Latest Posts

  1. Burundi + Rwanda Coffee Tasting

    Burundi + Rwanda Coffee Tasting

    Another great event at our warehouse on 9/27

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  2. Video: Coffee Leaf Tea - ቁጢ , Kuti, Keti, Koti

    Video: Coffee Leaf Tea - ቁጢ , Kuti, Keti, Koti

    Brewing coffee leaf tea

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  3. All About Coffee Brewing

    All About Coffee Brewing

    Sign up for our coffee brewing crash course

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  4. Espresso Basics & More

    Espresso Basics & More

    Sign up for our espresso basics class

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  5. Coffee Tasting At Sweet Maria's - Feb. 28th

    Coffee Tasting At Sweet Maria's - Feb. 28th

    Sign up and taste the difference between coffees roasted in different machines

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  6. 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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  7. What The He — Is Jasmine?

    What The He — Is Jasmine?

    So, what is the taste and smell of jasmine? Yirgacheffes often have the most clear-cut jasmine notes of any coffee, but...

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  8. Bright Coffee

    Bright Coffee

    Here's a few coffees with exciting, snappy, zingy, citrusy, tart, vibrant notes

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  9. Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate...

    Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate...

    A few coffees where chocolate notes take the spotlight.

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  10. Sugar Cupping Part 2 -- Rough outline

    Sugar Cupping Part 2 -- Rough outline

    This is a very educational exercise you can easily try at home.

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  11. Sugar Cupping

    Sugar Cupping

    Sometimes tasting something that isn't coffee can help you learn more about what your coffee tastes like.

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  12. Taste and Price: When Values Shift

    Taste and Price: When Values Shift

    I recently caught glimpse of this and found it very thought-provoking.

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Drinking vs. Tasting

Drinking vs. Tasting

I come back to this thought very often, the difference between tasting or cupping coffee and drinking it.  I spend most of my time cupping, really thinking about what I am tasting, holding the coffee in my mouth and thinking about what makes it unique.  Sometimes, rarely, I just drink it. That is probably the opposite of what most folks do!  I thought I would post a link to this You Tube video again - Drinking Coffee vs. Tasting Coffee. I made and posted that video over a year ago - but it is a crucial point that I think of over and over again. -  Tom

  1. John
    October 6, 2018
    Hi Tom,

    I just stumbled on your website today and it's a wealth of info. Thanks for sharing! I'm a coffee lover but I feel like I still have a lot to learn and I want to take it to the next level. Recently I'm particularly interested in learning how to articulate or describe coffee flavors when I'm tasting/drinking. This morning I had a cup of Americano at Mission Coffee in Fremont and the only thing I knew was that it tasted like a coffee I had at Peregrine in DC and they both had distinctive flavors. I wish I could describe what I tasted. I guess I'll just have to keep drinking and maybe focus on single flavors first and later learn more complex flavor combinations.

  2. Byron from Sweet Maria's Coffee
    October 10, 2018
    John, you are on the right track. Keep drinking different coffees and don't forget to actually enjoy them! You can also take a look at SCA's flavor wheel and the charts that we use on our coffee pages to give yourself an idea of how to separate the flavors your are tasting.