virus on the coffee trade, and what's happening at our warehouse too.

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  12. POSTPONED - Online Event - Sensory Series 101 - March 18th

    POSTPONED - Online Event - Sensory Series 101 - March 18th

    Join us online and compare coffee flavors to familiar foods and drinks

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Prize in Every Bag?

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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