Latest Posts

  1. Cyber Monday and Beyond

    Cyber Monday and Beyond

    Cyber Monday and Beyond

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  2. Coffee Tasting at Sweet Maria's - Nov. 16th

    Coffee Tasting at Sweet Maria's - Nov. 16th

    Sign up for our upcoming tasting event.

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  3. Sweet Maria's Donates $10,000+ to Doctors Without Borders

    Sweet Maria's Donates $10,000+ to Doctors Without Borders

    Thank you for supporting Doctors Without Borders with your September green coffee purchase.

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  4. Aillio Bullet Arrival Update - 10/22

    Aillio Bullet Arrival Update - 10/22

    Some very frustrating news about the next shipment of Bullets.

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  5. Put your pet in our college...Oops, we meant "Collage"

    Put your pet in our college...Oops, we meant "Collage"

    We want your pet's photo in our 2019 calendar

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  6. We Are Not Nuts Over Styrofoam Packing Peanuts

    We Are Not Nuts Over Styrofoam Packing Peanuts

    We hope to protect your breakables with environmentally safe packing material sooner than later.

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  7. Larry Cotton's Dog Bowl Roaster

    Larry Cotton's Dog Bowl Roaster

    Sweet Maria's customer, Larry Cotton's awesome heat gun/dog bowl roaster featured in Make: Magazine

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  8. FreshRoast Basics Class at Sweet Maria's

    FreshRoast Basics Class at Sweet Maria's

    Sign up for our FreshRoast Class

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  9. The Bullet R1 Meet Up. Video & Highlights

    The Bullet R1 Meet Up. Video & Highlights

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  10. Sweet Maria's Supports Doctors Without Borders

    Sweet Maria's Supports Doctors Without Borders

    Sweet Maria's is supporting Doctors Without Borders throughout September

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  11. Sweet Maria's New Hats

    Sweet Maria's New Hats

    Our new hats! Two soft, comfy, cool 'n funky ways to keep the sun off your face.

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  12. 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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From Bags of Coffee to Bricks of Panela

From Bags of Coffee to Bricks of Panela

April 12, 2017

This is a photo of one of several bricks of panela sugar we brought back from a Colombia visit, November 2016. Panela is common in most parts of Latin America where sugarcane is grown, produced by reducing sugarcane juice over a fire, then cooling into solid cubes using tin molds. (In Mexico they call this "piloncillo"). It's used interchangeably with refined sugar, but the flavor is quite different, imparting complex flavors in common sweets like sugar cookies, lemonade, and more.

Sometimes we use the term "panela" to define a coffee's sweetness, signaling the complex flavor and aroma found in the sugar itself, rather than the simplicity of table sugar or even brown sugar (which is just refined white sugar with molasses added back in). Depending on whether tasting dark or light, flavor notes span the range of molasses to caramel, and aromatics that verge on floral.

Some of the coffee farmers we buy coffee from grow sugarcane as well, and make panela bricks to sell locally. This particular block is from a farmer named Humberto Cortez in La Plata, Huila. He's a member of a local cooperative we buy coffee from, and whose coffee was included in a regional blends from our most recent container. Lucky for us, Humberto sold us 22 kg of his panela in addition to a few bags of his coffee!  -Dan

 

We don't sell panela but we do sell coffees that have panela notes. CLICK HERE to check out our offerings (current and out-of-stock) that remind us of this brown brick of sugar.