Latest Posts

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    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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    5/15 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

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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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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.