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. Storing Your Roasted Coffee

    Storing Your Roasted Coffee

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  3. Pasquini Espresso Equipment

    Pasquini Espresso Equipment

    We have decided not to continue stocking the Livia, or other Pasquini items. This page remains here as a snapshot of what we thought about the Livia (still, a very nice espresso machine!)

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  4. Proper Pants for Coffee Travels?

    Proper Pants for Coffee Travels?

    Tom's take on on the right pants...more than just protection from ants.

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

    Coming Soon - The Victorio Stovetop Popper for Coffee Roasting

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Indonesia: A Live Talk with Thompson Owen - CANCELLED

    Indonesia: A Live Talk with Thompson Owen - CANCELLED

    Tom's got a slideshow and some great stories to share about his travels to Indonesia

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  10. Sweet Maria's is Hiring

    Sweet Maria's is Hiring

    We are looking for someone to join our customer service team.

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  11. Send Your Pet Photos to the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar Casting Call

    Send Your Pet Photos to the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar Casting Call

    Want to have your pet appear in the 2018 Sweet Maria's Calendar?

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  12. Coffee Roasting Demo at Eat Real Festival

    Coffee Roasting Demo at Eat Real Festival

    Learn how to roast your own coffee as you spend your day at Eat Real.

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The Archive of Sweet Maria's "What's New" Section

The Archive of Sweet Maria's "What's New" Section

This is a history of the "What's New" area on our front page. It is possible that some of the older links might not work, but most should be fine. As the listings get older, they are less complete... To go back to the Sweet Maria's current "What's New" section, click here.

If you want to see old archives of the Sweet Maria's site, go to the Wayback Machine - neat!


    • 3/10: We've got four new coffees and they're all easy winners. Let's start with the all-favorite Ethiopian additions. From a far-flung part of the Sidamo region is Ethiopia Organic Shakiso Sidamo "Maduro", a heavily fruited cup for fans of Misty Valley. Makes a great espresso component too with butterscotch candy and hot chocolate in the profile! A nice counterpart is a decaffeinated coffee from Ogsaddey farm that we call Ethiopia Dry-Process Sidamo MC Decaf -- orangey citric notes and syrupy finish! Next is a Cauca coffee from a farm that is up and coming in local competition: Colombia Cauca, Ariel Buitron Microlot, with floral and dark fruit flavors and bittersweet chocolate. Last up is the very exciting Sulawesi Wet-Process Toarco Flatbean... a non-traditional wet-process Sulawesi. It may sound strange, but this is a bright, balanced, and floral cup with dynamic sweetness; it might even be for fans of Guatemala, it's that refined! Read the full review for the full story on this unique coffee and the others above.
    • 3/3:Happy March! We are adding two microlots from Central America today El Salvador Matalapa - Puerta Zapa Microlot is a buttery bodied, sweet, high-toned lot from a specific part of the Matalapa farm, while Honduras Organic - Michelle Guevara Microlot is a honey-drenched cup with jasmine tea hints and a lemony bright snap. Also, we are pleased to add the outstanding Uganda Organic Mbale Bugisu suitable for a wide range of roasts with nice pungency and body, great as an SO espresso! Finally, a couple of welcome additions to our decaf selections: Sumatra Lintong Nihota KVW Decaf has a classic Sumatra flavor profile with rustic earth notes and molasses sweetness and Mexico Oaxaca Pluma WP Decaf is a mildly bright cup with malty roast tones and nice fruit with good bittersweet tanginess.
    • 2/18: Today is new coffee day, and according to our Dogs of Coffee calendar, there will also be a lecture on how to wear brown sometime somewhere today. Here are the three coffees we will be adding: Sumatra Grade 1 Mandheling is back and we are at the peak of the harvest season which is probably why this has such nice complex earthiness, deep bass tone, and heavy body. Even more eagerly awaited is the return of aged coffee and today we are adding Aged Sumatra Lintong Peaberry '07 Crop. For folks who haven't tried Aged before, allow the coffee to rest before grinding for 2-4 days for full development. Look for peppery notes, syrupy sweetness, mint, and aromatic wood. We're also happy to announce a new lot of Bali Kintamani Wet-Hull Arabica, with a marked "Indonesian" profile - fruited, low acidity, and also has chocolate roast notes. Check out the full cupping notes and farm information at the review links above!
    • 2/16: We have added three new coffees and a new espresso blend today! Here is the brief rundown: We are very happy to see the return of a Timorese coffee, it's been a couple of years waiting for a quality lot. This Timor FTO Maubesse has a wide roast profile, nice balance between brightness and body, and is for fans of a sweeter Indonesian cup than a traditional Sumatra. Kenya Nyeri AA Kiamabara is our latest East African addition with moderate acidity, spice, and apricot in the profile. Next we are adding a really fine early Colombian, theGaitania "Los Pijaos de Tolima". Look for a nice balanced profile with raisin, clove, and spice in the finish. Finally we have Espresso Workshop Blend #9 - Dénoumoi, our new Franglais-named blend. The Dénoumoi has intense chocolate, agressive fruit, thick body, and even a hint of blackberry. And given that it is now mid-February and we still have a LOT of the 2010 Dogs of Coffee Calendars, they are now TWO for the price of ONE! Whooo hooo! -Maria
    • 2/9: As an outgrowth of Tom's numerous tests with filtercone drip brewing as posted on YouTube, I went through and edited all of our brewing tipsheets and added two new ones, one for filtercone drip bewing and another for using the Clever Coffee Dripper. I also updated a handy little document called Brewing Fundamentals which gives a great summary of the parameters involved in brewing. Maria
    • 2/5: Today at Sweetmarias, TGIF means Thank God It's Four new coffees! Let's start with Honduras Cup of Excellence -Finca Fernandez from a somewhat remote and small family farm. Look for sweet fruit tastes with ripe apple, red berry, and a cinnamon note. Next up are a couple a favorite farms we've stocked before: Brazil Cachoeira Yellow Canario Bourbon and Colombia Finca Buenavista -Carlos Imbachi Microlot. With the Brazil Canario, expect a special auction-quality offering with light body, malted chocolate, bright peach. It's a limited lot that would even please the non-fans of Brazil. With the Colombia Imbachi, one can expect a fruit combo with guava, strawberry, peach and a taste of honey. This Colombian is another special lot from one our favorite farmers. Last but not least is Java Kajumas Organic Wet-Hulled with a low bass note profile, dark chocolate, butterscotch, and a marked low acidity. For even more verbose descriptions, ... check out the full reviews!
    • 2/3: I just posted a travelogue from a short trip I took to Costa Rica in January 2010.
    • 7/30: We've written a short recap and put up a few photos of our recent Homeroasters' Dream Camp. If you couldn't make it, check it out for some comparisons of roasts between roasters.
    • 7/28: Finally! We have a new Ethiopia Sidamo Dry Process to offer: Ethiopia Organic Dry Process Guji Sidamofruited and spicy, nice balance of flavors and can take a dark roast. And we're adding two excellent coffees from Panama Carmen Estate First it's Panama Carmen Estate 1900 Meters, a new high in both flavor and altitude level for this great varietal. Look for a rounded mouthfeel and some sweet caramel tones. Secondly, it's Panama Carmen "Siete Dias de Bellota" a versatile dry-process offering that also makes a nice SO espresso!
    • 7/24: There's a new espresso grinder in town! Well, not exactly in your town, not yet; it's in our town, our warehouse to be exact...but I digress. The important thing is that we now carry Compak K3 Espresso mills - the K3 Touch and the K3 Elite. We have been testing mills for 6 weeks or more, and have found that the Compak are some of the best out there. The mills are listed for sale on this page and there is a detailed review with photos and comments on this page. -Maria
    • 7/23: Five new coffees today: First off are two Lintong-region Sumatras: Sumatra Lintong Dolok Sanggul with rustic sweetness and black tea and Sumatra Onan Ganjang Cultivar which is a thicker body cup with tobacco and clove. Next up are two centrals: Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero from the West Valley region- with chocolate milk and hazlenuts and the Costa Rica Genesis "Miel" from the Naranjo region- a bright honey-process coffee with dried red berry flavors. Lastly, we are adding the India Organic Jasmine Estate Yellikudige a mildly rustic wet-process coffee with molasses-like sweetness.
    • 7/21: Tom wrote a summary of his cupping results from the Cup of Excellence 2009 auctions - with notes about what we will be getting (or not). Maria
    • 7/14: Again! another four coffees to add! What's with the number four?! I am not sure, maybe we should play the lottery. In any case, here are the coffees: First is the return of Australia -Mountain Top Farm, a Fancy grade semi-washed coffee with a juicy sweetness. Next is a national auction winner from Bolivia, Bolivia Juan Coaquira Mamani Microlot, with brown sugar and stone fruit tastes. And the return of the classic El Salvador Finca Matalapa Peaberry versatile for light or dark roast with an orange brightness, And finally it's a change in the naming conventions for our espresso blends, from geology to acoustics: Espresso Workshop #6 - "Treble Response", keep your cups (and ears?) clean to enjoy this high pitched blend.
    • 7/8: Four new coffees to add today! Sumatra Organic Lampahan -Bonkawan Coop, with low acidity, raisin, fig and plum tastes. Next up is the return of Yemen Mokha Haimi, an aromatic cup from light to dark roasts; great also for SO espresso use! And lastly, we sourced some good decafs: Ethiopia Dry-Process Sidamo MC Decaf, with medium acidity, and sweet fruit notes and Nicaragua Jinotega SHG WP Decaf, a bright decaf with chocolate/malt at darker roast levels.
    • 7/7: Oh lucky Seventh day of the Seventh month! More sale items listed today. - Maria
    • 7/3: Happy early Fourth of July! Four new coffees!!!! Here they are in short. First is the arrival of Guatemala Acatenango Gesha: Jasmine, citrus blossoms, tropical fruit with a complex Gesha flavor profile and aroma. Click through to the review. Guatemala Finca La Bella JBM Cultivar, a balanced cup with milk chocolate, and a bit of apple spice harvested from Jamaican seedstock in Guaemala. Our third Guat. addition is the return of Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca La Maravilla: sweet fruited notes, mild sweet chocolate-dipped nuts. Last, but not least, we received new Yemen Mokha Sharasi, a Mokha coffee from a new region not usually sold as single-origin. This is a sweet Yemen and also versatile: makes a nice SO espresso!
    • 6/26: Clever Coffee Dripper: I am really excited about this little filtercone; I think it greatly improves the quality of the coffee you brew. It is a simple #4 cone with a drip-stop mechanism. You can let the coffee and water infuse for whatever length of time you want, place the filter on a cup or other vessel and let the filtered coffee drain down. Maria and I have been using this to make coffee at home on the weekends for a couple of months now - and it works great. It actually does not drip! Well, not when it is not supposed to. It is an in-expensive way to make great coffee; all the body and full-flavor of french press, without the sediment. The convenience of a filtercone, with control over extraction. -Tom
    • 6/25: Wait, two more coffees to add: We're excited to have the new harvest to offer from two of our regular farms: Panama Organic La Berlina Estate Typica, this lot is a creamy classic Central with caramel-malt sweet notes. and a savory tone as well. Secondly we are adding a new peaberry today: Kenya Kirinyaga -Karinga Peaberry which cups as a more balanced Kenya than recent arrivals. It has a reduced acidity and does well at dark roast levels too.
    • 6/24: We are adding four coffees today: Hawaii Kona -Kowali Farm JBM Cultivar, a classic is back with sweet floral aromatics (Limit to 1lb) Next up is Costa Rica La Candelilla Guaca Bourbon, a great drinking coffee with bittersweet chocolate, thick body, dark fruits. We also got a good decaf Central, the Costa Rica La Magnolia SWP Decaf, which has with a 'fudgesicle' note. Last, we have the return of Tanzania Blackburn Estate Peaberry, a wine-like coffee with berry notes - a favorite of Kenya fans.
    • 6/17: More exciting arrivals! First up is the mild return of Brazil Jacu Bird Coffee. It's a "bird-processed" natural Brazil, check out this and the other reviews for the full story. Next is Costa Rica "Cafe Sin Limites", a great Villa Sarchi miel-prep coffee from the farm. This farm has placed #2 in the CoE for the past 2 years. Big buttery mouthfeel with honey notes. Yemen Mokha Ismaili is finally back! Complex with different tastes at different roasts. Try step blending and single-origin espresso, check out Tom's full cupping review. And finally, the latest in our series, Espresso Workshop #5 - The Breccia Blend. Enjoy lemon and berry flavors at a medium roast, this is on the brighter end of the scale.
    • 6/12: New Microlots are in, from Colombia and Costa Rica ! ... Check the full reviews but here are the briefs on these limited offerings: Colombia Finca Buenavista -Carlos Imbachi Microlot: sweetly fruited, floral aroma. Colombia La Esperanza -Isaias Cantillo Osa Microlot: darker fruit tastes, syrupy body. Colombia Los Galpones -Manuel Santacruz Microlot: delicate, grape-like. Subtle and nuanced at a light roast. And it's the return of Costa Rica Organic La Yunta Estate: hints of peaches in syrup, it's a subtle "drinking" coffee." Lastly, we also have a balanced wet-process African addition, the Ethiopia Mullege Yirga Cheffe: passionfruit, guava, creamy feel. Keep the roast light!
    • 6/11: Back by popular demand (sort of)! We are now offering Roasted Espresso again! Some months ago when we introduced our regular roasted "coffee pairings" we stopped offering roasted espresso and roasted decaf. We think that the roasted coffee pairings are working out well; and now we are bringing back roasted espresso! We will offer one Espresso Workshop blend and one Standard blend for sale each week. Or maybe it will be a Single Origin espresso, or two Workshop blends - we'll see what strikes us. We plan to roast the coffee and keep it in stock as an inventory item - so you can add the coffee to an existing order and it all ship together. Maria
    • 6/10: We've three new offerings today from 'round the globe: Mexico Organic Chiapas Proish Coop, a great harvest this year with a bright yet mild profile, hazelnut and peach fruit tastes. Next is Kenya Kirinyaga AA -Gakuyu-ini Factory, a larger bean than our Peaberry from the same co-op with a milder acidity and some SO espresso potential. Last up is the exotic India Kattehollay Estate Peaberry, a somewhat wild profile with starfruit, almond, unusual fragrance. Please check out Tom's full reviews! (also, we should be adding new arrival micro-lots from Colombia and Costa Rica by late Friday, the 12th)
    • 6/8: We had no power all day Sunday - so if you tried to call - or if you left a message Friday or Saturday, please call or email us since we lost it. Due to the beauty of remote server technology, the site, cart and email are all uneffected. Just the phone and fax were down. And everything is back on Monday morning. Maria
    • 6/4: We have 3 new coffees today, here they are with a brief description from the review: Mexico Oaxaca Pluma WP Decaf, everyone's favorite region Oaxaca, only available in decaf but a nice balanced Oax profile. Colombia WP Decaf -Huila Excelso, a great Huila offering that rivals its caffeinated version! Last, we have a properly caffeinated Sumatra Sidikalang, akin to a less herbal version of a sweet Lintong type Indonesian.
    • 6/2: Two new arrivals, sort of "the first shall be last..." sort of theme: First, our last Kona of the season, more great coffee from Rita Cowell in Honaunau: Hawaii Kona -Kowali Farm Typica, the 1st prize winner in this year's Kona Coffee competition. Refined sweetness, nice bright accents, and jasmine floral flavors. Keep the roast light per the review. We have the first of our new crop Costa Rican coffees, the Costa Rica Lourdes de Naranjo Herbazu, a slightly different wet process with a balance of brightness and sweetness.
    • 5/28: We have an update on Behmor cleaning procedures that is fairly important for Behmor owners. Check this page for more information. Maria
    • 5/27: I have had the opportunity to cup our Hacienda Esmeralda Gesha vac pack lots (#2, #10) from last year against the new crop, and was surprised at the quality of the '08 coffees. I took the most expensive coffee from the '09 auction home for the weekend, and brewing it every which way, I made coffee I thought was "nice" but nothing that really popped out, nothing I would pay $117 a pound for! It made me think about what I really would pay for a very special coffee, and during the long Memorial Day weekend I came up with a figure, $45 per pound, as a reasonable amount for really top notch, award winning coffee. At that rate, each cup is about $2, which seems like a fair price. And if I roasted a batch that really "nailed it on the head" and another that was a shade too dark, or too light, I wouldn't be all broken up about it. So I decided, given the fact we have a few expensive coffees in vacuum pack that are not selling in this down economy, why not have a $45/Lb. sale? We are offering our formerly $125 Panama Esmeralda Gesha Lot 2 for $45/Lb (without the pound of Lot 10 we were previously pairing it with), and we also have the $92 Guatemala Cup of Excellence #1, El Injerto Pacamara, a blistering-good coffee, at $45 per Lb. We are also reducing the price on Panama Esmeralda Gesha Lot 10 to $13/Lb in anticipation of the '09 lot we bought, which will sell for around $35 per Lb when it arrives. We bought only about 300 pounds of Esmeralda in the auction this year. We have cupped all of these vacuum pack coffees and they are fresh as they day they came in!
    • 5/26: More arrivals to post to the list, two South Americans and a surprisingly drinkable robusta: Brazil Cachoeira Yellow Canario Bourbon, a complex cup with a velvety feel and malted/cocoa at lighter roasts. Again, our recommendation is to keep this somewhat atypical Brazil light in roast. Next up, the fruits of our continuing Colombian Microlot project: Colombia "Platos Fuertes de Huila" MicroLot Mix, a blend of smaller micro-lots from Huila, light and effervescent with apricot tastes. And lastly, an interesting and relatively clean Robusta for your espresso blends: India Robusta - Jeelan Estate Nirali
    • 5/26: Coffee Cultivars: Here is a collection of images from my travels of many different types of varietals. I thought it would be interesting to pull all these together into one page ... well, 3 pages since there are so many of them.
    • 5/26: Central America Travelogues and pictures ...Ben and Maria met me in Costa Rica for a Central America Family Coffee get-together, and then we all went to the Best of Panama competition in Boquete. During and after the 2009 El Salvador Cup of Excellence, I visited some of our important coffee sources, such as Aida Batlle's Kilimanjaro farm, and Vickie Dalton's Finca Matalapa. Here's some photos of my El Salvador Travels . And here are the El Salvador Cup of Excellence 2009 photos. Woo!
    • 5/22: We are launching our new Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting Forum in advance of the long weekend. It is meant to supplement the email home roast list and to preserve the good discussions we have on focused topics - discussions that are useful for the new roaster and the experienced roaster alike. Please take a look at the forum, sign up so you can secure your username, and let us know what you think! -Tom
    • 5/14: It’s a fantastic day … the day I get to announce that new crop Kenya coffees have arrived. And we are dropping this Kenya bomb to maximum effect: THREE new auction lot peaberry coffees all at once, heralding in what I think is an epic year of great Kenya coffees. Kenya Nyeri Peaberry -Mutwewathi Factory, a floral cup with apple-apricot compote and pink-grapefruit flavors. Kenya Kirinyaga Peaberry -Gakuyu-ini Factory, a fruit-bomb with complex lemon flavors followed by raisin and grape when it cools. Kenya Kiambu Peaberry -Ndumberi Coop, the cup is a delicate balance between bright fruit and refined sugar, with a pepper accent. Click-through to the full reviews for more cupping notes and farm facts.
    • 2/27: Yet more arrivals! To the tune of 3! It's the return of a rare region: Ecuador Puyango Loja, a medium cup with floral, apple and peach notes; Another organic central is added: Costa Rica Helsar Oganic Naranjo, with cocoa and orange tastes; and lastly, Sumatra Lintong Dolok Sanggul, with caramel, black tea, cinnamon tones, it does well along a full range of roasts.
    • 2/18: We have three more arrivals! ... Our new Espresso Workshop Blend: Espresso Workshop #3 Basaltic Bourbon blend, a lively and clean blend of Bourbon varietals; Colombia "Dos Payasos de Tolima" (3-star), a lightly spiced cup with apple and caramel, it's a new offering from our Tolima project; and finally a great coffee from Burundi, clean and sweet, similar to a Rwanda Bourbon: Burundi Kayanza Bwayi No. 7
    • 2/17: We have three new arrivals today: El Salvador Matalapa Estate Bourbon, becoming a classic Bourbon offering for us, nicely balanced with orange and praline; Ethiopia Organic Kemala "Korito Koran", (Sorry - Korito Koran is already sold out) A new certified-organic direct trade coffee, great for dark roasts, SO espresso and blends: thick body, fruit finish, chocolate; and finally... from the Southern region of Sulawesi: Sulawesi Enrekang "Mount Alla", a more 'Sumatran' profile chocolately offering, syrupy and sweet.
    • 2/6: We added a new RSS feed to notify folks about new coffees - the link is feed://www.sweetmarias.com/rss/rss.php and it's easy to add to any browser (ie Firefox) or other device. Here's the new lots: Costa Rica Violeta -Don Teofilo Estate A clean, bright coffee with honey toast aromatics, bright lemon tea liveliness, hints of raspberry and strawberry, nutty roast tones, medium body, crisp aftertaste. El Salvador Los Luchadores Pacamara Tropical fruit aromas, lychee and passionfruit, with chocolate bittersweetness, baked peaches, mango, papaya, and anise seed. Kenya AA Auction Lot - Ndaroini A balanced Kenya with restrained acidity, grape, berry aroma and flavor with winey hints in the finish, syrupy sweetness, creamy body. This is a rare Kenya that makes incredible SO espresso, if you roast it right (FC-FC+). Brazil Carmo de Minas - Fazenda do Serrado Lighter roasts have nut, caramel and orange rind hints with creamy body. FC+ roasts have chocolate, caramel, dense mouthfeel, minerals in the long finish. Great as SO espresso!
    • 2/3: We have three new arrivals today: Java Kajumas Organic Taman Dadar, the first certified-organic Javanese coffee we've offered; a new lot of Yemen Mokha Sana'ani; and Rwanda Wet-Process Robusta, a unique high-grown robusta. I also added a few things to the sale page - some good deals on barely used stuff. And see the new RSS feed "new coffee feed" to keep up to date on arrivals!
    • 2/2: We have made a small change to the Shipping Special - we are going to give FedEx Ground Home Delivery a try - so Shipping Special orders will go FedEx Ground Home Delivery - not UPS Ground. FedEx offers Saturday delivery for no extra fee, so we are trying it out a while to see how customers like it. Please let us know how the delivery compares to UPS (good or bad) if you notice a difference and have a moment to drop an email. -Maria
    • 1/30: We have been making a number of changes to the website behind the scenes recently, some you may not have noticed. We changed the format of the reviews and the spider graphs, and also the way the big green coffee list works, with short descriptions of all the coffees available, and a drop down menu so you can customize the view of the list. These changes have been possible because the coffee reviews are now served to the website by a database (before they were static html pages). Another change along this line is a new rss feed called"new coffee feed" - which will give you a list of coffees recently added. You can subscribe to this rss feed and see new coffees when they get posted. Tom intends to start using the weblog a bit differently - sort of a "Tom's Coffee Corner".- Maria
    • 1/28: New coffees just keep coming. We have two Kona coffees to offer - a bit earlier this year than other years. With the economy the way it is, I know we will not sell a huge amount of expensive coffees, but for Kona fans, this is going to be a good year. Skip and Rita Cowell's coffee is back with the Hawaii Kona XF -Kowali Farm Typica, a classic Kona, big and sweet. Skip and Rita placed first in the Kona Cupping Competition this year with this coffee. Hawaii Kona Lehuula Farm is a new Kona farm for us this year, owned by Bob Nelson. This coffee placed in the top 10 in the cupping competition and makes a nice single origin espresso. Also just added are: Guatemala El Injerto 100% Bourbon - a farm we have carried for many years, a classic Bourbon; Bolivia FTO SHG EP Caranavi, a lively, light-bodied, bright, dynamic coffee; and Brazil Cerrado DP Fazenda Aurea, a balanced coffee with great body with lots of espresso potential.
    • 1/23: And just last night I added three new decafs that could not be more different from each other: Brazil Cerrado WP Decaf, a decaf with good body to drink straight or use in a blend; Sumatra Lintong Nihota KVW Decaf, carmel sweetness and rustic earth ; and Ethiopia Dry-Process Sidamo WP Decaf, a bright lively decaf with citrus notes.
    • 1/21: We have 5 new arrivals, and you can read more about them using the list below. With the new list functions, the latest arrivals are expanded to show their brief flavor description. Guatemala San Jose Pinula -La Trinidad is a small-farm lot with distinct chocolate bittersweets and nice body. Panama Boquete Lerida Estate Peaberry ... well, old-timers at Sweet Maria's know this coffee well, we have loooked forward to its arrival each season. Colombia Huila Valencia (1 Star) is a uncelebrated lot with no great "provenance" but a really nice cup (and a great price). Rwanda Gkongoro Nyarusiza has arrived again, the coffee we placed #2 with in the national SCAA roaster competition. And a very nice decaf, Peru FTO Norte WP Decaf, is available now.
    • 1/20: Just in time for Inauguration Day - the USPS shipping options have flaked out! It is not that big a deal - but the standard Flat Rate box is no longer appearing as an option as it should - folks see Priority Mail and Priority Mail Large Flat Rate box. For now - if you want USPS flat rate shipping - select the Large Flat Rate box and we will down grade your shipping if appropriate. We'll get this fixed as soon as possible. - Maria
    • 1/13: Our new Espresso Workshop #1 -Ophiolite blend is selling so well, I couldn't be more pleased. It seems people understand the inspirational concept behind these espresso "editions," which we offer only as long as the specific ingredient coffees are available. So with that, we are ready to roll out #2! This is dynamic, sparkling-bright espresso in the West Coast style: Espresso Workshop #2 -Auriferous Espresso. Auriferous? We are staying with our geologic theme, and it means "gold-bearing." I thought it suited this blend perfectly. Read more about the new blend.
    • 1/9: We have several new arrivals. Peru FTO San Ignacio Cajamarca is here, balanced, sweet, with milk chocolate roast tones and soft pear-like fruit notes. Bali Organic "Blue Krishna" Kintamani is quite different from our last lot; it is a wet-processed coffee with a cleaner cup profile and more high-toned flavors overall. And Sumatra Takengon Classic returns, the coffee we formerly called Classic Mandheling, with that brutish, low-acid, heavy-bodied cup, spice, ripe fruit, and a dark tonal range.
    • 1/5: Welcome back! We have big email problems! What a great way to start the new year.... grrr. It seems that we were not getting emails sent through the website contact form. If you have sent us a message in the last week through the website form - please resend it. It will take us a couple of days to catch up with all messages - but if you have not heard from us - please resend the email just to be sure that we got it and can respond. Maria
    • 12/30: Now we are off again for the New Year's holiday! I hope we took care of some of the more urgent matters - but if there is something wrong - a lost or damaged shipment, or a defective machine- we will take care of it once we are back in the office January 2009. -Maria
    • 12/29: We are back in the office for a couple of days -shipping orders and take care of things before we close again for New Year's. We are switching our hosting company - mostly for better performance, control and support. Our old hosting company was cheap and it sort of showed in slow load times and lame support. But we switched the domain name server today and sxeemed to come off without a hitch really. Let us know if you encounter any weirdness, like missing pages, or weird shopping cart items. I am sure there will be some bugs, we just have not found them yet. And Happy New Year! Let's hope for a nice 2009 - nothin' fancy, nice will be fine. Maria
    • 12/22: We are officially closed for the holiday. Time to head to the mall! We have turned the cart off so we can catch our breath, and take a few days off (and do some back end changes to the website in the meantime). The cart will be back on December 26th. We are back in the office Monday Dec 29th and will start catching up and shipping orders in the order received. We will close again for the New Year's holiday - though the cart will remain on that weekend. We are back to a normal schedule on January 5th. Happy Holidays everyone! - Maria
    • 12/19: The door is closing on holiday ordering, but I must extend a proverbial foot into the jam and add these new coffees:
      • El Salvador Finca Kilimanjaro; I was trying to stash this vacuum packed gem for late season, but there has been too much demand. If you know this special coffee from years past, all I can say is it's fantastic once again, many say better than last year.
      • Colombia "Los Pijaos de Tolima" (3 Star); a blend that we build one tiny lot at a time through ourdirect trade program. Tolimas have been consistently my favorite Colombias in recent harvests
      • Colombia Organic "Union de Nariño" (3 Star); our first certified organic Farm Gate coffee from Colombia, built from micro-lots in the town of La Union. Both these lots were shipped vacuum packed, and are vibrantly fresh.
      • Kenya AB Auction Lot #768 -Rukira; Our very last main crop auction lot Kenya until new crop, vivid fruits, and mercifully moderate acidity.
      • Sumatra Onan Ganjang Cultivar; A specific type of coffee shrub from the Lintong area, this was something I found on my recent trip there. It has a classic cup, intense, brutish, potent ... and is quite different from other Lintong coffees.
      • Espresso Workshop #1 - The Ophiolite Blend; I am really excited about this blend, and our new espresso approach. We are dividing our blends into "Standards", blends we maintain consistently, and these Espresso Workshop "editions", things I have hammered out in the cupping lab above the offices here at Sweet Maria's. These are lot-specific offerings, meaning that when the particular coffees in the mix are out, the blend "edition" is retired. What's an ophiolite? Ask Wikipedia ... or just read the review to see why I chose a geologic term... Tom
    • 12/16: Holiday orders are rolling along here - we are shipping orders as fast as possible. Let us know about any problems with your order as soon as possible so we have time to address the issue.-Maria
    • 12/11: I added two new lots today. Costa Rica Tarrazu -Montes de Oro is from a small Micro Mill and farm run by Emilio Gamboa and his family. In a cupping with Costa Rica farmers here at Sweet Maria's a month ago, this coffee impressed everyone, and it still does today! It is also one of the early lots in which we are transitioning to our new scoring system! Check it out. We have used the new numbers on our second lot too, another stellar dry-processed Ethiopia in a season of gems; Ethiopia Organic DP Bonko "Black Sun."(It's our new favorite name too). -Tom
    • 12/10: The USPS continues to have service disruptions that cause their rates to not display. Here is their note: "The Postal Service continues to experience intermittent system interruptions in our Webtools API’s.. We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing, especially at what is one of the busiest times of the year. We are hopeful that full service, across the country, will be restored as soon as possible. We thank you again for your patience." So if you are trying to place an order and no postal rates display - just try again in a few minutes if possible. The disruptions seem to be very intermittent. -Maria
    • 12/9: The new coffees keep comin'! We have listed just now Brazil Ipanema "Tree Dry Process", a coffee from an estate that is familiar to our customers, but this time as a dried on the tree coffee that makes an excellent coffee for espresso use, mildly fruited, strong chocolate roast taste, and heavy liquor-like body. Also two exceptional cofffees, El Salvador Peaberry "Aida's Grand Reserve", a great coffee of careful propagation, harvesting, picking, processing, and blending, and the Guatemala Cup of Excellence #1 -El Injerto, a 100% pacamara cultivar that is clean, sweetly fruited, and spicy in the cup.
    • I made a tribute to Paul Stauder Jr., an important person who helped us get some of our greatest Guatemala coffees. -Tom
    • 12/8: Well, the Grinch has been at it this past weekend. We had LOTS of problems with folks trying to place orders, and the order being rejected. If you did not get an order confirmation from us, please let me know so I can be sure that we got the order. AND, it seems that the U S Post shipping calculator is not working, or working only intermittently. So the credit card/shoppping cart problem seems to be resolved, but the USPS shipping calculator still seems to be off line. I will post an update when this is resolved - hopefully soon! - Maria
    • 12/4: And 3 more new coffees today! Sulawesi Toraja Sapan-Minanga, Kenya Auction Lot 738- Maura Peaberry, and Ethiopia Organic Wet-Process Kebado!
    • 12/3: New arrivals today include Costa Rica La Candelilla Tarrazu "Miel", a really sweet and chocolatey high grown micro lot from a great farm. We have a crazy, non-traditional flavor profile in the Nicaragua Limoncillo Pacamara Dry-Process, over-the-top fruited flavors, and great body with moderate acidity. It's my choice for darker roast levels. And in a different vein of fruity coffee, Indonesia Flores Organic Manggarai ... this lot is by far the best I have ever cupped from this origin!
    • 12/2: We have modified our roasted coffe offerings into a form that fits us much better, and I am pretty excited about: Sweet Maria's Roasted Coffee Pairings. See our Roasted page for more information. -Tom
    • 11/22: We have another coffee to release from our vault of mid-crop Costa Ricas (i.e. lots we have vacuum packed to roll out later in the season). Costa Rica Guillio Francesca -Finca Guadelupe is a classic, crowd-pleaser cup profile from a coffee farmer who is quite a character! We have our first premium Lintong-area coffees, coincidently arriving just as I returned from Sumatra. The king of all Sumatras is the large bean selection Sumatra Lake Toba 19+ Extra Bold (formerly Lake Tawar - see the review) is a potent, brutish cup, and the specially-prepared Sumatra Lintong Blue Batak is really no less potent, with chocolate, caramel, herbal hints, tobacco, and that bittersweet finish.
    • 11/21: The holidays are upon us! We will be closed December 24th through 28th and December 31st through January 5th. As the time draws closer, I will post more information about dates to get orders in for holiday delivery - Maria
    • 11/21: Tom just returned from Sumatra and Sulawesi; it was a looonnng trip that seemed all too short. I divided the pictures into
      • The Aceh District of Sumatra (actually north of North Sumatra!) which includes Takengon and the areas around Lake Tawar
      • .... and then Sulawesi and Tana Toraja, an amazing, mystical place, where I handily whacked my head crawling through a tunnel in a Toraja traditional burial cave. It still hurts. -Tom
    • 10/29: We have quite a list of new arrivals this week, and since I am headed to Sumatra, I am pushing to get them all listed. From top of the list to the bottom, here they are!
    • 10/22: We added our new arrival of Ethiopia Kembata Grade 4 Dry-Process, a coffee from Southern Ethiopia with peach, tamarind, lemon, spices and chocolate... complex and intense, another great natural Ethiopia lot. We also have our first new crop Indonesia at the warehouse, Java Kajumas Curah Tatal. It's your typical low-acidity, oily body Java except this coffee has sweetness and nuance I haven't seen in Java coffees in recent years. We suspect it is partially from older Typica cultivars. Coincidentally, these two lots make an awesome Mocha-Java blend, 50% of each!
    • 10/17: We have 2 new lots from Central and South America and 2 new decafs today:
    • 10/7: Tom returned from a Cupping Competition in Peru with a handful of pictures, and some thoughts on why Peru coffee isn't as respected as it could be ...

    • 10/1: After careful consideration, we decided to get rid of 1/2 pound samplers. So this changes the samplers sold a la carte. The roasters - the FreshRoast, i-Roast2, Nesco and Whirley Pop are still available with 4 pounds of coffee for an extra $10 - but it is four full pounds of coffee, not eight half pounds. I think there is an upside and a downside to this change. The upside is we ship the same great coffee and you have more of a coffee to experiment with roasting to different levels while learning to use the roaster. The downside is less variety. We will still make sure there is a good taste and geographic distribution represented - disparate regions, variety of processing methods, roast recommendations, etc. I suppose another downside could be if you discover you really do not like a coffee and still have 1/2 or more of it left. But in that situation I would point out that a different degree of roast or a longer resting time might change the flavor. What has really prompted this move is the labor cost involved in packing half-pound bags. We thought we would automate this task eventually, but we never did. And as we head into another holiday season, I just know we would struggle again to keep up on the half pound samplers. So effective today, the 4 Pack Coffee Sack is gone (Long live the 4 Pack Coffee Sack!). The 4 Pack is now 4 x 1 pound bags of coffee from our stocks, still priced at $17. The Double 8 pack remains unchanged. - Maria 
    • 9/27: Before leaving for Peru on Monday, I have some new arrivals to upload. We have quite a few Central American arrivals (5) so let's start with the one outlying coffee: Australia Mountain Top Farm -Bin 478 has more character this year, fruited with rose hips and spice. Back to those Centrals, the Costa Rica Brumas Dry-Process is phenomenal coffee, but expect something more like an Ethiopia Harar than a Costa Rica. It's fruity and chocolaty, not to any ridiculous extreme ... but ... if you want one that is, boy do we have it. Guatemala Oriente Dry-Process is completely over-the-top with a complete fruit salad and super intense chocolate at FC+ roast. Read the review! We have two beautiful El Salvador arrivals, the El Salvador Cup of Excellence -Finca Malacara which was #5 in the competition, and El Salvador Organic -Finca Mauritania a classic cup with sweet delicate fruited flavors and balanced body. Lastly, we have the humble, simple (yet delicious) Mexico Organic Chiapas Proish Coop ... another nice Mexican coffee with another unglamorous name. Thankfully, names don't make coffee taste any worse (or better). Also see the shennanigans of the Costa Rica Micro-Millers visit to Sweet Maria's on Friday. How many cupping have free soccer balls at the end? -Tom
    • 9/25: I have added a few new products. New Japanese Beehouse ceramic filtercones - pretty swanky. And we made these Frankenstein Sweet Maria's shirts some time ago - and have decided to list them for sale. Tom also added some pictures of a few recipients of our Sweet Maria's Soccer/Football in Rwanda and Ethiopia - Maria
    • 9/19: I added some things to the sale page that have piled up - Some really good deals in the bunch I think. - Maria
    • 9/16: New Kenya lots (3) have arrived (GatomboyaGiakanjaTegu). Each of these is quite different (Gatomboya is a real sleeper ... very sweet Tangerine; Giakanja has a wild streak in it and winey fruit; Tegu is brighter, a classic Nyeri-type cup). In addition we have our first CoE lot (finally), Costa Rica Cup of Excellence -Santa Lucia, a nice late season Sumatra Lintong, and a new lot of Yemen coffee-skin tea, Yemen Qishr.
    • 9/12: I am back from a long Africa trip (including the first-ever Rwanda Cup of Excellence competition). I have some photos from my trip to Harar and Dire Dawa here. We have a couple "matching pairs of coffees to list: El Salvador - Orange Bourbon Cultivar is from the Santa Rita farm, and has great balanced flavors and brightness (it makes a mean SO espresso!) whereas it's cousin, El Salvador -Yellow Bourbon Cultivar, is brighter and has a more dynamic brewed cup. Our second pair is Yemen Mohka Mattari (think chocolate bittersweets with winey hints), and Yemen Mohka Sharasi, potent, fruit-laced, and intense! And we have more coffees coming in Tuesday including 3 new Kenya lots. -Tom
    • 9/4: Not a huge change - but I have passed on a discount on USPS shipping - since we generate our postage electronically - the post office gives a small discount. So I have finally passed that through to our customers - so you will notice a small change in the postal rates. I suppose that falls in the "every little bit helps" file! - Maria
    • 8/31: Tom was able to upload a blog post on the Rwanda Cup of Excellence that ended Friday.
    • 8/27: I have finished a little page on the cupping class that we had back in July. The pdf files posted there might be helpful. And - the excitement continues while Tom is out of town... I figured out how to update the USPS software module and so now the USPS Priority Mail International LARGE Flat Rate box is available! Woo Hoo! -Maria 
    • 8/27: We are continuing the shipping special through September 30th (it is becoming something of a regular thing) - we have made some changes though - so be sure to check out the description of the Shipping Special. We increased the price slightly ($1 to all three categories) and now all Shipping Special orders go UPS Ground. Transit times will be longer to the east coast, but the packages are trackable, insured, and (in general) delivered more reliably. And good news for our bulk coffee customers! The volume discount on 20#ers (when you order at least 3 x 20#ers) is back - at 10%. Here are the new prices:
      0 - 20 Lbs. = $8.99
      21 - 40 Lbs. = $14.99
      41 - 60 Lbs. = $21.99
      Maria 
    • 8/25: I have added a few new merchandise items; at long last we have Ibriks to sell again; we added a Double Wall glass Bodum French press (which works great to keep the brew hot); and what our customers have all been waiting for.... a Sweet Maria's Soccer/Football!Okay - so no one was waiting for this, no one asked for them, but Tom thought they would be cool anyhow. - Maria
    • 8/20: I am racing against the clock to add all these new arrivals before leaving for the first-ever Rwanda Cup of Excellence competition on Thursday night. I am going to split this into 3 parts: New Centrals; South America + a new DP Ethiopia; 5 new decafs arrive at once.
    • 8/20: If you are wondering about that mysteriously absent Roasted Postcard from your order this past week, here's the scoop. I had shot the images, laid it out, and sent it to the printer ... then left town with Maria and Ben for a few days in Indiana, then the SCAA Roaster's Guild Retreat (here's my jokey pictorial) in Minnesota. The card came from the printer and Josh called to say there was a problem. The 4 coffee roast levels look about the same ... well, under a 60w bulb they did. He said they look better under good light, but still not quite what we were aiming for. So we held the cards until I could see them in person. We revised our comments in the newsletter and decided to send them with orders anyway. Here's what the card looks like, and why we are sending them. If you missed one, I suggest waiting until your next order because we ARE going to reprint them lighter, and with a round of print proofs so we know we get it right. -Tom
    • 8/8: Today I am listing a great assortment of new lots.
      • Perhaps the most unusual is Costa Rica RIP Red Honey Coffee. RIP? Roasted In Parchment. This coffee has not been dry-milled, the green bean is still in the outer shell. In perhaps the wackiest moment in Sweet Maria's history, we discovered you can roast coffee in the parchment shell, and it has a very unusual flavor. This is for experts only, since you can't really see the green coffee as it turns brown. See the review and the pictures of the RIP process.
      • Not quite as "out there" is our new lot of Kenya Thika Chania - French Mission Cultivar. This is a coffee lot from the original French Bourbon varietal as it was brought to Kenya by French priests in 1893, and it as a unique cup character.
      • Some will think I have gone to "the dark side" by offering a Hawaii coffee that is not a small-farm Kona. But we found the Ka'u coffees from south of Kona on the Big Island have greatly improved in recent years, none more than Hawaii Ka'u Wet-Process -Will & Grace Farm. We also got some miniscule lots from them of hand-processed Ka'u Dry-Process and Pulp Natural NanoLot coffees. Yes, NanoLots. Sub-MicroLots. Read the commentary for these...
      • For those who must have monsooned coffee in their espresso blend, we have a fine new lot of India Monsooned Malabar AA
      • Our Classic Mandheling is gone but we have a really good, traditional Grade One Lot to back it up: Sumatra Gr. 1 Mandheling. The preparation isn't pretty, but the cup has true Mandheling origin character.
      • And we have a nice lot of Sumatra Mandheling WP Decaf that scores quite well alongside it's non-decaf counterpart.

      8/1: It's time for GeshaFest 2008. The fabled Panama Esmeralda Estate Gesha (AKA Geisha) auction lots are here, with prices ranging from $10.50 to a trifling $125 per Lb.! Ouch. Is the top lot that good? Yep, highest rating we have ever given a Gesha coffee. It's not for everyone, but we hope offering these 4 distinct lots, at 4 price ranges, everyone can check out the way this special cultivar influences aroma and cup flavors of this unique offering. Rounding out our Gesha offerings for 2008 is the arrival of our Guatemala Acatenango Buena Vista Gesha. We have a very small amount, and the coffee scores slightly lower this year, both the result of wind damage to the trees in storms of late '07.

    • 7/31: By popular demand, we are continuing the flat rate shipping experiment through August 31st. I am going to change the name slightly. And we might have to tweak things as we go - removing some merchandise items from the flat rate shipping special - or increasing the price to reflect the discounted shipping. It has been very popular - and has given us good leverage to negotiate with UPS for better rates too. So we will see what happens at the end of August/beginning of September. - Maria
    • 7/24: Really nice organic Costa Rica lots from small estates are rare. This Costa Rica Organic La Yunta Estate is a crisp, clean, bright cup with floral aroma. Now, if you want to talk flowery coffee, this is the one. Ethiopia Organic Wet-Process Koratie is the sister lot to our Koratie Dry-Process lot. The difference is night-and-day, but both are incredibly aromatic coffees. Candy-like sweetness, peach nectar, watermelon, lemon drops; the descriptors for Koratie Wet-Process are extensive and impressive! We have a new lot of Costa Rica Tarrazu KVW Decaf, surprisingly bright and fruited for a decaf, and a balanced Fair Trade decaf, Nicaragua FTO Dipilto WP Decaf.
    • 7/8: We have a new crop lot of the very elegant Costa Rica Vino de Arabia in stock, another of our Micro-Mill coffees from Brumas del Zurqui. We'll have some very unusual lots from Brumas later. If you know our coffees from year's past, read this name carefully: Panama Boquete Lerida Estate "Miel". It's not the wet-process Peaberry (which will come in August). It's unique and makes amazing S.O. espresso too! I have been hinting at another great DP Ethiopia, and here it is: Ethiopia Organic Dry-Process Koratie. The numbers tell the story on this one. And along those lines we have the highest rated Tanzania we have ever offered Tanzania Blackburn Estate AA.
    • July Shipping Special! Maria and I have decided to try out an experiment for the remainder of July: Sweet Maria's Flat Rate ShippingWe want to simplify our shipping and also give some incentive to people who are getting hit with higher shipping costs. So starting July 7 at 9 AM and running until July 31, we are going to try out this idea:

S.M. Flat Rate Shipping (5-7 Days) to anywhere in the contiguous 48 states, shipping will be:

0-20 Lbs. = $7.99
21-40 Lbs. = $13.99
41-60 Lbs. = $20.99

The address must be a street address, no PO boxes, and it's our choice on the shipping method (either UPS or USPS). If you need to have a specific delivery method and/or delivery by a specific date - do not choose this method! Here's the details.

  • 6/30: The cupping classes are now full - I am keeping a wait list in case someone has to cancel. The space is limited - just 12 spots per class.
  • 6/27: I guess we can call it a Sweet Maria's classic ... we have offered this Guatemala coffee for 4 years now and it only get's better: The excellent, award-winning Guatemala Finca San Jose Ocaña is back. Yes, another great Kenya lot from the Auctions has arrived (we have been trying, if possible, to offer a trio of Kenyas with very different flavor profiles at any given time). Kenya AA Auction Lot #758 -Hiriga is a Nyeri district coffee with passion fruit flavors, sweet orange and black currant. We have a new lot of Honduras we are switching to, the Honduras Organic Maracala -Cocosam Coop was a real winner from last year, and the fact the cup quality held up for so long is due to the expert processing received at this great coop.
  • 6/25: We have filled the July 11th cupping class- still a few spots left for July 18th and 25th but they are going fast since space is limited. I will have a wait list - in case folks have to cancel. Also we will try to schedule more classes - depending on how these go. -Maria
  • 6/20: We have received our first three Costa Rica coffees ... the first of many, many farm-direct small lots we will offer this season! Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero -Villa Sarchi is a distinct variety of coffee (Villa Sarchi) that the farm separated for us, with a very balanced cup profile, whereas Costa Rica El Puente "Caturra Miel" is the first of several "Honey Coffees" we'll have. (Miel is a hybrid between wet-process and dry-process which leaves more fruit on the bean). The Costa Rica Asoproaaa Coop Tarrazu is a classic wet-processed coffee, but with vivid brightness, floral aroma, and nut-chocolate roast tones.
  • 6/20: We have received a lot of requests over the years, and it looks like it will finally happen. This summer, Sweet Maria's Coffee will offer a short Introduction to Comparative Cupping class. This two-hour class will cover basic coffee cupping technique and the skills to identify characteristics in coffee (such as acidity, body, etc.) The class is free and open on a first-come, first-served basis. The same class will be offered on three Fridays in July , July 11th, 18th and 25th, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Class size is limited to 12 persons. Because of limited class size, registration is limited to one slot per person. Classes will be taught by Tom, Derek and Josh of Sweet Maria's Coffee. To register, please email to sweetmariasclass AT gmail.com and tell us in the subject line which class you want to sign up for. We will confirm your place in the class by email. - Maria
  • I had a very interesting Colombia trip to Huila, Cauca and Narino districts in late May but have been delayed getting the pictures together. You can also see it on the beta images site.
  • 6/19: We are receiving new coffees at a remarkable rate... Today we have available;
  • 6/13: Friday appears to be "new coffee day" at Sweet Maria's. We have some interesting new Central American lots:
    • Mexico FTO Chiapas - La Union Coop: I think the quality is up this year, with a brighter, more articulate acidity.
    • Nicaragua Esteli -Nueva Esperanza Coop: A classic milk-chocolate-and-nut Nicaragua flavor profile.
    • Panama Boquete Golden Peaberry: Bright and surprisingly more complex and intense than typical Panamas
    • Panama Don Pepe Estate Dry-Process: Wins the award for unconventional; like a Ethiopia Harar or DP Sidamo!
    • In other big news this week, we were in on the Guatemala Cup of Excellence #1 Auction Lot, El Injerto Estate Pacamara, lot that went for north of $80/Lb. green in the auction. Stumptown did the bidding and gets the majority of it, Kentaro Maruyama and his Mikatajuku group will offer it in Japan, and we get just one bag (154 Lbs). But oh what an expensive bag it will be, adding import and transportation too... Ay Caramba! Still, it's shy of the +$100 we spent on Batch 2 at the Panama Esmeralda Gesha auction... sure makes these 4 new arrivals seem quite reasonable!
  • There are updates on our Coffee Library articles page. I have updated the page about my coffee plant collection, AKA Growing Coffee at Home. This has been updated with a chart of our 150 coffee plantings!!!

6/6: Oh boy ... I was in Colombia last week visiting small farms (see our new 4-Star Microlots) and now we are buried in new arrivals! It's so many new arrivals it's going to be hard to briefly describe them. Here are the links and some comments:

  • 5/16: We have a wide-ranging and eclectic mix of new arrivals today. From South America we have a new lot of Colombia Tolima -Finca Las Florestales a family farm of Maximino Gutierrez and his brothers. We have yet another great Kenya, and this is the first-ever Fair Trade lot we have been able to buy with a fantastic cup: Kenya FT Peaberry - Kiawamururu from the Nyeri District. Our last Kona of the year is in, Hawaii Kona -Moki's Farm. We have a nice, new crop Mexico FTO Oaxaca WP Decaf. And you really need to read the story behind Panama Guyami Indian Robusta Rustico. It's the only coffee I have known to be sent to the coffee mill on a public bus!
  • 5/12: Two new Centrals: Two new Kenyas. We have our perrenial favorite Guatemala Fraijanes -Finca Agua Tibia and a new lot from our favorite Honduran growing region: Honduras Organic SHG Marcala (full cupping review coming). Our first Kenya auction lots have arrived and they are amazing! Kenya Pebaerry Kirinyaga - Gakuyuini is a potent lot, darkly sweet with black currant. Kenya AA Nyeri - Kiamaina is a refined cup with peach-like flavors and brightness. Both lots are so different, both wonderful in their own right.
  • 5/6: We have received our 2 exotic Nicaragua lots featured in seasons past: Nicaragua Pacamara Peaberry is the ovoid version of the huge bean cropss between Pacas and Maragogype cultivars. We also have the unusual Nicaragua Limoncillo Java Longberry Cultivarback, with a unique distinction that (under a different name) it placed #2 in the Cup of Excellence this year! We already have lots of super fancy Brazils, but this one is ina league of it's own: Brazil Carmo de Minas -Fazenda Esperança has been a top 10 lot in Brazil Cup of Excellence several times, including #1 top spot in the last one! The review explains my feelings about this incredible lot. And Sumatra Lake Tawar 19+ Extra Bold is back, bolder than ever, super-premium coffee with incredible size and preparation, and a real powerhouse cup this season.
  • 5/5: Tom, Josh and Derek are back from the SCAA show. This whole cupper vs. barista thing was really on everyone's minds. Also, our Rwanda roast did quite well in the Roaster's Choice competition despite some very, very beautiful coffees we were up against. We were just hoping to make the top 10! Oddly, I had misread it as "Taster's Choice competition", and was at Costco looking for 30 Lbs of Taster's Choice to enter ... which wouldn't have done quite as well as the Rwanda.
  • 4/30: We just received the new crop lot of Rwanda Duhingekawa Women's Cooperative coffee from this Fair Trade group, and it has the same balanced, slightly citric profile as last year's great delivery. Read more about their unique group here. We also have the classic Sulawesi Grade One Toraja, a traditional semi-washed Indonesia with great bean preparation (few defects, and oddly, almost no chaff when roasting). And I am off to the SCAA conference in Minneapolis. Actually, Josh and Derek are coming too, so watch out Minnesota! Maria and the crew are holding down the fort and keeping the orders rolling. -Tom
  • 4/29: We have added a cute little tin with a one way degassing valve. It is a pretty nifty item, and a way to store your roasted coffee that will last longer than the valve bags . Maria 
  • 4/28: I just uploaded more things to the sale page - in case you are looking for something. A lot of slightly used T-Vorm brewers. - Maria 
  • 4/24: New crop Central American lots are starting to come in. The first new crop Guatemala is from Fraijanes: Guatemala Finca La Florencia 100% Bourbon, a classic, balanced old-cultivar cup with surprisingly dense body. We also have a very limited amount of Jamaica Blue Mountain. Okay, not really. The JBM from Jamaica has cupped out flat as a board this year, but we have Hawaii Kowali Blue Mountain (JBM Cultivar) grown by this excellent small family farm in Kona.
  • 4/12: We have received a new shipment of the excellent Hawaii Kona Kowali Farm Extra Fancy.
  • 4/4: I have updated the descriptions of our shipping methods on the orders page to include current information the USPS Flat Rate boxesand what fits in them. These boxes are really popular and a very economical method of shipping for green coffee and bags.- Maria
  • 4/2: Yemen Coffee Bonanza! It's a first; we currently have 4 distinct Yemeni coffee selections at Sweet Maria's, and one tea. Yes, tea ... coffee tea ... made from the dried skins of the coffee fruit! It's called Yemen Qishr Tea and is a very unique experience. These Yemeni coffee lots are clean and balanced compared to selections from the past, and at least 2 (Ismaili and Sharasi) result in some of the best Single Origin Espresso I have had this year! Yemen Mokha Ismaili is spicy, lush, velvety, and a bit more earthy than the others. It's the best Ismaili in 2 years. Yemen Mokha Mattari has winey fruit and chocolate, my favorite brewed cup. Yemen Mokha Sharasi is a lot I found in Yemen last November, delicate, fruited, refined, and an incredible SO espresso. We have other arrivals too: Indonesia Flores "Jade" is unlike the previous offers from this tiny island, rustic, intense, more Sumatra-like. Speaking of Sumatra, we have a great Sumatra Organic Mandheling that cups better than the numbers indicate. Read the review. And here's robusta you can drink as a French Press brew! (Although we still recommend it chiefly for espresso blend use: India Robusta- Jeelan Estate Sitara.
  • 3/21: We have some arrivals that should interest folks greatly. First off, great Harar is back! Fruited, spicy, rustic, complex. I think it's a general "up" year for Harar but this particular lot bows the rest away: Ethiopia Harar Horse DP - Lot 17406. Perhaps one of the most spendy coffees of the year is this Bolivia Cup of Excellence - San Ignacio. It's only fair to call it a "Nano-Lot", truly sub-Micro, and we have to limit it to 1 Lb. per person. (At this price it might be wise, but it is certainly worth it! ) And oddly enough, we have only a small amount of Costa Rica Dota Conquistador to offer, hence the 2 Lb. limit. But it's a nice cup this year. Colombia Antioquia - Jardin Cerulean Warbler has one of the oddest names, but read the review and you'll see that it is both a great, delicate cup, and part of an interesting conservation project. And probably least exciting to the majority of you all, Colombia MC Decaf - Huila Tolima. But it has a very bright fruited cup, an exemplary decaf.
  • 3/16: Here's a wide range of new arrivals; South America, Kenya, Yemen, Hawaii. Wow, you can't get more different (in terms of cup character) than these 4 lots, but each is a standout in their own right. I will leave you with the links to the reviews and you can sort it out. (You probably already know the ones that interest you, based on your preference for mild coffees or wild coffees). Colombia Huila - Las Piedras de San AugustinKenya Thika -Gethumbwini PeaberryYemen Mokha Sana'aniHawaii Kona Purple Mountain
  • New Book! The Professional Barista's Handbook by Scott Rao : This is a very efficient training manual for espresso, and features some great information on brewing too (plus a couple pages on tea ... why?) I was impressed with how concise it is, and how useful it will be for the home enthusiast. Best of all, it's cuts to the chase and shows the core methods for achieving great extraction without making you read too much theory. It also avoids being too specific in showing just one technique. In other words, read this book and over time you surely will develop your own variations. That's the way it should be. It is written by Scott Rao with 14 years practical experience so it combines essential theory with a lot of behind-the-bar insight. And it's not full of a bunch of froo-froo beverage recipies. It's a great training manual for shops too. It's from a small press, essentially self-published, 100 pages on nice thick stock with some excellent illustrative photos and graphs, and a bit spendy at $45. But you could buy a 250 page book with half of the essential information that you would have to trudge through. Here's a book you will truly use!
  • 3/7: We have an array of new arrivals. An early new crop Central, El Salvador Matalapa Estate is cupping excellent, with that buttery Bourbon-type body and balance, and floral citrus accent notes. From Brazil we have a full natural single estate arrival, Brazil Cachoeira Yellow Bourbon Dry-Process, with heavy body, low acidity, fruit and brown sugar sweetness. And we have 2 Tanzania arrivals from the Southern districts. Tanzania Hassambo Macro-Lot Peaberry is from a single cooperative and has a winey fruit tone, lower acidity, and good depth. The brighter lot is the Tanzania Nyamtimbo Peaberry lot, which is more in the "alto" range, but has dynamic winey accents too.
  • 3/4: I did a lot of cupping in Guatemala City looking for special lots, and then some quick trips to farms in the nearby states. Check out my Guatemala Travelogue. Less commentary than usual but a few nice photos-Tom
  • 2/24: We have 2 new Brazils and a Costa Rica that just thinks it's a Brazil! Of the later, this is current crop pulp natural coffee (called Honey coffee, or Miel in CR) just like Brazil style Pulp coffees, but with more brightness. It's fro a specific farm above the beautiful town of Santa Maria de Dota, Costa Rica Finca Toño Miel. From Brasil we welcome the return of 2 favorites. Brazil Daterra Farms Yellow Bourbon is from one of the most reknown fazendas in Brazil, innovators in all aspects (and even our special lot comes to us in vacuum bags to capture freshness). It's as elegant as they come. On the other end of the spectrum, fruity and wild Brazil FTO Poço Fundo Coopis a full natural (dry-processed coffee), rustic and funky.
  • 2/20: A whirl-wind tour of Costa Rica Micro Mills in mid-February!

  • 2/12: We were squirreling away a Panama lot for that window of time when new crop Centrals are a month or two away, and out selection starts to thin out. That time is now! Panama SHB Las Victorias is a Boquete region coffee, and cups clear and clean like the day it came in. We also have a superb E. Africa new crop arrival ... Rwanda Gkongoro Nyarusiza is a mouthful to pronounce, and a superb bright coffee in the cup, with Mandarin orange citrus sweetness, cherry blossom aroma, and great balance. It is pure Bourbon cultivar too.
  • 2/7: Tom is back from India; his travels and has a travelogue here on coffee in India. - Maria
  • The New Homeroast List: I want to migrate the homeroast list to a new server. On this new server we will have an updated version of the software and greater control to prevent outages. Right now I am uncomfortable with mass-migrating everyone. I think it is better have people do it themselves. To add yourself to the list, go to this page: http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/listinfo.cgi/homeroast-sweetmariascoffee.com I might try to send out an invitation to all on the current list to join the new list. I have tested the new list and it seems much faster! The prefix for list posts will be [homeroast] rather than the + sign we used before- Tom
  • 2/6: I added some things to the sale page - for the first time I am listing some coffees that got pulled off the list too soon, some CoE coffees or other rare ones that we have a pound or two of here. Maria
  • 1/24: We have new lots that just arrived and a few that arrive Friday the 25th. I am excited about an out-of-season offering... why? Because we had it vacuum packaged in Ethiopia to preserve freshness, and the cup is outstanding: Ethiopia FTO Yirga Cheffe Kongacooperative. I am recommending very light roasts for a floral, sweet, syrupy cup. We have a new lot of Colombia Los Naranjos de Huila, bright and multi-fruited. We have been holding back on a Guat offering because we had so many, but now is the time to launch Guatemala Huehuetenango -Finca San Vicente, a remarkaable, dense 100% Bourbon like our other Guats, that cups like the day it got here. We have another Colombia Huila Valencia, a pooled coffee of many farmers, but we just happened to find a really nice lot here, balanced and sweet. And Sumatra Classic Mandheling is back with a vengeance, and excellent cup from a particular locale with old-growth Sumatra Typica cultivar plantings. 1/29: Tuesday arrivals include a great Brazil we have had for 3 seasons now, from the matriarch of Minas! Brazil Carmo- Nazareth Dias Pereira deserves a light roast to bring out the sweet citrus and mild malty notes, but makes great espresso at FC+ too. I am listing these lots a day in advance because I am off to India, looking for that oddball Liberica coffee. -Tom
  • Big Brown Monkey - Little Brown Monkey: We made new Espresso Monkey shirts, dark roast brown with cream ink ... quite a coffee color scheme! We also received our new stock of Espresso Monkey cups from Italy, delayed by being on FDA hold (what concerns the FDA about cups? Who knows.)
  • 1/21: We have a new Sweet Maria's Roasted Coffee Weblog where we discuss the why and how of each week's selection ... and you can make comments too!
  • 1/14: We have a new and unusual lot, Mexico Organic Dry-Process Nayart Rustico. This is a full natural coffee (i.e. sun-dried whole coffee cherry), resulting in a cup more reminicent of dry-process Sidamo, Harar, or Brazil, rather than any other Mexican coffee. Speaking of naturals, we have another lot of new crop from South America, Brazil Pedra Grande -Bourbon Cultivar. Honey, milk chocolate and almond would best sum up the Pedra Grande. Ethiopia Dry-Process Sidamo WP Decaf is a superb coffee that just happens to be a decaf too... great aromatics here.
  • 1/11: We have received the small grid drum for the Behmor roaster. I knoe some folks have been waiting for this because it solves the problem of roasting small beans in the Behmor. With the smaller grid size more chaff is kept with the beans, so you will have to deal with that (or not, chaff has no flavor so it is fine to grind up some chaff with the coffee). - Maria
  • 1/9: We have some interesting arrivals, including a really stellar Sumatra Lintong Special Preparation, one of the best Lintongs in a few years. We also have the splended small-farm Hawaii Kona Kowali Farm Fancy and Extra Fancy. It's been our favorite and has that great floral aromatic note that sets it apart. We also received Costa Rica Tarrazu - La Minita back in stock (from the same lot as before), as well as a new lot of India Monsooned Malabar AA.1/4: Okay, you know Californians think every little drop of rain is a flood, and a mild storm immediately requires all local news to hyperventilate with names like "StormTracker '08" - Well, we actually did get hit pretty hard here in the Bay Area today, enough wind to jackknife trucks and shut down some bridges. Luckily, we didn't lose power here at the warehouse, but a couple folks couldn't get to work due to transportation problems. So we are still working furiously on the orders, despite a genuine curveball from Mother Nature! -Tom
  • End of 2007 - start of 2008

  • 12/19: We have some interesting new lots, and I realize it's a bit unfair to add them today since we must close at noon to finish up all our outbound shipping. Well, it leaves something to look forward to later! The shopping cart is activated again on December 26th, and we start shipping again on January 2nd. Anyway .... The first is from unspecified farms in Antioquia district, a pooled lot we call Colombia Antioquia "13353" Supremo that just happens to have great cup character. There are 2 late-arriving Kenya lots, our last until new crop. Kenya AA Giakanja Coop Coffee Mill is an oddball Kenya with a twist of Indonesia rustic fruit in the darker roasts. Kenya Muranga -Kianderi Peaberry is very floral, lemony, alto-range flavor profile, especially with a City to City+ roast treatment. And we have a new lot of Aged Sumatra Grade One Lintong that is complex, and surprisingly sweet for an aged coffee. We also have a really nice lot of Sumatra Lintong Nihuta KVW Decaf that truly cups like a good non-decaf Sumatra.
  • 12/12: We ran out of the Orange Bourbon, but the sister lot El Salvador Yellow Bourbon Cultivar is now here. It's a similar flavor profile with a bit more brightness and crisp fruited notes. We also have new crop Indonsesia Flores - Bajawa Highlands, which is an interesting full-bodied cup much like our new lot of Bali arabica.
  • 12/7: We have another late harvest Main Crop Auction Lot Kenya arrival, a bright, dynamic, fruited, slightly winey offering: Kenya AA Nyeri -Gachatha Coop. We also have an early Kona that despite being a mill-mark coffee (not a specific farm), is an outstanding cup: Hawaii Kona Greenwell Extra Fancy. And if our huge selection of Costa Rica micro-lots wasn't already daunting enough, we have another addition. Costa Rica Dota Peaberry Special is a lot I hand-selected earlier in the season, and was milled just for us. It's a bit winey, with good depth and chocolate tones. -Tom

    12/6: Nothing like a website bug to get the blood flowing first thing in the morning! Seems that lots of page files were corrupted - so some shopping cart buttons were bad for a few hours. I think I fixed everything now- but if you find a bad link- please let me know. Maria(PS: It's actually my fault - I was tinkering with the site and Dreamweaver - our web page editor- crashed - Tom)

  • 12/3: It's late to be receiving Central America coffees, but we had some lots of Panama squirreled away for later in the season, and they are some really nice coffees. Panama Organic La Berlina Estate is 100% old-growth Typica cultivar, and has solid balance and good body, whereas Panama Boquete Organic Los Lajones is a bright cup, like Lerida, with lemon accents. We also have a new crop, premium Brazil from a Cerrado micro-region, that makes great brewed or extracted (espresso) coffee: Brazil Coromandel -Fazenda Sao Joao. And Indonesia Organic SWP Komodo Blend is back in stock.

  • 12/1: It took a week to sort through them all, but here is my little travelogue for Yemen, just 350 photos or so. You can view it as html pages ... The Coffee Haj: Introduction to Yemen , or on our new beta site Image Gallery. It's one of the most intriguing coffee origins, and one of the best trips I have taken

  • 11/28: The holidays seem to be in full swing and I am happy to say we are shipping orders and keeping up very well. We are shippping out orders within 24 hours of receipt (except for the weekend). We keep fiddling with the pick up hours - the new pick up hours are: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 5 pm Happy Holidays! We get a lot of requests for gift certificates this time of year- they start at $15 since that is our minimum order. - Maria
  • 11/26: Here's a travelog of my trip to Ethiopia to cup at many exporters in Addis Ababa, and get ready for the new crop coffee. I am still trying to work through the images from the bulk of my trip, to Yemen, so those will be posted soon.
  • 11/16: We have a few special coffees in time for the holidays - two El Salvadors - a Peaberry "Aida's Grand Reserve" and Finca Kilimanjaro. Aida is Aida Batlle, who has several small farms of great distinction on the Santa Ana Volcano. (You can read about Aida in our Kilimanjaro review). Like no other small-lot coffee Tom has tasted (or even heard about), Aida's Grand Reserve is the product of careful propagation, harvesting, picking, processing, and blending. The Kilimanjaro farm is also owned by the Batlle in the same region. Both are special coffees that you might want to try. - Maria
  • 11/16: The holidays seem to be here - judging by the increase in emails and orders. We are really on top of orders - shipping pretty much the same as before - within 24 hours of receiving the order (except for the weekend). We are going to start limiting pick up /drop in orders though I am afraid - just because they can be too distracting. New pick up hours are: Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am to 5 pm, and Thursday from 11am to 3pm - Maria
  • 11/13: The day has finally arrived - the Behmor 1600 is finally here. It has been much anticipated - it has been in development for years. We think it may be the right home roaster for a number of folks. Here is the link to the review. There are five pages of information about the roaster - the summary page is something you ought to read before purchasing the machine. We'll see how they do! - Maria 
  • 11/8: I am off to Yemen (my first time there!), so am up late adding a whole bunch of new arrivals to the list tonight. We have some unusual offerings that diverge from typical processing methods to produce some remarkable lots -Tom
  • 11/6: It is hard to believe but another holiday season is bearing down on us! We will be closed November 22nd and 23rd for the Thanksgiving holiday - the shopping cart will stay on and we re-open Monday November 26th and start shipping orders, in the order received. Please remember that during the holidays - we can not keep up our usual 24 hour turn-around time. It can take 48 to 72 hours to process and ship out your order. So for everyone's sake (ours as well as yours) don't wait until the last minute! I know lots of folks like to roast coffee to give as a gift. We will be closed for our usual break between Christmas and New Year's Day - more details to follow.
  • 11/1: It's another one of those massive arrivals of new crop lots to start off the month of November, so here's the list:
  • 10/19: We have 2 new African lots. From a newer growing region near Harar, we have Ethiopia Organic Dry-Process Golocha, a fruited, low-acid cup with very thick body! And a new Main Crop Auction Lot Kenya (with the coincidental name of Oaklands) is very bright, yet sweet in the finish: Kenya Ruiru - Oaklands Estate Peaberry. Also, a small amount of Panama Lerida Estate Peaberry is back in stock.
  • 10/17: Sweet Maria's 10th Anniversary Party! Tom and I find it hard to believe but this fall the business is 10 years old! To mark the occasion we are throwing a small bash here at the warehouse. Nothing fancy - we will have some coffees brewed up and Tom's home brewed beer, maybe some special give-aways (like t-shirts or coffee), folks can try their hand at the South American coin tossing game called "sapo", and just to make sure that folks who wish to embarrass themselves have a chance to - a karaoke machine! Where: our warehouse located at 1115 21st Street, Oakland CA 94607 When: Friday October 26th, from 3pm to 6pm (or whenever we pull the plug on the karaoke machine). If you think you will stop in, please let us know so we can plan ahead. Please reply off the list to maria@sweetmarias.com - Maria (Post party note: thanks all for coming! it was a blast, and if you stayed late to see all the karaoke, it was quite a hoot! -Tom)
  • I made a collection of single-bean macro images representing different varietals and processes. It's not exhaustive at all, but simply what I had nearby. -Tom
  • 10/10: I found a Sulawesi lot with good rustic sweetness and body. Sulawesi Enrekang "Mount Alla" is from a high altitude micro-climate and is much more of a traditional Indonesia semi-washed coffee than other Sulawesi lots of late. And new crop Rwanda Kinunu Bourbon is in, pure old-style Bourbon cultivar with balance, brightness and citrus subtext.
  • 10/10: Baby Chicken! We have more than a few requests for kid's shirts, and since Maria and I (Tom) now have a baby, it makes even more sense to print some baby-sized clothes! Ben really liked my Chicken shirt when I wore it, so why not make him his own Baby Chicken shirt. Maybe you know a baby that would like it too.
  • 10/8: It appears our site security certificate lapsed on 10/6. We are renewing it as we speak. This is an administrative thing, and doesn't affect the actual security of the site. We just need to pay GeoTrust more money.-Maria Update 10/9: We're good till 2009 now, so no worries...
  • 10/5: We have 3 new decaf arrivals today, the full-bodied Brazil Moreninha Formosa WP Decaf, bright and lively Costa Rica Coop Libertad WP Decaf and a bright and balanced cup profile from the Panama Carmen Estate WP Decaf.
  • 10/4: The much-anticipated Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP has arrived, and it was worth the wait; excellent fruited notes with berry accents in the light roasts. We have also just received the special lot of Australia Mountain Top Estate XF, which we get in vacuum packed bags to prevent humidity issues in it's long journey from down under. Great as SO espresso too!.
  • 9/28: India Monsooned Malabar "Elephant" is back in! And it sprinkled in West Oakland today--coincidence?
  • 9/27: Our new lot of Costa Rica Cup of Excellence "SLGLA" is from the first-ever COE competition in that country, and a very refined cup. It's actually the product of three micro-farms (Santa Lucia, Génesis, Los Anonos), but I couldn't figure out a short name so we're stuck with SLGLA! And an excellent lot of Sidamo Dry-Process, Ethiopia Organic Sidamo DP -Special Selection is here from Trabocca (Holland-based) exports. This was the best Sidamo from last year, and I think this is better than the Harars of this year too! Ethiopia Idido Misty Valley comes in about a week too.
  • 9/20: India Coffee Bonanza! Sort of. Basically, we found these new, unique India lots and they call showed up on our doorstep at one time! First off is one of the oddest, most-confounding coffees I have ever tasted! It's a rare coffee, certainly a unique experience, but you had better read the review before you take a risk on this one! It's called India Anohki Coffee, and it is a totally different species from arabica; coffea liberica. The flavors range from blueberry to barnyard: You've been warned! Next to the Anohki, the India Baba Budan - Mandelkhan Estate seems like a wall-flower of a coffee, but it's a classic India from a very high altitude estate. More rustic and wild is the India Mallali Estate "Tree-Dried Natural." Just as it says, this is not processed on a patio or mechanical dryer ... it is allowed to fully dry on the tree, and the cup has intense heavy body, fruit and chocolate. And we have a specially-selected robusta that is actually quite sweet, outstanding for your espresso blends: India Robusta - Sethuraman Estate Nirali.
  • 9/19: A new arrival is this unusual cultivar, El Salvador- Orange Bourbon Cultivar, with a very balanced and sweet cup.
  • 9/17: I know I must be pretty corny - but I am happy that the stainless steel poppers are back in stock finally at long last.
  • 9/10: A wide range of arrivals, from big-ticket Gesha-cultivar lots to humble, mild Chiapas lot, an outstanding Colombia from a new region and a superior Yemeni lot:

    9/10: We have the two new HotTop roasters in stock - same good basic machine, but they have new control features that are pretty neat. We need to update the page with photos etc - but a brief overview of the updates is on this page.

  • 8/30: A variety of new coffees arriving today and tomorrow, including another Cup fo Excellence lot! It's a classic Central cup with tons of chocolate, spice and citrus hints: Nicaragua Cup of Excellence -La Esperanza . And we have another potent Auction Lot Kenya, loaded with tropical fruit, very bright and winey: Kenya Nyeri - Ruiruiru Peaberry . We have been waiting until mid-harvest arrivals to find a nice PNG lot like this: Papua New Guinea -Kimel Plantation Peaberry (This lot arrives Friday, so orders with it will ship then) . And we have an unrepentantly bright, citrusy decaf: Kenya Auction Lot Peaberry WP Decaf .
  • 8/22: We have a very special arrival, a single-farm, single-varietal Antigua lot with great cup character: Guatemala Antigua Finca Retana Yellow Bourbon. On the other end of the spectrum, we have a pooled coffee lot with no pedigree, Colombia Supremo 15943 and I don't even know what region it is from! It's just one of those crazy things; sometimes a generic lot can be really good!
  • 8/21: Costa Rica Tarrazu - La Minita is back in stock, our final CRLM arrival for the year.
  • 8/15: Again, many coffees are arriving at once, and I am trying to get packed for my flight to the Roaster's Guild Retreat tomorrow at 6:30 am. Oh well. Here they are, each one a gem in their own right. Please read the full reviews and check out the Coffee Flavor Analysis charts for each of these!

    8/3: We have two new African arrivals. Another great East African lot from the Main Crop auctions; Kenya Kirinyaga - Thimu Peaberry has a deep-toned character (for a Kenya) with berry-like fruited notes and winey hints. And for the first time we have a West African coffee! Cameroon Caplami Java is an unusual longberry cultivar, with a cup that has Indonesia-like body, and interesting spice and fruit notes.

  • I finally decided that no other cupping spoon would do, and I had to make my own. Here they are, Sweet Maria's Stainless Steel Cupping Spoon, ideal in size, shape and material; over time it is clear that stainless is more durable than silver plate. Totally unnecessary, but kinda fun.
  • 7/27: It's Panama-rama time! We received three prize-winning lots: From the 2007 Best of Panama Competition we have the #2 lot, Panama Auction Lot - Mama Cata Gesha, my favorite lot with a balanced cup and plenty of floral character from the Gesha cultivar. We tried to buy the Panama Bambito Estate coffee for several years, a unique farm that was #2 in last years competition. We had to pay a premium, but we finally got this lot, from an amazing "old growth" farm. Once again we have Panama Esmeralda Especial - Gesha Cultivar and it is in fantastic form this year! And the spoiler of Panama-ramaBrazil Organic Fazenda Jacaranda, with balanced fruit and nut, and a great single origin, single farm espresso!
  • 7/24: We have some new items that arrived lately. Bodum came out with 2 new drip brewers with great visual appeal, the Bistro and the Kona. (Which is not the same as the Cona Vacuum Brewer!) They also have new double-wall borosilicate Bodum Glass Mugs - very nice... and we finally received the Yama Butane Burners, a welcome addition for those using the new Yama Tabletop Vacuum Brewer or the Cona models.
  • 7/17: A special Costa Rica Naranjo Caracol Peaberry has arrived, a lot I found (or more correctly, it found me) while cupping in the Naranjo region this February. And we have one of those fruited, funky, full-bodied, intense dry-process lots; Ethiopia Organic Sidamo DP - moredocofe Coop.
  • 7/17: We have the Yama Tabletop Brewer in stock now, which is a copy of the old Cona Classic brewer from the early 20th century. But it is a just a tad cheaper (I mean a lot less expensive).7/11: We have some innovative new coffee cleaning products, espresso machine brushes from Pallo, and machine cleaner from JoeGlo. (Actually, the JoeGlo is coming in a couple days). That doesn't sound exciting, eh? Well, remember that all your precious, fresh home roasted coffee doesn't even have a chance at good cup quality if your coffee brewer or espresso machine is all sooted up! We also have a FAQ page for these items.
  • 7/10: We have a Cup of Excellence arrival and 2 new Kenya lots! The Colombia Cup of Excellence - El Caucho is a complex and intense cup, with dark fruited notes, and a unique sweet tobacco finish. Kenya AA Nyeri - Karatina is a bright floral and citrus blossom coffee, a cup that brings the term "pristine" to mind. Kenya Thika - Gethumbwini Peaberry is a powerhouse, with intense brightness, but also deeply fruited berry notes with a winey aspect to them.

  • 6/29: We have four new arrivals, all quite unsual and fringe in terms of conventional coffee offerings. Costa Rica Coop Dota Dry-Process (yes, dry-process in the Ethiopia style, but from Costa Rica) is fruited, full-bodied, rustic, and definitely odd. How about monsooned coffee, already peculiar in terms of appearance and cup character, but not from India? We have Java Monsooned Arabica in stock, with an unusual sweetness and spiciness in the cup (...and yet it is an aquired taste). And then there is our exceptionaly bright, lively decaf blend, Africa Highlands WP Decaf, with components from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Finally, for espresso blends we have a new lot, India Robusta -Bibi Plantation (from the same great farm that grows our India Monsooned with the Elephant Mark). (Links to reviews coming soon)

  • 6/25:Please note that we will be closed for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday - July 2nd through 4th. We start shipping orders again on Thursday July 5th. Happy summer to everyone!
  • 6/18: Another big list of new crop arrivals this week:
  • 6/15: I just added more items to the sale pageMaria6/8: We have the Yama Vacuum Brewer back in stock. In fact, we have 2 sizes now, 5 cup and 8 cup. And even better news, it is 10 bucks less than it used to be! After a long hiatus, we also have the Bodum Santos stovetop vacuum brewer back in stock.
  • 6/4: Arrivals from Central America and Africa new crop:
  • 5/31: I am impressed with our new crop Costa Rica Tarrazu - La Minita., very bright, floral and with a sweet finish. And we have new crop Colombia Narino -Reserva del Patron, which has more body this year, and great balance.
  • 5/25: The award winning Panama Carmen Estate 1800+ Meters, our special selection of the highest altutude coffee from this farm, is back in stock again, as bright and dynamic as ever. And we have a new farm source for an all-Bourbon varietal: El Salvador SHB Pulp Natural -San Emilio, with dense body and excellent chocolate character with a fruited subtext. Nicaragua FTO Esteli - Miraflor Coopsold out quickly but has now returned, which has very high roasts for cup quality this year, and roast notes at the City+ level.
  • 5/18: Once again, we have so many new arrivals at once I can only provide a list, and links to the full reviews. Many of you from the homeroast list have aske about the Jacu Bird Coffee - that's here, along with a darn pleasant Harar, and (finally) a solid Aged Sumatra
  • 5/17: We have updated the USPS shipping module and it is working for the most part. One glitch is when ordering bags- it wants to ship each bag separately and so gives a crazy price for postage. That ought to be corrected soon. International Priority Mail and International Priority Mail Flat Rate are both available . Because the USPS is now charging dimensional weight- which affects shipments that are more bulky than they are heavy - we will contact you if we need to charge additonal postage. -Maria
  • 5/11: You have probably heard that there are big changes in postal rates that start Monday May 14th. There are some other changes that will impact International orders especially. Essentially the USPS is eliminating Parcel Post Air and Parcel Post Economy Surface. In their place will be a new service - International Priority Mail. There will be an International Priority Flat Rate box too that can fit up to 12#s of coffee and some small items - just like there is for domestic mail. The cost will be $37 I believe ($23 to Canada). We are still working through the changes and for the time being have disabled the Parcel Post Air and Parcel Post Economy (Surface) options - UPS Worldwide Services are still available. So if you are placing an order that would ship to a non-US address, you may want to wait until we have the new rates and services available, or select UPS Worldwide. -Maria
  • 5/7: We have a new single estate decaf ... sweet, dynamic, bright; Guatemala Finca Injertal WP Decaf
  • 5/3: We have a small lot of Hawaii Kona - Kowali Typica XF (1 Lb limit, sorry ... there is very little).
  • 5/1: We have yet another Oaxaca coffee offering. As I mentioned before, this seems to be an "up" year for the region, and these two lots exemplify uniquely different Oaxaca cup character. This second arrival, Mexico Oaxaca Pluma - Don Eduardo has an interesting fruied and winey subtext to the cup, with good tangy chocolate at FC (Full City) roast. I was really impressed with the Brazil Screen-Dried Moreninha Formosa we offered early in the season, and wanted to bring it back. But this is a fresh late-harvest lot arrival, with outstanding body and chocolate roast tastes at FC+. And for you espresso-blend tinkerers, we are offering the unique flavors of India Monsooned Robusta once again!
  • 4/27: Kenya has arrived. Our first lot of Main crop, Auction Lot Kenya is here: Kenya AA Kiambu - KimathiThe initial cup results are outstanding .. check out the review. It looks like it will be a fine year for Oaxaca, if our first new crop arrival is an indication: Mexico FTO Oaxaca Pluma. The light roast have a great toasted almond tone, while it turns to tangy bittersweet chocolate at FC/FC+ roast. -Tom
  • 4/25: Hooray! the #4 Porcelain Filtercones are here! I know it is not that exciting in absolute terms - but we have intended to find and sell these for a long time - so it is nice it is actually happening. Maria
  • 4/20: New crop Java Government Estate Pancoer has arrived: nice cup, opaque body, nutty in the lighter roasts and semisweet chocolate when taken a bit darker.
  • 4/17: The roll call for Centrals continues with two new arrivals. Guatemala Fraijanes - Finca Agua Tibia is extra nice this year, tons of spice and tangy chocolate. And we have an outstanding Nicaragua FTO Esteli - Miraflor Coop, with almond roast notes, milk chocolate and clean fruit in the finish.
  • 4/12: Some coffees we carry each year because they consistently perform so well on the cupping table. We just received Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu - Conquistador and Costa Rica Tres Rios - La Magnolia and they are true-to-form, exemplary lots. And we have another Yemeni offering: Yemen Mokha Haimi is an intense, spicey, fruited cup with fresh leather accents: sounds odd? Well, it is Yemen coffee, of course it is odd.
  • 4/8: Just when I thought that the entire crop was a bust, we received this Bolivia FTO SHG EP Caranavi with an outstanding, bright, lively character apple, hazelnut and mild chocolate notes. And after a long absence, we have an India arabica (non-monsooned) lot: India Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold has unusual dry-roasted peanut notes, low acidity, good body ... and makes a very compelling single-origin espresso.
  • 3/28: So many new arrivals at once. Some lots were delayed in shipping, but everything seemed to come in at once! Therefore, it's all I can manage right now to give you a list of links and some short descriptions - Tom
  • We have some new products this week. We are stocked a new model of Moka Pot (i.e. stovetop espresso). The Bialetti Musa Mokapot is brushed stainless steel, remarkably sturdy and looks pretty sharp too. We have 3 different size; 4 tasse, 6 tasse and 10 tasse. We have a new Commercial Espresso Knock Box, stainess steel with a nice big non-slip rubber base. And as a preview (coming in a week), we have a new larger sized Porcelain #4 Cone Filter Holder (I have been looking for these for years!). We also have an elegantly simple Porcelain #1 Drip Pot Set, a filter cone and matching pot with lid. Once agian, these porcelain items come in a week or so. -Tom
  • 3/27: I made a page with some interesting microscopic images of the coffee seed, and the difference between a healthy bean and a defective bean.
  • 3/21: The web site woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Nothing is wrong, really. It's just sluggish. (Note: tested again this PM and seems a bit better) -Tom

  • 3/15: We are waiting on some other new coffee arrivals (and a couple new merch arrivals too) but I wanted to highlight the Yemen Mokha Sana’ani. Sometimes we switch to a new lot, and forget to underscore the fact, or even mention it! This new crop Sana’ani is quite dynamic and has some very lively bittering chocolate and spice notes. This lot exemplifies the postitive aspects of “leathery” flavors in a better way than any Yemen I can recall. Yes, leather can be good!
  • 3/7: A new lot of Sumatra Tapanuli WP Decaf has arrived: it's what you would anticipate, all bass-notes, and a good foundation for low-caf or decaf blending.
  • 3/6: Well - it seems that Zassenhaus has re-or ganized, re-shuffled, re-whatever, and will once again be in business. We ought to have a limited selection of mills by early June 2007. Maria 3-6-07
  • 2/27: If you are wondering where the Costa Rica is, I remind you that it would be a crime to offer a CR coffee at this time of year: it would either be old and on the edge of extinction, or a low-grown, too-young coffee from the new crop. But here is a truly "peak-of-harvest" offering that has the same bright, lively acidity of a CR lot: Colombia Organic Nariño - San Lorenzo . We also have 2 micro-lot Peru offerings from small growers I met on my last trip to the Cuzco region of the Andes: Peru Tunquimayo - Juan de Dios and Peru Las Delicias - Zenon VargasAnd we also received a favorite Brazil of mine from last year, Nazareith Dias Perreira and Aprocam (the farm matriarch, and the name we sold it under last year, and the cooperative, Aprocam). This year, we use the farm name: Brazil Carmo de Minas - Fazenda Sertao-Tom
  • 2/23: Mid-harvest Hawaii Kona - Purple Mountain Farm has arrived, my choice for a darker roast treatment to produce an excellent bittersweet cup character with hints of macademia nut, vanilla, and aromatic wood.
  • 2/23: Some web site housekeeping notes: The web site was shy last night, and made itself unaccessible for around 2 hours. We talked to it, and it agreed not to go into hiding ever again. Or at least we hope. Seriously the server was down for a bit and is fine now. Actually, what was going on is that we were being transfered to a better server box, so hopefully performance should improve a bit. Unrelated: This morning I had to do some database maintenance and took the shopping cart offline for 30 minutes. It all went well, but what I discovered in the process is that the file that holds our customer list had grown too large! Huge! (I know some of this is because 1 person might have several log-ins, having forgotten their username and password. Also, we have a fair amount of people who don't roast, come along, order some filters or something, and never return.) Anyway, I was forced to randomly remove a big chunk of the customer log-ins, which might mean that your log-in no longer exists. That will mean you need to recreate it, input your address information. I apologize for this! There was NO OTHER WAY. We can't sort records by date, by last use, by anything. A mass deletion of older logins was all I could do. Anyway ... Go ahead and use the same usernames as previous, if you care too. Also, none of this has anything to do with payment information. Our system is ideal: it stores address information separate from payment information, and removes the later after each batch of orders.I know, some of you like it saved so you don't have to input it again. To this end, we are going to experiment with adding Google Checkout as another option. We'll see if it works.-Tom 10/23 am
  • 2/20: FYI - We have changed our hours for pick up/walk in orders somewhat. New hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11am to 5 pm, Thursday and Friday 11am to 3pm. Closed weekends as usual.
  • 2/19: In honor of President's Day, the online payment processor we use (Verisign) decided to fail - so you may have had problems placing an order by credit card this morning. Seems like the problem is resolved now.... Let's hope. Maria
  • 2/16: We have an unsual assortment of new coffees. The Winner: a super small lot of Peru Concurso Huallaga - 1st Place, the coffee that won the event I judged in Nov 2006 (it took a bit to get here). The African: We have a new lot of Rwanda Butare Bourbon, from one of the top-rated "washing stations" (i.e. coffee mills), Bufcafe. The Sneaky Decaf: There is not way that, in a blind evaluation cupping of this lot of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe WP Decaf, I would ever suspect it was a decaf; citrus blossoms, orange honey, jasmine. The Stinker: I am excited, yes, actually excited about our new Thumbs Down: Sulawesi Goo Goo Muck lot. It really really sucks!
  • 2/9: Starting 2/16 - we will be closed at 3 pm on Fridays. This ought not to change the shipping schedule but will effect drop ins and pick ups. Maria
  • 2/8: Some problems with email on the HomeRoast List today. (Note: seems to be working okay as of this AM, 2/9)
  • 2/2: We have a very, very early new crop Central: Panama Lot 12686. It's a coffee with no pedigree, but a fine, bright, lively cup. A sweet (brown sugar), remarkabley complex and elegant Sumatra arrived in the form of Grade One, Triple Pick Sumatra Mandheling "Blue Batak." And 2 lots of new crop decaf came: a high-toned Peru Organic WP Decaf from the Cepicafe cooperative in the northern region, and a Mexico Organic Oaxaca WP Decaf with a very delicate, attractive flavor profile.
  • 1/26: Our Colombia Cup of Excellence lots have arrived! Colombia Cup of Excellence #3 - El Placer is a bright and delicate cup, while Colombia Cup of Excellence #12 - El Descanso has mire heft, a rounded flavor profile with a winey hint.
  • 1/18: We have 2 new lots coming in from Brazil, and both are pure Bourbon varietal coffees: Brazil Fazenda Boa Sorte Natural Bourbon and Brazil Cachoeira da Grama Yellow Bourbon. We also have a nice pulped natural, full body decaf lot arriving today: El Salvador PN Las Ranas WP Decaf.
  • 1/18: More stuff on the sale page. - Maria
  • 1/10: Finally, the second lot of Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP has arrived. This is a very special preparation, Grade 1 dry-process Yirgacheffe ... quite different than both traditional wet-process Yirgacheffe, and typical Sidamo and Harar dry-process. We Have a really nice Peru Norte Especial that came in too, a case where a particular conventional lot comes in way better than expected. We have had a lot of questions about Kona, but now we are getting to that window in the crop cycle when the higher altitude farms are ready: our first small-farm arrival, Hawaii Kona - Kowali Farm Typica is excellent again this year. And we have a interesting East African arrival with rustic butterscotch sweetness: Tanzania Mount Meru Nkoanekoli (one of our toughest coffee names to pronounce too!) -Tom

    1/2/2007! It's unusual to offer a coffee with certain qualifications, but I felt this Yemen Mokha Mattari FC+ is so good with the right roast that I put it in the title: FC+, Full City + roast. We received the cryprically named Sumatra 19+ TP - Lake Tawar (translation: 19/64ths or greater bean size, triple pick hand sorting to remove defects). It is a sister coffee to the Iskandar Triple pick, but more rustic, herbal, foresty ... basically, more Sumatra-like. Also, the very popular Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley will be back next Wednesday.


  • end of 2006 start of 2007


  • 12/26: The shopping cart system is on again.

  • 12/14: A new crop dry-processed, heavy body Brazil Screen-Dried Moreninha Formosa is here. Fruited, syrupy, and rustic; some will love it, others might find it too funky. Either way, this cup has character! Along the same lines is our new crop, Dry Processed lot of Sulawesi Grade One Toraja; deep, intense, dark chocolate, wet earth. In terms of the more classic cup character, a velvety and infinitely more sophisticated Colombia Tolima Planadas - El Jordan; complex, with fruited shades of berry and apple. We are lucky: there seems to have been some great late crop lots out of Ethiopia at a time we are normally out of these coffees. Here is a stellar lot: Ethiopia Late Harvest Yirgacheffe. And we have a nice, fresh new lot of lively Costa Rica Tres Rios WP Decaf.

  • 12/10: Well - it would not be the holidays without the added stress of a late container.... Our next delivery of Fresh Roast roasters was supposed to be here weeks ago - but as luck would have it, it is late. So I THINK the container landed this weekend 12/10 and I THINK we ought to have the roasters by the end of the week 12/15 - but I FEAR that what I THINK and what HAPPENS will be two totally different things...So I am saying we ought to be able to ship these now by 12/18 - which ought to be the very latest they will ship. Depending on where you live in the US and the shipping method selected - you may be able to order for holiday delivery. 3 Day Select might be a wise choice of shipping and help get it there faster. I'll post updates when I know more. ( NOTE: FRESHROASTS DID ARRIVE 12/18) -Maria
  • 12/7: We are pretty much on top of orders and email at this point - a bit slower than normal but pretty good. If you emailed us and are waiting on a reply - please send the message again as we may have missed it. Order turn around is still about 48 hours - sometimes faster. Remember that the last day to order for ground delivery anywhere in the US is December 12th by 9 am. Please check out the UPS time-in-transit map for Ground packages. UPS service guarantees on Ground packages is not honored 12/11 through 12/23 - so they ought to get it there but sometimes things go hay-wire this time of year. Maria
  • 12/1: A new round of coffee arrivals, in the midst of the general chaos of holiday madness: Guatemala"Blue Quetzal" Bourbon , that's Bourbon the coffee cultivar, and this lot exemplifies it's classic, complex flavors. Mexico Organic Nayarit Terruno, has no review yet, but it's a sweet-and-simple, light-bodied, snappy cup coming very late in the season. We really don't need another Nicaragua on the list, but the review will explain why I had to offer the Nicaragua FTO Lozahoren (Dipilto). It cups like a Sulawesi, and is different than the Flores Bajawa from last season: Indonesia Flores Sasandu Dry-Process . Lastly, a really potent, rustic, unique Sumatra Blue Lintong-Tom
  • 11/28: We have a limited amount of Panama Auction Lot '06 - Carmen Estate from the Best of Panama Competition. This was one of the 3 coffees we sold as a set earlier this year. I found out there was a bag still unclaimed so I jumped on it (well, figuratively). -Tom
  • 11/16: 6 new offerings have arrived! We have two Guatemalan lots that came in together. Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca La Providencia, is a cup with dried fruit and winey accents, just a dash of clove and pepper. Guatemala Quiche - La Perla Estate is a clean, clear flavor profile; one of those classic yet inscrutable coffees. It's been a time since we had a Panama Boquete - Maunier Estateoffering. But at the tail end of the crop this lot came through; dark berry and chocolate. Colombia Cauca Organic - La Esperanza is a deep-toned cup, with chocolate and dark fruit. It's been years since we had a Congo Kivu Peaberry, largely due to the politics (see the Congo page for some thoughts on that). And Rwanda Migongo Bourbon is very balanced, velevety, with floral hints; I made great single-origin espresso from the Migongo. -Tom
  • 11/16: More sale page items - Some big stuff - some small stuff. Some very good deals - a number of technivorm brewers listed just above cost. - Maria
  • 10/24: New coffee arrivals yet again. We have a new lot of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe - Moledina 3993, traditional wet-processed floral and citrus, but not sour. This lot is remarkably sweet (think ripe tangerine). New crop Indonesia continues to trickle in, this time a heavy-bodied Timor FTO Maubesse. And for you classic espresso hounds, a new lot of India Organic Washed Robusta.
  • 10/18: The final installment in the '06 Cup of Excellence chapter, our 2 lots from El Salvador have arrived. The most expensive coffee in the auction, the second place lot is El Salvador Cup of Excellence #2 - Los Planes, and exotic cup with Dutch cocoa, pine oils, green apple, marzipan ... now that's character! And our sleeper favorite was the El Salvador Cup of Excellence #12 - El Zapote, with marmalade, dried dark fruit, and blackberry sweetness. In another grand finale announcement, the last main crop Kenya of the season is here, and talk about ending on a high note. Kenya AA Auction Lot 764 -Ndaroini Nyeri is a sweet, citric cup, lemon custard, blackberry-currant fruits, spice (corriander) accents; a remarkabley lively cup. -Tom
  • 10/9: For those of you who have been waiting - the Hearthware i-Roasts are back in stock. No changes to the model that I know of. Maria
  • 10/6: The boat came in, again. While we continue to run out of early-season lots, later arrivals (and a new crop Indonesia Java) have emerged. I know there's a lot of coffees coming in but I would I would loathe "pacing out" these arrivals artificially, since what we do here at SM is simply a reflection of the coffee crop cycle, and what small, outstanding lots of new crop coffee we can source. Guatemala FTO Quiche - Maya Ixil is a milder, lower acid Central with a really nice milk chocolate and fruit character. A sleeper "generic" Colombia Excelso 13356 ... hey, cup quality is wherever you find, with or without estate or micro-regional pedigree. Here's a completely wild and even questionable coffee, but I had to put it out there: Ethiopia FTO DP Lekempti. The review explains why. And on the flip side, that heavy-body, tame-flavored new crop Java Government Estate Djampit is here. If you are overstocked on green, just put down the credit card and roll back from that computer ... these lots will be here at least a couple months. - Tom
  • 10/5: A lot of questions in emails about Yemeni coffees but I have had trouble finding any with good origin character in the cup. Finally, we have a Yemen Mokha Sana'ani that has spice and fruit in the light roasts, turning to pungent, bittersweet chocolate at Full City+ to Vienna roast. -Tom
  • 10/3: We have received a new lot of Brazil Organic Cachoeira Yellow Bourbon and this is slightly sweeter (and a tad brighter) than the previous. I attribute this to the fact that we had the choice of mechanical dried lot, and this lot we selected ... a 100% sun-dried lot where the coffee is laid on screens, not a patio. Also, we have new crop Brazil Fazenda Brauna Peaberry that just came in, excellent as expected. -Tom
  • 9/25: Many new coffees! We have the first arrivals of our Central America Cup of Excellence lots, with a mix of spendy top 3 coffees and some "sleeper" lots that are more reasonably priced. Top of the price heap is the first place Guatemala Cup of Excellence #1 - El Injerto, a sublime floral and citric lot of pure Bourbon coffee. The Nicaragua Cup of Excellence #3 - El Cipres is proof that Dipilto region produces soem of the most nuanced, delicate-yet-complex coffees in C. America. The Nicaragua Cup of Excellence #17 - San Antoniois from a small woman-owned farm in Madriz, and has a unique chocolate character with herbal and flroal hints. Coming soon (next 2 weeks) are the Honduras CoE lots, and then the El Salvador CoE lot.
  • 9/25: (continued) I am excited about the unusually named El Salvador "The Juan Francisco Project." It's a dark horse lot I found at the 2006 CoE Competition that split the jury, but I felt strongly that the fruited character was special and good, so we are working with the farmer to offer his coffee unblended and solve his special coffee processing challenges. Read the review for the details. Another coffee that has me all worked up is the Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP. It is actually from Yirgacheffe region, carefully dried on screens without water fermentation, and sorted to the best standards. The cup is amazingly fruited, with floral and citrus highlights. And last but certainly not least, near the end of the Kenya season with this awesome coffee, from the esteemed Nyeri district, Kenya AA Auction Lot 438 - Hiriga; sweet citrus from start to finish. And we have a new arrival lot of Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu Hermosa to boot.
  • 9/20: We have a new lot of Australia Mountain Top XF "Bin 35". What is Bin 35? It is a special designation for a lot that was screen dried directly after the skin was removed from the coffee cherry, and then double-sorted, meaning that it was run through the density sorting table twice to remove defects. It's a very sweet and rounded cup.
  • 9/15: There was a mention in House & Garden of our business and the Panama Gesha coffee - we sold out all of this a few weeks ago. Here is a link to the review. We will post something if we are able to get more before next season. - Maria
  • 9/7: We forgot to notify ya'll that a new lot of Ethiopia Organic Dry-Process Sidamo replaced the previous one, with a much higher cup rating. This lot is from a new source too, not an MAO or Oromia lot. Great cup and high quality hand preparation.
  • Peru, what an amazing place, and what a screwy place in terms of coffee. If I seem too harsh, 395 photos in a travelog (and a video to boot) should show the enthusiasm I also have for Peru ... there are 7 pages of thumbnail images, and I hope you find some of it, if not most of it, interesting: Peru Coffee Tour 2006 -Tom
  • 9/12: Just listed a few things on the sale page - most everything is at or below cost. Amazing how things pile up after a couple of weeks. - Maria
  • 8/31: I was impressed by the sweet orange character of the Panama Organic Los Lajones and had to snatch up the lot. Not as acidic as the Lerida, and not as expensive as the Gesha!
  • 8/31: Well, we got bad news from Hearthware earlier this week - the next shipment of i-Roast 2s is delayed - the container is not expected now until the end of September. As per our usual policy, we will not take pre-orders because we have no control over when these will arrive. But we are keeping a waiting list and will let folks know when the roasters are available.Maria
  • 8/18: People have been asking about Huehuetenango Guatemalas this year, and I finally have one to offer I think it really excellent (crisp, bright, citric, sweet): Guatemala Huehue. FTO -Asasapne Coop. We receive a Pacamara varietal lot from Honduras too (the same farm that won the CoE Competition this year: Honduras Pacamara -Santa Marta Estate. It's a bit unusual so read the review. And there's a really nice decaf that just arrived; fruited aromatics and nice body: Ethiopia Natural (DP) Sidamo WP Decaf.
  • 8/9: The expensive and much awaited Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda Gesha is in stock, and it does not cost over $50 a pound! But hold on big-spender, there is a 2 Lb. limit. No less exciting (to me at least) is our special Costa Rica "SM Select" Peaberrythe third year we offer this specially sourced lot, full of winey fruit, nuts, and chocolate. New crop Colombia Nariño -Reserva del Patron is in (remarkably balanced coffee with great body) and another whammo Kenya from an already epic year: Kenya AA Auction Lot 434 -Kithungururu. And lastly a very nice, "true to origin character" Sumatra decaf is in (low acid, earthy, heavy body); Sumatra Organic Gayoland WP Decaf.
  • 8/3: Once more, I just added a few things to the sale page - a couple of big ticket items at a good discount. Maria7/27: Our new Brazil arrival is a classic, balanced, sweet Bourbon coffee from Sao Paolo state: Brazil Organic Cachoeira -Yellow Bourbon.
  • 7/21: I just added a few things to the sale page - a couple of big ticket items at a good discount. Maria
  • 7/21: Under some pressure from the Homeroast list (!) I have finished the review for the excellent lot of Panama Boquete Lerida Estate Peaberry and it is available now. We also received a sister lot of excellent decaf: Panama WP Decaf -Panamaria Farm, and one of the highest-rated decafs offered: African Highlands WP Decaf, a blend of 3 wet-processed coffees.
  • 7/19: Our special preparation lot of Ethiopia Harar Horse - Green Stripe (designation of extra hand-sorting) is in; if you are a Harar fan, read the review because this lot receives a qualified "thumbs up" grade. New crop Papua New Guinea Kimel Plantation has arrived, and the cup is excellent: bright and lively, with tropical fruited notes. We received another full-body, chocolatey Brazil-process coffee (which many will remember from last year too, Costa Rica Pulp Natural - La CandelillaAnd a nice, balanced Mexico Organic Chiapas WP Decaf is in too.
  • 7/10: Colombia at nearly a Kona price? Well, it's a Cup of Excellence #3 coffee and there was a lot of international bidding on this lot ... it was that good: Colombia CoE - Hacienda La Virginia. Speaking of spendy coffee, we also have new crop Australia Mountain Top Estate Extra Fancy (XF) which is cupping out really nice (more body than the previous crop). And a bright, zingy, pallet-cleanser Kenya AA Auction Lot 503 - Rui Ruiru.
  • We have some new cups with our Sweet Maria's Skunk design on them. The best thing about these is that they are made at the factory in Italy using our favorite cups: the Sorrento Espresso design and the Amalfi Cappuccino cup. So they are identical to our popular Mokabrown-colored cups, but they are white, and, er, they have a skunk on them. We also have the Milano Espresso in 5 new colors. Here's more information...
  • 7/5: We are back open after the long holiday weekend - and a bit behind on orders as might be expected (trying to do 5 days work in 3 days.) So it will take a bit longer than usual to turn around an order - maybe an extra day both on shipping and getting orders ready for pick up.

  • 6/28: We have some new merch: another wacky t-shirt, the large-sized thermal carafe Technivorm KBT 741, and a new coffee tome, Coffee Flavor Chemistry by Ivon Flament. 
  • 6/21: We are sold out on the Best of Panama 2006 sets today. Tom has a bit more of the #2 coffee - the Bambito - since we won 2 bags of that - not just one. So that will show up in a limited offering (1# bags only) soon I am sure - maybe by the end of the week -Maria
  • 6/20: Just added a host of miscellaneous items to the sale page. First come, first grabbed as usual....Maria
  • 6/19: Two rather exotic coffee arrivals (but for quite different reasons). The Hawaii Kona XF - Kealakekua Coffee Co. is a late-arrival '06 crop Kona that really impressed me in the cup, especially at a slightly-darker Full City. Less expensive and actually more exotic (than I think most people realize) is Nicaragua Matagalpa -Pacamara Peaberry. An unusual cultivar (Pacas x Maragogype hybrid developed in El Salvador 25 years ago), you have to grow a lot of Pacamara to be able to screen out just the peaberry!6/18: Our special lot of Antigua, Guatemala Antigua Peaberry -Maria Especial, has arrived. It's a classic Antigua cup (unlike a lot of coffees sold as "Antigua!") We also received a more substantial shipment of the coffee we sold out of earlier this season, Guatemala Fraijanes -Finca Agua Tibia. To make it a trifecta, we have an excellent new crop decaf, Guatemala Santa Elena WP Decaf.
  • 6/13: Okay, the most expensive auction lot coffee ever, and it's 2 tasty friends ... they're here. We are offering the top 3 coffees from the 2006 Best of Panama Competition as a set. Expensive, yes. Hyped? Well, I guess it is all over the web boards and blogs. Great coffee? Yes, it truly is.
  • 6/9: I am back from Guatemala, and we have new lots arriving: Guatemala San Marcos -Finca Maria Elisa is a delicate cup with outstanding aromatics, Nicaragua Prodecoop Dipilto is and other super-sweet cup, bright and crisp in tone. On the more rustic side we have Mexico FTO Chiapas - Special Lot. Why "special lot"? Because we paid a premium above fair trade to help with hurricane damage to the coffee areas of this coop, Udepom, and received "heart of the harvest" coffee with a complex fruited cup profile! -Tom
  • 5:31: I had the somewhat painful task of bidding in the Best of Panama auction yesterday - I say painful only because the auction went on for 10 hours and that is a long time to be nailed to the computer. But we came out as winners on the top three lots of the auction - ourselves and a few other companies that went in together. I guess everyone is excited because it was a record breaking auction- the top coffee going for a whopping $50.25 a pound! We'll have just one bag of that in about six weeks by the time the auction coffees can be milled and prepped and exported to the US. You can read more about the auction hereMaria
  • 5/25: Kenya Auction Lot - Gethumbwini Peaberry just arrived. Gethumbwini is back on the list this time as a peaberry and is every bit as complex, winey and fruited as they small lot we had last season (which sold out in the blink of an eye). Don't worry, we bought 2 auction lots this year so it will be here for a while!. -Maria
  • 5/24: The Gene Cafe roasters are back in stock. So far they have been working out well for most folks . Oh - and we FINALLY got a large shipment of Technivorms! They have been out for a long time - and so I am glad they are back. Only models not back in stock are the KB741 in Black and in Graphite. All the rest are back in. And we will start to carry the 1.25 liter thermal carafe model that a lot of folks have inquired about once we can get a shipment in a few weeks. Maria
  • In fact the new sweet maria's skateboard a la natas kaupas for freestyle flip tricks is but a hoax. Well, yes and no. I have one, but you can't ride it... unless you come to west oakland, and ask nicely. And sign this waiver ...
  • 5/23: Tom is away but we have a few new arrivals that he set up before he left: a new lot of Costa Rica Tarrazu - Hacienda La Minitahas arrived and Tom liked this one much better than the first shipment he cupped - back to its clean, sweet and delicate self. Another Yirgacheffe is on the list today - Ethiopia FTO Yirgacheffe DRY PROCESS. Tom is really excited about this first time offering of a dry process Yirgacheffe which has the blueberry flavor aspects missing from mid-to-late crop Harars this year.
  • 5/19: It's travel time for me, and since I have to do the final reviews, I am adding the coffees between excursions to C. America. Here comes a bunch of new arrivals: 5/19 Part 1: Mid-crop Central American coffees are coming in. Our favorite Mexico Organic Oaxaca -Finca El Olivo is even more spectacular, a sparkling clean cup and floral in the light roasts. We have a new Brazil-style pulped natural with great honey/malty sweetness: Nicaragua Matagalpa Placeras Estate Miel. And something very unusual, the long, tapered form of traditional Java cultivar grown in C. America: Nicaragua Limoncillo Estate Var. Java, with a very unusually lime-accented cup. In addition we added Colombia Huila -Palestina Micro-region, the hands-down winner in blind cupping for it's super bright (almost Kenya-like) character. 5/19 Part 2: Okay, moving on we have new Ethiopia, Indonesia and Decafs. Wet-process vs. Dry-process Sidamo, both outstanding and different from eachother. We have Ethiopia FTO Dry-Process Sidamo with spice, leather, dried apricot; and there is Ethiopia Organic Wet-Process Sidamo with sweet citrus flower. A surprising later crop arrival of Java Government Estate Pancoer, with fresh tobacco and herbs. And a clean, lively Costa Rica La Magnolia SWP DecafOkay - I'm off to the Cup of Excellences (?) in El Salvador and Guatemala! -Tom
  • I posted new travelogs for my recent trips, with all my coffee competition cupping scores and the final results. First off was the 2006 Best of Panama competition, then off to to Honduras Cup of Excellence 2006 in San Pedro Sula, and finally the 2006 Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition in Granada, Nicaragua (a beautiful colonial town). I hope you can tolerate some tongue-in-cheek commentary, with a smattering of useful observations. Lots of pictures, and some of them actually have something to do with coffee-Tom
  • 5/3: Tom posted the Best of Panama cupping scores from the competition last week. We'll have to see what coffees we get from this auction. Maria
  • Some preliminary results from Honduras Cup of Excellence. This doesn't show a lot of meaningful information, but I will update it when the results are announced.

  • We have the new Sweet Maria's version of the African Rosewood (Bubinga) Thor Tamper in stock. Art? Functional coffee tool? You deside.
  • 8/18/06: People have been asking about Huehuetenango Guatemalas this year, and I finally have one to offer I think it really excellent (crisp, bright, citric, sweet): Guatemala Huehue. FTO -Asasapne Coop. We receive a Pacamara varietal lot from Honduras too (the same farm that won the CoE Competition this year: Honduras Pacamara -Santa Marta Estate. It's a bit unusual so read the review. And there's a really nice decaf that just arrived; fruited aromatics and nice body: Ethiopia Natural (DP) Sidamo WP Decaf.
  • 8/9: The expensive and much awaited Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda Gesha is in stock, and it does not cost over $50 a pound! But hold on big-spender, there is a 2 Lb. limit. No less exciting (to me at least) is our special Costa Rica "SM Select" Peaberrythe third year we offer this specially sourced lot, full of winey fruit, nuts, and chocolate. New crop Colombia Nariño -Reserva del Patron is in (remarkably balanced coffee with great body) and another whammo Kenya from an already epic year: Kenya AA Auction Lot 434 -Kithungururu. And lastly a very nice, "true to origin character" Sumatra decaf is in (low acid, earthy, heavy body); Sumatra Organic Gayoland WP Decaf.
  • 8/3: Once more, I just added a few things to the sale page - a couple of big ticket items at a good discount. Maria7/27: Our new Brazil arrival is a classic, balanced, sweet Bourbon coffee from Sao Paolo state: Brazil Organic Cachoeira -Yellow Bourbon.
  • 7/21: I just added a few things to the sale page - a couple of big ticket items at a good discount. Maria
  • 7/21: Under some pressure from the Homeroast list (!) I have finished the review for the excellent lot of Panama Boquete Lerida Estate Peaberry and it is available now. We also received a sister lot of excellent decaf: Panama WP Decaf -Panamaria Farm, and one of the highest-rated decafs offered: African Highlands WP Decaf, a blend of 3 wet-processed coffees.
  • 7/19: Our special preparation lot of Ethiopia Harar Horse - Green Stripe (designation of extra hand-sorting) is in; if you are a Harar fan, read the review because this lot receives a qualified "thumbs up" grade. New crop Papua New Guinea Kimel Plantation has arrived, and the cup is excellent: bright and lively, with tropical fruited notes. We received another full-body, chocolatey Brazil-process coffee (which many will remember from last year too, Costa Rica Pulp Natural - La CandelillaAnd a nice, balanced Mexico Organic Chiapas WP Decaf is in too.
  • 7/10: Colombia at nearly a Kona price? Well, it's a Cup of Excellence #3 coffee and there was a lot of international bidding on this lot ... it was that good: Colombia CoE - Hacienda La Virginia. Speaking of spendy coffee, we also have new crop Australia Mountain Top Estate Extra Fancy (XF) which is cupping out really nice (more body than the previous crop). And a bright, zingy, pallet-cleanser Kenya AA Auction Lot 503 - Rui Ruiru.
  • We have some new cups with our Sweet Maria's Skunk design on them. The best thing about these is that they are made at the factory in Italy using our favorite cups: the Sorrento Espresso design and the Amalfi Cappuccino cup. So they are identical to our popular Mokabrown-colored cups, but they are white, and, er, they have a skunk on them. We also have the Milano Espresso in 5 new colors. Here's more information...
  • 7/5: We are back open after the long holiday weekend - and a bit behind on orders as might be expected (trying to do 5 days work in 3 days.) So it will take a bit longer than usual to turn around an order - maybe an extra day both on shipping and getting orders ready for pick up.

  • 6/28: We have some new merch: another wacky t-shirt, the large-sized thermal carafe Technivorm KBT 741, and a new coffee tome, Coffee Flavor Chemistry by Ivon Flament. 
  • 6/21: We are sold out on the Best of Panama 2006 sets today. Tom has a bit more of the #2 coffee - the Bambito - since we won 2 bags of that - not just one. So that will show up in a limited offering (1# bags only) soon I am sure - maybe by the end of the week -Maria
  • 6/20: Just added a host of miscellaneous items to the sale page. First come, first grabbed as usual....Maria
  • 6/19: Two rather exotic coffee arrivals (but for quite different reasons). The Hawaii Kona XF - Kealakekua Coffee Co. is a late-arrival '06 crop Kona that really impressed me in the cup, especially at a slightly-darker Full City. Less expensive and actually more exotic (than I think most people realize) is Nicaragua Matagalpa -Pacamara Peaberry. An unusual cultivar (Pacas x Maragogype hybrid developed in El Salvador 25 years ago), you have to grow a lot of Pacamara to be able to screen out just the peaberry!6/18: Our special lot of Antigua, Guatemala Antigua Peaberry -Maria Especial, has arrived. It's a classic Antigua cup (unlike a lot of coffees sold as "Antigua!") We also received a more substantial shipment of the coffee we sold out of earlier this season, Guatemala Fraijanes -Finca Agua Tibia. To make it a trifecta, we have an excellent new crop decaf, Guatemala Santa Elena WP Decaf.
  • 6/13: Okay, the most expensive auction lot coffee ever, and it's 2 tasty friends ... they're here. We are offering the top 3 coffees from the 2006 Best of Panama Competition as a set. Expensive, yes. Hyped? Well, I guess it is all over the web boards and blogs. Great coffee? Yes, it truly is.
  • 6/9: I am back from Guatemala, and we have new lots arriving: Guatemala San Marcos -Finca Maria Elisa is a delicate cup with outstanding aromatics, Nicaragua Prodecoop Dipilto is and other super-sweet cup, bright and crisp in tone. On the more rustic side we have Mexico FTO Chiapas - Special Lot. Why "special lot"? Because we paid a premium above fair trade to help with hurricane damage to the coffee areas of this coop, Udepom, and received "heart of the harvest" coffee with a complex fruited cup profile! -Tom
  • 5:31: I had the somewhat painful task of bidding in the Best of Panama auction yesterday - I say painful only because the auction went on for 10 hours and that is a long time to be nailed to the computer. But we came out as winners on the top three lots of the auction - ourselves and a few other companies that went in together. I guess everyone is excited because it was a record breaking auction- the top coffee going for a whopping $50.25 a pound! We'll have just one bag of that in about six weeks by the time the auction coffees can be milled and prepped and exported to the US. You can read more about the auction hereMaria
  • 5/25: Kenya Auction Lot - Gethumbwini Peaberry just arrived. Gethumbwini is back on the list this time as a peaberry and is every bit as complex, winey and fruited as they small lot we had last season (which sold out in the blink of an eye). Don't worry, we bought 2 auction lots this year so it will be here for a while!. -Maria
  • 5/24: The Gene Cafe roasters are back in stock. So far they have been working out well for most folks . Oh - and we FINALLY got a large shipment of Technivorms! They have been out for a long time - and so I am glad they are back. Only models not back in stock are the KB741 in Black and in Graphite. All the rest are back in. And we will start to carry the 1.25 liter thermal carafe model that a lot of folks have inquired about once we can get a shipment in a few weeks. Maria
  • In fact the new sweet maria's skateboard a la natas kaupas for freestyle flip tricks is but a hoax. Well, yes and no. I have one, but you can't ride it... unless you come to west oakland, and ask nicely. And sign this waiver ...
  • 5/23: Tom is away but we have a few new arrivals that he set up before he left: a new lot of Costa Rica Tarrazu - Hacienda La Minitahas arrived and Tom liked this one much better than the first shipment he cupped - back to its clean, sweet and delicate self. Another Yirgacheffe is on the list today - Ethiopia FTO Yirgacheffe DRY PROCESS. Tom is really excited about this first time offering of a dry process Yirgacheffe which has the blueberry flavor aspects missing from mid-to-late crop Harars this year.
  • 5/19: It's travel time for me, and since I have to do the final reviews, I am adding the coffees between excursions to C. America. Here comes a bunch of new arrivals: 5/19 Part 1: Mid-crop Central American coffees are coming in. Our favorite Mexico Organic Oaxaca -Finca El Olivo is even more spectacular, a sparkling clean cup and floral in the light roasts. We have a new Brazil-style pulped natural with great honey/malty sweetness: Nicaragua Matagalpa Placeras Estate Miel. And something very unusual, the long, tapered form of traditional Java cultivar grown in C. America: Nicaragua Limoncillo Estate Var. Java, with a very unusually lime-accented cup. In addition we added Colombia Huila -Palestina Micro-region, the hands-down winner in blind cupping for it's super bright (almost Kenya-like) character. 5/19 Part 2: Okay, moving on we have new Ethiopia, Indonesia and Decafs. Wet-process vs. Dry-process Sidamo, both outstanding and different from eachother. We have Ethiopia FTO Dry-Process Sidamo with spice, leather, dried apricot; and there is Ethiopia Organic Wet-Process Sidamo with sweet citrus flower. A surprising later crop arrival of Java Government Estate Pancoer, with fresh tobacco and herbs. And a clean, lively Costa Rica La Magnolia SWP DecafOkay - I'm off to the Cup of Excellences (?) in El Salvador and Guatemala! -Tom
  • I posted new travelogs for my recent trips, with all my coffee competition cupping scores and the final results. First off was the 2006 Best of Panama competition, then off to to Honduras Cup of Excellence 2006 in San Pedro Sula, and finally the 2006 Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition in Granada, Nicaragua (a beautiful colonial town). I hope you can tolerate some tongue-in-cheek commentary, with a smattering of useful observations. Lots of pictures, and some of them actually have something to do with coffee-Tom
  • 5/3: Tom posted the Best of Panama cupping scores from the competition last week. We'll have to see what coffees we get from this auction. Maria
  • Some preliminary results from Honduras Cup of Excellence. This doesn't show a lot of meaningful information, but I will update it when the results are announced.

  • 5/1: Seems like we had shopping cart problems over the weekend - a weird error message just before the order was completed. I fixed it Monday morning - and we did receive all those orders. We are checking to be sure duplicate orders were not submitted - Happy Monday! Grrrr.. Maria

  • 4/26: New stuff on the sale pageMaria

  • 4/21: I have rushed to upload 5 new lots to the list, as I am out the door for 3 weeks of cupping in Central America. From top to bottom, we have an excellent new lot of El Salvador Organic - Santa Adelaida, as well as bittersweet chocolate galore in the Guatemala Fraijanes -Finca Agua Tibia. Our exclusive arrangement for the top altitude coffees continues with Panama Carmen Estate 1800+ Meters. And our second new crop Kenya has arrived (I refer to it as a "relaxed Kenya" ...see the review!) Kenya Auction Lot 405 - Mchana Peaberry. Finally, the extremely balanced Zambia AA+ Lupili Estate (which makes a very interesting SO espresso). -with regards, Thompson "making it so hard to keep your green coffee stash small" Owen

  • More New Stuff - We have been enjoying the new line of Bodum Thermal Glassware for about 6 weeks; I guess it is finally time to share them with customers too. I really like the midsize cups for brewed coffee (especially the Assam model), but you should see what an espresso from a bottomless portafilter looks like in one of the demitasse models ... outstanding!

  • New Item: The Gene Cafe Half Pound Coffee Roaster (so new that we don't have nice pictures yet!)

  • 4/3: New crop Africans: We received our first Yirgacheffe wet process coffee of the year. The Ethiopia FTO Yirgacheffe - Oromia has a lemon custard brightness, a beautifully delicate acidity in the cup. The Zimbabwe AAA - Dandoni Estate from the new crop is here, up a few points from last year and the best Zimbabwe I have had on the cupping table. And our first 2006 Main Crop Kenya lot: Kenya Auction Lot 705 Gaturine Peaberry. (This is an outstanding, bright, lemony Kenya from the Meru district.)
  • 4/3 Yes, one more: Our first new crop, high grown Guatemala of the year is a big bean cultivar: Guatemala Coban FTO Maragogype. (A very unique smokey cup character, balanced in acidity, great body, milk chocolate roast taste).
  • 4/7: Our new lot of Ethiopia Harar Horse -Lot 19 is here, the next arrival after the popular Lot 30 sold out. (Note that arrivals are not in numeric order, 19 is later than 30!) It is more of a rustic chocolate and spice cup profile, with apricot and berry hints in the wet aroma and as background cup flavors. We also have a new crop Yemen Mokha Sana'ani lot just in.
  • 4/3: Brazil, Brazil, Brazil! We have 3 new arrivals from South America including the Cup of Excellence lot. Brazil Cup of Exc. #13 - Nazareth Dias Pereira is a 100% Red Bourbon coffee with great balance, sweetness, fruited hints ... just a fantastic cup. Ironically, this coffee is from the same Coop, same region, same farm as our Brazil Carmo de Minas - Aprocam lot ... the difference is that the later is Yellow Catuai varietal (and a fantastic cup too - see the review). We also have a more rustic, chocolaty Brazil from Espirito Santo, Brazil Organic Camocim -Yellow Icatu.
  • 4/1: New Crop Costas! Our two old favorites jumped out once again in blind cupping, and earn a spot in our line-up; Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu - Conquistador and Costa Rica Tres Rios - La Magnolia . Also back in stock is new crop Sumatra Iskandar Triple-Pick, with that unique butterscotch sweetness and foresty, rustic appeal from a zero-defect preparation.
  • 3/21: We have 4 Kona coffees, the most ever! The new addition is a long-standing favorite, Hawaii Kona -Purple Mountain Farm. Well, each of the 4 are slightly different, all are exemplary, small family-farm coffees. Check out the reviews! We have a new crop co-op lot, Peru Organic "El Guabo". There are 2 new decaf lots, Java WP Decaf with very high body and very low acidity, and a remarkable single-farm lot, El Salvador Las Ranas WP Decaf. And here's a very unusual coffee; Sulawesi Wet-Process Toarco. I have never tasted a wet-process Indonesian like this; floral, fruity, clean, but still definitely Indonesian. Unlike wet-process Sumatras I have rejected, this has character, but be aware it is strikingly different than dry-process Sulawesi. The complete reviews on a few of these are missing, adn will be uploaded late today or tomorrow.

  • 3/8: As promised, I have added new coffees to the list but the full reviews are not in place. Home Roast List folks are looking for the Ethiopia Harar Horse Lot 30, the one I called "Blueberry Harar". We have new crop Puerto Rico AA Yauco Selectoback in stock, a really nice mild "island coffee" profile. And fantastic Colombia from the southern regions, the Colombia Huila - San Jose de Isnos has arrived. It is not fully reviewed yet, but our second arrival from the Bolivia Cup of Excellence is here: Bolivia CoE Pico de Tucan (limited to 1 lb orders - sorry, it's another tiny lot!)

  • 3/8: I have spent a week updating all the buttons on the web site. They are no longer green, they are white. If you have ordered before, this might look a bit different. The impetus in doing so was to reformat the Green Coffee Offering Page to include our new 10 Lb. Bags! As of now, they ship in a poly-lined paper bag, but we feel a heat-sealed plastic bacg might be more durable for shipping. So expect a switch in materials in a couple weeks, and let us know what you think of the quantity/new bag.
  • 2/23: Post-holiday clean out continues.... a few more things on the sale page..... First come-first served as usual. Don't get mad if something is already sold.Inventory is on all items - but sometimes it doesn't work perfectly. If an item is unavailable - we will void the charge on the order and notify you. (See my disclaimer recently added to the bottom of the sale page.) - Maria
  • 2/16: Finally, a really good grade one Sumatra Mandheling that reminds me of the way they were 15 years ago, hence the name Sumatra Classic Mandheling, with a great balance between rustic sweetness and that bold Indonesian foresty-earthy note. -Tom2/13: Okay. I am excited about this ... our coffee lots from the 2005 Brazil Cerrado Coffee Competition are here, adn I recommend reading the reviews because there are some surprises: Brazil Cerrado 1st Place -Faz. Cruz Branca is, for me, a great single-origin/ single-estate espresso, and Brazil Cerrado 2nd Place -Faz. Araras scores higher from drip/press brewing. Those two are natural, dry-process coffees, whereas Brazil Cerrado 5th Place -Faz. Pantano is what they call Eco-washed. It is greater as a light roast, and is a Cup of Excellence caliber lot. We have a very small, exceptional lot of Kenya AA Auction Lot - Gethumbwini ,(sorry, it is sold out already). And Hawaii Kona - Moki's Farm is finally back in stock, and Brazil Fazenda Brauna Peaberry arrives today.
  • 2/8: Finally caught up in earnest with my mountainous return pile - so have a lot of things on the sale page - first come first grabbed.....Maria
  • 2/1: You know the drill ... we have more new arrivals and they are all fully reviewed except for the spidergraph Flavor charts (coming soon). A limited amount of the Cup of Excellence 1st place coffee from Colivia is available! It is listed as Bolivia CoE 1st Place Lot - Calama Marca and we also have fantastic peaberry: Bolivia Organic Peaberry De Montana. Two interesting, different organic Colombians are here: Colombia Organic -Mesa de Los Santos and the Colombia Organic -Reserva Don Telmo . Our old friend Tanzania AA Songea is back, and a newcomer Indonesia Flores - Bajawa Highlands!-Tom
  • 1/23: I am back from Nicaragua and El Salvador and have a whole mess o' pictures, as usual. Check out the Nicaragua - El Salvador Travelogue -Tom
  • 1/19: I just posted some new items to the sale page - some new and used roasters- Maria Another year, another fine trip to Panama to see the harvest in process. Here is my Panama January 2006 Travelogue - Tom
  • 1/15:The web site was off line for a few hours today - but seems to be working okay now. A server problem....
  • 1/13: Well, we ran out of Kowali Kona - but will have more this year as the Kona harvest was HUGE this year. So expect more of that in the pipeline, another three weeks maybe. And we will see another Kona, Purple Mountain Farms again in a few weeks too. Kona lovers this is your year! Jamaican coffee ought to arrive mid-February now I think. Tom will get those reviews for the new Kona coffees up as soon as he returns from his Central American jaunt to various farms and mills. I think it is warm there. - Maria
  • 1/9: New arrivals include (at long last) a super-intense Sumatra Aged Mandheling from the 2003 crop year, 2 more Hawaiian lots, Hawaii Kona - Moki's Farm (which you all remember) and Hawaii Kona - Thunder Mountain from a very high altitude farm in the northern district of Koloko Mauka. I have half-finished the reviews for these and will upload them on my return from Central America. Also arriving is a new lot of top estate grade robusta for your espresso blends, India Robusta AA - Sethuraman Estate , and in fact we have a small amount of peaberry from this farm too! -Tom
  • 1/2: Boo-hoo! The holiday ends abruptly at Sweet Maria's ...We are in today, packing orders for shipment tomorrow, and working through a big pile of orders and a boatload of email! Please be patient - we are doing the best we can. Note: lot changeover ...the Yemen Sana'ani is an excellent new crop arrival too and the score is +1 pt.to 87 pts. -Tom

  • end of 2005 - start of 200612/22: Yes, we are "closed" but before our flight to Chicago I must upload some arrivals that came in during the Christmas Avalanche of Orders, and I was unable to offer. Some I had already completed the reviews, a couple are missing the new Flavor Analysis chart. I can only make a list here, and leave it up to you to read the reviews. These are some late arriving gems (Kenya, Sumatra, Nicaragua etc) and early new crop coffees (PNG, Brasil, Colombia, Hawaii). They are, in order, Nicaragua Pacamara PeaberryBrazil FTO Poco Fundo Co-opColombia Nariño - Caracol del AbueloKenya Auction Lot #54 PeaberryPapua New Guinea -Arokara AASumatra TimTim Blangili LongberryHawaii Kona - Kowali Farm Typica, and Guatemala Huehuetenango WP Decaf . Whew! -Tom
  • 12/15: Well, we are running out of lots of stuff - I guess that is what the holidays are all about. I am trying to update the web site and inventory as much as possible - but if we have run out of something by the time we catch up to you order - we will email/call. Good thing that "Christmas comes but once a year...." We would all be crazy otherwise! : ) - Maria12/12: A brilliant lot of Kenya AA WP Decaf arrived. Reviews from the 11/22 "coffee bomb" are all complete and uploaded. We have new arrivals in transit but nothing coming right now. Some nice small-farm Kona coffee is due soon, but not in time for Christmas delivery. We will have another excellent Kenya (our last lot of the season) just after the holidays. Bolivia Cenaproc Coop Peaberry is coming, an excellent, bright cup, but not in time for holiday ordering, once again.11/22: Part 1: The coffee bomb was dropped on Sweet Maria's and a lot of new arrivals have come at once (ponder them over the break, we close Tues 22 PM through Fri 25). Let's start with Indonesia: we have new crop Timor Organic Maubesse, sweet and clean this year. Also in is Java Private Estate - Type Prince, a very different cup from the Java Djampit with no acidity, and baker's chocolate (ie bitter chocolate!) character. I have no full review for it yet, nor for the Sumatra Blue Batak Peaberry which has a great, sweet, spicy cup with plum notes ... surprising in that the preparation isn't that gorgeous, but the, we judge coffee by the cup flavors, and they are fine! 11/22: Part 2: Okay let's move to up to South America: Finally, a nice Peru! The Peru Organic Norte lot we selected is a from a coop of several towns in the north, and has a clean, bright, almost delicate cup with nice floral aromatics. Our Colombia Cauca FNC Excelso lot is from the Tierradentro-Inza region in the Andes, with a winey, sweetly fruited cup (plum, raisin, apple, grape!) 11/22: Part 3: I am being punished for all my recent travels ... okay here are the new Centrals: Cup of Excellence Honduras have arrived, 2 really nice lots (see the reviews for the accolades they received). The Honduras Cup of Excellence -El Mirador is a deep, fruited cup with berry and peach notes, whereas the Honduras Cup of Excellence -Nueve Posas is a more classic Honduran cup profile (caramelly sweetness, almond, apple hints. And ... we have 2 late harvest Guatemalan offerings! Guatemala Acatenango Cooperative is a mild cup, but with a lot of flavor nuances (jasmine tea, pear, hibiscus, almond). Guatemala Huehuetenango -La Maravilla is a bright, high grown coffee with Dutch cocoa hints, crisp acidity, and also almondy flavors.
  • Just back from the 2005-2006 Kona Cupping Competition in Hawaii, part of the Kona Culture Festival. I prepared a travelogue and another History page: here's an overview list of our Kona links: More Kona Coffee History and Information Kona Cupping 2004 | Kona Cupping 2005 | Kona Coffee Festival site . As for new crop Kona coffees, we have 2 on the way, due in about 3 weeks. -Tom11/4: One of my favorite Brazilian coffees is back, our first of the new crop. It's Brazil Fazenda Brauna Peaberry, with it's malty sweetness and subtle orange note. Also just arrived is new crop Rwanda Gatare Grade A, an outstanding lot with cedar aromatic woodiness, black tea and clean citric qualitites. Also, I have started a new version of the Cupping Log - the old one became corrupted in microsoft excel.11/1: Why another Peaberry from Kenya this year? Because if it is good, I get it. Period. Oddly, we offer this coffee as Kenya Auction Lot 622 Peaberry from the Thika region, but we do not have the Estate or Co-op name - so it's just 622 to us - see the review. We also have a nice full-bodied decaf that just arrived: Nicaragua Matagalpa WP Decaf -Tom

    10/27: The Fresh Roast is just back in stock today - Tom went and picked up some cases at a freight forwarder today. The rest of our shipment will arrive in a few weeks- but we ought to have enough now to last into the holiday and well beyond. - Maria

    10/20: It's a month of travel for me, but I am back to add some new arrivals to the list! I am really excited to offer the El Salvador - Kilimanjaro Estate but we only have a small amount of this past Cup of Excellence Champion coffee! Limit 2 lbs. Our later harvest Costa Rica Dota Tarrazú- Coopedota is a great coffee in the tradition of El Conquistador. We were also able to get a unique, small lot of Australia Mountain Top Estate Peaberry a sort of exclusive little treasure trove coffee for the holidays. We also have a very nice full-bodied arrival of Sulawesi Toraja WP Decaf.

    10/21: Back from Brasil, but off to Bolivia (hurricane permitting). I had time to parse 800 photos and ended up with about 150 that I just had to share. Why do I do this? I don't know. And be warned that a lot of it is not about coffee, strictly speaking. But here is Brasil Cafe do Cerrado 2005. -Tom

    10/10: We received a few cases of Fresh Roast + 8 roasters from the latest shipment - so those are back in stock. Oops - they ran out already The main part of the shipment arrives around 10/21 - so we have run out for a few weeks and ought to have them in stock well before the holiday. New features include an improved roast chamber for better durability and a strong fan motor for better green bean movement early in the roast. I ought to have a good supply of roast chambers even! -Maria

    9/30: More arrivals today! We have received our 2 lots of Nicaragua Cup of Excellence coffees. Nicaragua Cup of Excellence -La Esperanza is a classic Nicaragua cup profile from the Madriz region. Nicaragua Cup of Excellence -La Pinauete is a sweet, delicate cup from the Dipilto region of Nueva Segovia (many top lots were from Dipilto). Also in is a fantastic Colombian coffee, Colombia Huila -Los Idolos de Bellavista, a darkly fruited, resinous cup character.

    9/29: We have really nice lot of new crop Java Government Estate Djampit at the shop, as well as Indonesian Organic SWP Komodo Blend again.

    9/20: Lucky for us, another fantastic Kenya Peaberry from the Nyeri region arrived on the heels of the excellent Thiriku lot. Here is another stunning lot (total score of 90 pts), Kenya Auction Lot 668 -Kiaguthu Peaberry. We also have a fantastic, potent new Sumatra lot, Sumatra Volkopi Supergrade (referring to the extra preparation at the coffee mill), a sweet, balanced Honduras Fabio Caballero from the Marcala area, and Papua New Guinea -Goroka Plantation A from the Eastern Highlands. All reviews feature the new Flavor Quality Analysis "wheel" diagram.

    9/19: Tom has developed a new diagram that he is adding to the new reviews - something he calls a quality analysis spidergraph.It is meant to supplement the written reviews and "pictorialize" the experience of tasting the coffee. I describe the new diagram on this page - look for it to be added to reviews for coffees added from here on out. Maria

    9/14: Our first Cup of Excellence lot from the 2005 Central crop is here, and an excellent cup it is! El Salvador Cup of Excellence - El Pacamaral (Another chance to check out our new Coffee Flavor Anaysis that will appear in all new coffee reviews too!)

    9/13: New arrivals include the first Jamaica Blue Mountain -Mavis Bank Mill we have offered in quite a while. REcent shipments were out-of-season and didn't have the right character. This lot, while soft mild as usual, has a nice hint of sweetness and aromatic wood to it. Due to hurricane damage, prices are up though!

    9/5: A very small lot of Kenya arrived, our first peaberry of the season but not our last (more due in a few weeks). It is the Kenya Auction Lot 660 -Thiriku Peaberry. This is also the first review to have my new "flavor quality analysis" chart. My job just got harder, but I think it is worth it. -Tom

  • 8/1: We have been waiting for this one ... Kenya EAFCA Competition Winner - Githiru Coop. It's a powerhosue Kenya coffee from the Nyeri region with some pedigree to it, having won the #1 award at the Africa coffee conference. We also have a new lot of Yemen Mokha Ismaili that cups out great! (PS - remember we are closed Wed-Fri, Aug 3-5)
  • 7/29: New Items! We have some new and updated items. The New HotTop Drum Roaster with time-based digital control panel is in stock. We have the new Mazzer Mini espresso mill in Silver. And there's a few new "Sweet Maria's" items. Firstly, our new Espresso Monkey Demitasse Espresso cup! And 2 new and ...er ... unusual T-Shirts, the Cupping Spoon T-Shirt and the Variac T-Shirt (Isn't it time the Variac got it's due!) We also are jumping on the 58 mm Triple Espresso Basketbandwagon. We have new Upper Filters for the Hottop (and the digital control panel sold separately) and I updated the Bialetti Mokapot images -Tom
  • 7/26: We were able to get some of the excellent Panama Carmen Estate lot from the mid- to late- harvest. This is not the 1800 meter coffee from earlier in the year, but the cup is really impressive nonetheless! We also have the water process Sumatra Mandheling WP Decaf back in stock.
  • 7/20: We went over in the box truck to the port and picked up new lots yesterday. Firstly, an awesome coffee for heavier roast treatment (FC+ to Vienna), the Costa Rica La Candelilla Estate "Miel" - yes, we have 2 Miel coffees to offer now! Like the Santa Elena of old, this too is a Tarrazu coffee. We also have the old favorite, Brazil Carmo Estate Peaberry, which is a natural dry-process lot (the previous Carmo Estate flat bean was pulp natural process).
  • 7/22: Email Woes ... Since switching to a new, so-called "advanced" email service, we seem to have missed some messages - about 1 in every 10 - which is great in horseshoes but not so great in email! So if you have not heard from us in a few of days, please resend the message just to be sure we got it. Everything is straightened out as of 7/22/05 but some emails were not forwarded from the hosting server - please resend your message if you still waiting on a response. Thank you - Maria 7/22
  • 7/18: New offerings today include another excellent Brazilian coffee; Brazil Sul de Minas Yellow Bourbon (great results in my tests with drip and single-origin espresso). Also in are two really nice decaf lots; Tanzania Peaberry WP Decaf, and Guatemala Huehuetenango WP Decaf. Reviews coming early tomorrow.
  • 7/6: Well, the 4th is behind us and it's back to the grind, literally, with our first Cup of Excellence auction lot arrival of the year! It is a complex coffee from the Huila district, and we had to fight hard to get it (hence the price) in the auction: Colombia Cup of Excellence -Pradera Esperanza. And the Guatemala Organic Coban -El Tirol has arrived, which has been my favorite organic coffee from Guatemala for several years running.
  • 6/27: A prize winning Brazil has arrived, the Brazil Fazenda Santa Helena is an exceptional pulped-natural coffee from Sul de Minas, primarily Yellow Bourbon and Yellow Icatu cultivar. It is especially great as espresso!
  • There are a few new photo articles on the Coffee Library page.
  • 6/27: New arrivals yet again: we have 2 special lots of Central American peaberry coffees. First up, our new selection of Costa Rica "SM Select" Peaberry. This year we focused on the Tres Rios region and the result is a lot with greater intensity, body and aftertaste, with great wet and dry aromatics. And our equally compelling Guatemala Antigua Peaberry "Especial"is here, another case where we were able to cherry-pick the best coffees coming into a fine mill (Los Pastores) and assemble coffee lot that has true, archetypal Antigua character (a rare thing these days).
  • 6/24: We had a lot of people asking about PNG, but we were waiting for new crop ... and here it is, the first arrival of Papua New Guinea -Kimel Plantation is here. Also in is a new, specialty monsooned coffee from the Bibi Plantation: India Monsooned Malabar "Elephant" mark.
  • Please note we were closed and not shipping orders on Friday June 17th. (Maria and I were at the home-roaster-get-together-thingy in Portland. Here's the PNWGIII web page on Mike's site). I put together a few pictures of the event too! -Tom
  • 6/15: The latest arrivals ... the clean, classic Costa Rica Tres Rios- La Magnolia has arrived, and consistent with recent years, it is the epitome of bright, delicate Costa Rican coffees. And we have the return of Brazil Cerrado -Lot 141 Wagner Ferreroaward winner from the Brazil Cerrado competition.
  • 6/9: If you missed out on Panama Carmen Estate 1800 meter coffee, here's another chance at some limted quantity lots. These are winning coffees from the 2005 Best of Panama Competition. Panama Auction Lot -Don Pachi "Geisha" is the the same cultivar as the Panama Jaramillo we offered last year (at $24.80 per lb!) (6/20 update: as predicted, it's all gone!). It's an unusual and remarkable cup, as with the Jaramillo. The Panama Auction Lot - Café de Eleta is more of the classic Panama cup profile; clean, citric, bright, with good malty-nutty roast notes. Also in stock again is a good lot of the Mexico Esmeralda Natural Decaf.
  • 6/8: I just posted new items to the sale page - some roasters (some Rostos, a Zach & Dani's machine), a brewer or two- plus the good old "miscellaneous". - Maria
  • 6/2: Seems like the mail server caused the shopping cart to be down for a while today - 6/2. So it ought to be back up and running again now.
  • 6/2: I "upgraded" the mail server this AM and it might have created some email problems between 10 and Noon PST this morning. Let us know if an email bounced back to you, or any other email errors. -Tom
  • 5/27: We have received new crop Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu -El Conquistador (great, as usual, better than La Minita me thinks) and 2 new decafs: a very nice Costa Rica SHB WP Decaf and a lively Ethiopian WP Decaf (Sidamo). Now, if this isn't completly confusing, we have a new lot of Ethiopian Wet-Processed Sidamowhich is more like a Yirgacheffe than a dry-processed Sidamo. See the review, this lot is really aromatic with plum and raisin cup flavors.
  • 5/25: It's Christmas in May. 'Tis the season when all the "heart of the harvest" Central American coffees start to come in ... and they are coming at a rate I have trouble keeping up with. So I am behind on completing a few reviews. Today we picked up 2 nice lots: Nicaragua Matagalpa Margogype (the very large 19+ screen varietal). It is floral and herbal in the aromatics, light body, unique finish. With that we received Nicaragua Mama Mina Estate, a coffee that has been nice in past crops, but this year it really shines a bit brighter, with aromatic wood notes, and a sweetening aftertaste. Finally we have a later arrival of Brazil Carmo Estate Pulp-Natural from Sul de Minas, a favorite here for espresso usage.
  • 5/17: New arrivals, but this time I don't have all the reviews ready quite yet ... suffice it to say, these are some very nice lots! We have two new region-specific coffees that I cupped while down in Colombia last time: Colombia Huila Oparapa Micro-region and Colombia Huila Palestina Micro-region. Reviews coming in a couple o' days (It's still topsy-turvey here from the move.) Both arrived with great cup character and extraordinary intensity for Huila coffees; trust me, these are some very nice Colombian coffees. Also here is Mexico Organic Oaxaca -Finca El Olivo. This has been a consistent favorite of mine and this year is, as expected, great. We also added a earthy, pungent Ethiopia Organic/Fair Trade DP Sidamo, for those not afraid of a fairly musty cup.-Tom
  • 5/8: So many new and exemplary coffees have come in. I can't even start to describe each here ... but follow the links to the reviews and you'll see why lots like these need more than a few words to represent them. We have the unique, heavy bodied El Salvador Monte Leon "Miel". While some of our favorite Guatemala lots came in so-so (we rejected them), our favorite Guatemala Huehuetenango -El Injerto showed up with classic cup character! Two great Kenya lots arrived on the same boat last week Kenya AA Auction Lot 662 -Mbaranga, and (a name you might remember) Kenya AA Auction Lot -Mbwinjeru. Lastly is a nice, fruited Yemen Mokha Sana'ani. Follow the links, check out the reviews! -Tom
  • We have had the Quickmill Andreja Premium espresso machine for a while, but I have kept it pretty quiet. Nonetheless, some of you found it, ordered it, loved it, and told me I should be a little more open about it! It's a great high-end machine, and yes ...it is expensive. But I have used it for 6 months as my lab espresso machine, extracting countless shots, forgetting to turn it off overnight, and generally abusing the heck out of it. When I realized how reliable it truly was, I packed up my bulky 2 group La San Marco, and put away the Pasquini. Yes, this is the Andreja Premium model, which has a lot of upgrades over the standard Anjreja. Here's more information. Okay, there, I told people.
  • 4/25: Patience pays off. After cupping all the early lots and being really disappointed, we have new Ethiopian arrivals that are really outstanding, This is Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (MAO) Lot 538 and Ethiopian Harar Horse -Lot 532. And we have our second new crop Mexican coffee in now. This is the Mexico Oaxaca Pluma -Tres Oros. This coffee is a mill brand (not farm specific) but I thought this lot had really good Oaxaca character. The other new arrival is Panama Carmen Estate 1700-1800 meters. The name explains it. We had this small farm, already one of the highest altitude coffees in Panama, harvest their highest elevation trees just for us! The result is a really tangy, complex coffee (review coming soon). And don't forget we are closed Wed and Thurs, the 27 & 28th for moving to our new building! We start shipping again Friday the 29th.
  • 4/19: We're back from the SCAA show in Seattle (my oddball writeup), and there are a couple new arrivals. We have a new crop Guatemala Huehuetenango -Tres Marias which is a mill-brand coffee lot, but with excellent Huehuetenango cup character. And we have the Australia Mountain Top XF (Extra Fancy grade) in stock, the epitome of a sweet and simple coffee, in the "island-profile" vein.
  • 4/8: I just added a Ethiopian Organic/Fair Trade Yirgacheffe to the list - Tom will write the review once he comes back from a short trip to Arizona. Here are his comments on it: "At City roast, a bright, floral aromatic cup with light body; citrus flower and jasmine bright notes." -Maria
  • 3/28: The new arrivals today include our first Kenya auction coffee of the season. This is the Kenya AA Auction Lot 707 - Ithima and it is a winey, lower-acidity (not so citric) cup. It has apple, plum and walnuts, but the full review is coming very soon! Also just in is new crop Mexico Chiapas -Udepom Co-op with that light, bright Chiapas character. We also have new crop Sumatra Gr.1 Mandheling DP '05 and Sumatra Lintong Dry-Process. They aren't going to win any beauty contests for green coffee, but the cup is there, especially at Full City+ and darker. And guess what, we finally received Hawaii Kona - Purple Mountain Farm, which is beautifully prepared this year, but the supply is limited due to the small Kona crop across the board. - Tom
  • 3/24: It's early this year but new crop Costa Rica La Minita Tarrazu is here! A modified new crop review is coming, but in general I think it has a bit more snap, and more vanilla than last year.
  • Maria has written a FAQ called How to Choose a Home Roaster - a good summary of the options. A tip; check the Coffee Library Page often for updates and new articles.
  • 3/18: New mid-crop harvest from Yauco Selecto Estate is here. We have a limited amount of the Puerto Rico AA 19+ Yauco Selecto in stock ... this is the top grade in the largest size (19/64th or greater) which I felt cupped better than the other ones. This makes a very nice, albeit pricey, single-Estate espresso too!
  • 3/14: The first early new crop Central American arrival is here. It is the Costa Rica Organic - La Amistad which is a really balanced, sweet cup with nice milk chocolate roast taste. See the review... The Hawaii Kona Moki's farm is due back in about 5 days. -Tom
  • I have finished the travelog for my Colombia Trip, which includes the 2005 Cup of Excellence competition. It's a different format than before, more and I put a lot of work into it. I hope you get something out of it... And there is a special feature: What does a coffee cupping room sound like? Well, I made a little stereo recording while walking around the room at the 2005 Colombia CoE.
  • 3/14: The Hearthware iRoast is back in stock!
  • 3/9: I just went through and made some adjustments to merchandise prices for increases that suppliers made this past year. I tend to do this only once a year about this time, so you may notice that some prices creeped up. Seems like most of them are related to the weakening dollar since the prices on goods from Europe keep going up. Lots of folks are asking when we are moving - and the only answer I have is "Not yet." I wish I knew. We do plan to move to our new building in West Oakland (it's about 5 minutes from where we are now) in the next two months - and we will probably close for a few days to make the move. But no date is set yet - as soon as Tom and I figure it out we will post the new address and when we ought to be there. - Maria
  • Zach and Dani's roaster is back in stock.
  • 3/7: The Yemen Bany Matar is back in stock. The Hawaii Kona Moki's farm is due back in about 10 days, maybe a bit sooner.
  • 2/24: Okay, here they are, my favorite four lots from the 2004-2005 Brazil Cerrado Competition. There are 2 Natural Dry-Processed lots and 2 Pulped Natural Lots (called CD coffee which means Cereja Descascada). I am listed them with the farmers name, rather than the farm (Fazenda) because these are the product ofthat persons great effort. Check out the reviews, and I hope you enjoy them. I highly recommend each as single-Estate, straight roast espresso. Three of the lots are small, so no 20 Lb'ers available- sorry! -Tom
  • 2/22: I am back from a crazy trip to Colombia and we have some new arrivals that came in my absence. First on the list is Brazil Fazenda Ipanema "Dulce", the natural dry-processed coffee from this large farm that has been rock solid as a straight roast cup and also as an espresso blend base. Also back is new crop Sulawesi Toraja WP Decaf. -Tom
  • We have a new home/commercial level espresso machine in stock. It's the Italian-made Andreja by Quick Mill and it's awesome! You would think, after testing it for 3 months, I would have all the photos and specifications ready but in fact my review is not finished. I've been enjoying the espresso too much. But a basic Andreja page is ready, the machines here, and I will add detail photos very soon. So take a look. - Tom
  • 2/21: I am back from Colombia but rather jet-lagged or culture-lagged or just plain old "lagged" (what does that mean anyway)? And, of course, I am way behind with emails and cupping of samples that came while I was out ... FYI: new Brazils coming to the list later this week! -Tom
  • 2/15: Tom is in Colombia and is staying longer that expected so he can attend the first ever Cup of Excellence competition in Manizales. He went there to visit Mesa de Los Santos estate but the roads to the airport in Bucaramanga were covered by mudslides in a heavy storm, so all flights were cancelled! While he is gone we are hold down the fort - but we ran short on a few coffees like the new Kona which is coming early next week. We are waiting for him to return to post some of the new Brazil Cerrados that came in. Also, I had to call on a celebrity guest roaster to do the roasting for the week - for the first time ever Tom has not done the roasting himself. So we will see what else manages to shake loose while he is out of the country. -Maria
  • 2/4: We have a new Kona coffee from a really nice, higher-elevation family farm Hawaii Kona - Moki's Farm. The full review is coming soon (but we have a page about the farm). Suffice it to say, I picked out of many many lots that I cupped at the Kona Coffee Competition. It was my personal #1. It's a great mild Kona cup, with the character that indicates caring horticultural practice on the farm, and good altitude (2000 feet). Another new arrival today - we received a fine single-farm decaf, the Mexican Oaxaca Tres Oros WP Decaf.
  • 2/1: New crop Sulawesi Toraja Grade One has arrived. This lot is very balanced with great body ... and it happens to make an awesome single-origin espresso, even at a relatively light Full City roast. Also just in is a coffee from an estate we haven't bought from before: Zimbabwe AAA+ Dandoni Estate. This coffee really has the correct "origin character" for a Zimbabwe: deep, balanced, and that unique East African "gamey" note.
  • 1/25: A really nice lot of Colombia Huila Supremo has come in. This is not an Estate coffee, but this regional selection had such a nice cup I had to go for it. After initial dissapointment in early crop samples, I also found a later Bolivian coffeearrival I really like: Bolivia Organic Cenaproc Co-op.
  • 1/26: A good new crop Timor Organic Maubesse is here, a cup that this year has more Indonesian character to it than the '04 vintage. We have the Papua New Guinea Arokara AA too, a plantation we have liked in the past. This year has that great balanced cup with bigger body. We finally found a really nice Tanzanian coffee to offer: the Tanzania AAA Songea (not sure why they keep adding A's to these; maybe because it is a big 18+ screen preparation, or maybe because they are A's fans like us -eh?)
  • 1/21: Three new arrivals (and even more next week) ... Yemen Mokha Ismaili (Hirazi) and Yemen Mokha -Bany Matar are finally here. If you like Yemeni coffees, read the reviews first! (I actually prefer the Bany Matar even the Ismaili has the pedigree). Also in is a really nice new crop Brazil Peaberry -Brauna Estate.
  • I created a new version of the Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide with much improved pictures. Click on the small images to see the larger versions, and I have also added a multi-bean photo for each roast stage.

2004

  • 12/17: New crop Brazils are coming. We have received a really nice, chocolatey coffee: Brazil Carmo Estate Peaberry. We also have a stellar East African arrival; Rwanda Gatare Grade A.
  • 12/11: New crop Brazil Org/FT Poco Fundo is here and this lot is excellent! It is a low-acid, deep, fruited, winey cup with almost Harar-like character.
  • 12/4: I thought I would include a link to the UPS Ground Time-in Transit map so folks can see how long UPS Ground will take. Derek and I are the office folks here - so we are responding to email and phone calls and faxes as quickly as possible - but please be patient as business doubles during the holidays - there are still just two of us. Maria
  • 12/2: We have a new lot of Yemen Mokha Mattari from a different source (Muslot & Sons) - it has a different cup quality, fruiter like the old Raimi lots we had before those dropped in quality. This was one of those special lots that sold out as soon as it hit the warehouse ... Muslot is sorta hit and miss and some do not come in as nice as this. Also, we anticipate that Ismaili will return in late December - January too.
  • 11/28: We are back home from our Thanksgiving trip, and willl be working to catch up as fast as we can. If you emailed us over the holiday weekend, it might take us a day or two to get back to you, but we will respond to everyone as soon as possible. The effects of tryptophan are wearing off.... : ) - Maria ---And from Tom: I have added 2 new decafs to the list that are really impressive... See our Green Coffee Offering Page for more.
  • 11/21: Well, our first glitch of the holiday season. The postal calculator was malfunctioning yesterday and todya it seems - everything regardless of weight or destination was $9.20. So we are notifying cutomers who placed orders of the glitch and what the actual postal price is - -in case they want to switch to UPS which is generally cheaper for heavier packages. Update Note - we have USPS back but can't offer insurance on packages... Maria
  • 11/19: The sample from the latest shipment from the Isle of St. Helena came in and it was a real disappointment. We refused it since it was just awful. We will not see any St. Helena this year or possibly for the foreseeable future. I wrote a bit more on this page. It is a real bummer as this has been very special origin in the past and I know lots of folks were excited to try it. - Tom
  • 11/14: Hi all - I am back from Kona and the 2004 Kona Cupping Competition. It's all hustle and bustle over there, people in a rush to get to work, or what have you. And everyone kept saying "Mahalo" to me, which I now understand to mean "Go back to the mainland, shorty". Anyway, I see how the sun and sea can drive people to this edgy fast-paced lifestyle. I made a travelogue of the event ... which feels a bit incomplete. Even with a limited time there, it makes a big impression and there is no way to convey it in a few photos. -Tom
  • 11/12: Tom gets back from Hawaii tonight - I guess a person can only cup coffee and swim with sea turtles for so many days (I know, I know, it must be rough...) Seems like the holiday rush is starting to build here - more orders, more email... just plain more. Hope we can all remember to remain calm in the face of a national holiday. Also I think Tom mentioned about our moving to a new location in Oakland - looks like that will happen after the holidays, possibly February.- Maria
  • 11/8: Sweet Maria's now has the Technivorm Electric Drip Brewers from Holland in stock. This is one of only two only drip brewers certified by the SCAA!
  • 11/4: New crop Peru Organic/Fair Trade Chanchamayo has arrived. I cupped a lot of new Perus already and this one is by far the best lot! See our Green Coffee Offering Page for more -Tom
  • 11/4: Early November and we are just rolling along here. We are still waiting on some items like the new Alpenrost (which is due now maybe in Dec.) and the return of the Rosto (later this month?) and other items either will or will not be available by year's end as noted in the item description. No word yet on the ever-promised, never-arriving Island of St. Helena coffee. My mom said that she got some snow in northern Indiana this morning, so thoughts will be turning to the holidays soon I bet. Tom will be a judge in the Kona Coffee competition next week - so he is off for four days of tropical sunshine and surf, oh, and uh... coffee. -Maria
  • 10/24: Jamaica is back. I talked in the newsletter about the shipment of Jamaica Blue Mountain -Mavis Bank Estate that left the island the day before Hurricane Ivan struck, doing quite a bit of damage to the coming crop. Well, the shipment was held up in customs in Oakland but has been released, and the cup is quite nice. It's that nice, subtle, mild "Island Profile" coffee we expect, with nice herbal secondary flavors. Nice!
  • 10/22: Hearthware i-Roast Coffee Roasters are in stock again!
  • 10/20: We seem to be in a pre-holiday lull - maybe everyone is dazed from vitriolic campaign ads and depressing news coverage. We expect more more Caffe Rosto roasters within the next couple of weeks so there is plenty of time for holiday shopping still. This time of year we start to get requests from thoughtful people for GIFT CERTIFICATES Maria
  • I have finished my rather extensive travelogue from Brazil 2004 Cerrado Competition and Coffee Tour. Maria thinks I am nuts. I spent 3 days trimming down my 600 pictures to a mere 179, and writing the decriptions for each. There is just so much I learn on each new trip, so these web pages are as much for myself as you everyone else. I hope you get something out of it too. -Tom
  • 10/15: I just added some sale items to the sale page. Sort of a pre-holiday clearance. Check it out...- Maria
  • 10/1: The Honduras CoE -Finca Las Marias, our last Cup of Excellence lot to arrive, is in. It is awesome, a complex, unique cup. And that means that right now, probably just for the month of November, we have the most CoE auction-winning coffees available. Also just in is a great, sweet coffee from the Lake Atitlan region, Guatemala Atitlan - Santo Tomas Pachuj. And finally, our last and largest Auction Lot Kenya of the season has arrived. This is a crisp, and nuanced cup, the Kenya Auction AA Lot 220 - Karatina. 7 new coffees in one week. Oh brother.... -Tom
  • 9/28: New arrivals! The long delayed shipment of Indian Pearl Mountain is here, with 2 new crop coffees from this farm; Indian Pearl Mountain Peaberry and Indian Pearl Mountain MNEB Nuggets! The cups on each are slightly different, with the Nuggets having more complexity but less sweetness overall (it has a real "baker's chocolate" roast taste). Also in is an exemplary lot of Java Government Estate -Djampit which I had unique character from at lighter roasts than usual (City). And the mid-crop lot from Panama Boquete - La Berlina Estate has come in better than the early lots, and with that classic Central American old-growth Typica cup profile. See our Green Coffee Offering Page for more -Tom
  • We have a special on the Polished Stainless Steel Gaggia Classic espresso machine. It is $50 off! Simply select the "Polished Stainless Steel" after you add the machine to your shopping cart, and you will notice your total is $399, not $449! Brushed Stainless Steel is still $449 though.
  • I have finally had time to work on the tribute page to the ingenious home roasting folks out there who have true DIY spirit; the Homemade Home Roasters page is progressing and is full of great projects. -Tom
  • 9/24: Well, it seems that we are out of a lot of the home roasters at the moment. I am not sure how that happened but suppliers are a bit slow in getting the stock in, or we are just selling more than expected, because we have hit a pre-holiday dry spell in terms of roasters. All of the usual suspects will be back in time for holiday orders, even the Caffe Rosto which supposedly has been improved and is more reliable. So not to worry - we will have more roasters in stock in October so holiday ordering ought not to be a problem (especially if you start holiday shopping around December 20th! Which is a bad idea....forget I mentioned that! : ) - Maria
  • 9/23: Costa Rica Dota Conquistador is back with a fresh late-crop arrival. We also have some arrivals coming in very soon - Indian Pearl Mountain, Java Blawan, Panama La Berlina ... all coming next week.
  • 9/10: We have received our Nicaragua Cup of Excellence lots! There are 2 coffees, the #8 lot Nicaragua Cup of Excellence - El Regreso, and the #14 lot Nicaragua CoE - Coop 15 de Septiembre. The later is Organic/Fair Trade certified too ... but the main point here is the exemplary cup quality of these coffees; you need to read the reviews to get the full story... We also have our next to last Kenya for the year Kenya Auction AA Lot 211 -Kiamabara, which I found out today is next door to one of my favorite lots from 2 years ago, Kenya Gaturiri. It's a lower-acid, deeply sweet cup with a black currant fruit to it - nice! And we also have a really nice, strong, husky dry-processed Brazil in which works great in espresso blends or French Press: Brazil Cerrado -Patrocinio Natural . For decaf people, the Komodo Blend is back too...
  • I created a new version of the Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide with much improved pictures. Click on the small images to see the larger versions, and I have also added a multi-bean photo for each roast stage. -Tom
  • 8/30: The El Salvador Cup of Excellence (CoE) Lots arrived! They came in really great; the #12 coffee is from Finca San Jose, a 100% Bourbon that is great in espresso (Illy uses these Bourbon Salvadors in espresso blends); the #15 coffee fromFinca La Montañita is a flavor-forward Pacamara; the #19 is a Peaberry Pacamara from Montecarlos farm. The last is a fantastic cup with floral and citrus notes, almost as if a bit of Yirgacheffe was in there. I also have the new reviews up for the Guatemala HHT Finca San Vicente and the Mexican SHG EP Chiapas Jaltenango. And last (and it no way least) I would like to introduce my latest blend. It has been a year (!) in the making, and a concerted effort over the past month. It's called Sweet Maria's Puro Scuro Blend (Italian: Pure Dark) and is for the Vienna roast range; best in a French Press, but a compelling espresso too! See our Green Coffee Offering page for the links to the reviews. NOTE: I made a mistake and forgot to make these items "active" in the shopping cart. It is fixed now, sorry! -Tom
  • We have the updated model of the Zach & Dani's Roaster in stock again. Not any big changes here with the latest version, but still a nice machine for really even, lighter roasts.
  • 8/21: We just received the Guatemala HHT - Finca San Vicente that I mentioned earlier. This is a lot of coffee, like our Tarrazu Peaberry, that we had specially prepared at the excellent Los Pastores mill in Antigua. HHT= Huehuetenango ... I just can't fit it all in the name. It's an excellent, bright, high-grown Guatemala, 100% Bourbon cultivar - review coming! See our Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 8/22: It took a while, but I finally found a coffee from Chiapas that I really like. It is the Mexican SHG EP Chiapas Jaltenango(SHG means Stricly High Grown and EP means European Preparation, indicated extra hand-sorting at the mill). It's kinda rustic in the cup, but it has character and that's what matters. We also have a very unusual new decaf, Indian Monsooned WP Decaf, which can be used as an espresso blend base, and produces great crema! This is a great way to cut caffeine a bit, and use other non-decaf coffees to accent the espressos overall flavor profile. Reviews for these coming soon. See our Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 12/17: New crop Brazils are coming. We have received a really nice, chocolatey coffee: Brazil Carmo Estate Peaberry. We also have a stellar East African arrival; Rwanda Gatare Grade A.
  • 12/11: New crop Brazil Org/FT Poco Fundo is here and this lot is excellent! It is a low-acid, deep, fruited, winey cup with almost Harar-like character.
  • 12/4: I thought I would include a link to the UPS Ground Time-in Transit map so folks can see how long UPS Ground will take. Derek and I are the office folks here - so we are responding to email and phone calls and faxes as quickly as possible - but please be patient as business doubles during the holidays - there are still just two of us. Maria
  • 12/2: We have a new lot of Yemen Mokha Mattari from a different source (Muslot & Sons) - it has a different cup quality, fruiter like the old Raimi lots we had before those dropped in quality. This was one of those special lots that sold out as soon as it hit the warehouse ... Muslot is sorta hit and miss and some do not come in as nice as this. Also, we anticipate that Ismaili will return in late December - January too.
  • 11/28: We are back home from our Thanksgiving trip, and willl be working to catch up as fast as we can. If you emailed us over the holiday weekend, it might take us a day or two to get back to you, but we will respond to everyone as soon as possible. The effects of tryptophan are wearing off.... : ) - Maria ---And from Tom: I have added 2 new decafs to the list that are really impressive... See our Green Coffee Offering Page for more.
  • 11/21: Well, our first glitch of the holiday season. The postal calculator was malfunctioning yesterday and todya it seems - everything regardless of weight or destination was $9.20. So we are notifying cutomers who placed orders of the glitch and what the actual postal price is - -in case they want to switch to UPS which is generally cheaper for heavier packages. Update Note - we have USPS back but can't offer insurance on packages... Maria
  • 11/19: The sample from the latest shipment from the Isle of St. Helena came in and it was a real disappointment. We refused it since it was just awful. We will not see any St. Helena this year or possibly for the foreseeable future. I wrote a bit more on this page. It is a real bummer as this has been very special origin in the past and I know lots of folks were excited to try it. - Tom
  • 11/14: Hi all - I am back from Kona and the 2004 Kona Cupping Competition. It's all hustle and bustle over there, people in a rush to get to work, or what have you. And everyone kept saying "Mahalo" to me, which I now understand to mean "Go back to the mainland, shorty". Anyway, I see how the sun and sea can drive people to this edgy fast-paced lifestyle. I made a travelogue of the event ... which feels a bit incomplete. Even with a limited time there, it makes a big impression and there is no way to convey it in a few photos. -Tom
  • 11/12: Tom gets back from Hawaii tonight - I guess a person can only cup coffee and swim with sea turtles for so many days (I know, I know, it must be rough...) Seems like the holiday rush is starting to build here - more orders, more email... just plain more. Hope we can all remember to remain calm in the face of a national holiday. Also I think Tom mentioned about our moving to a new location in Oakland - looks like that will happen after the holidays, possibly February.- Maria
  • 11/8: Sweet Maria's now has the Technivorm Electric Drip Brewers from Holland in stock. This is one of only two only drip brewers certified by the SCAA!
  • 11/4: New crop Peru Organic/Fair Trade Chanchamayo has arrived. I cupped a lot of new Perus already and this one is by far the best lot! See our Green Coffee Offering Page for more -Tom
  • 11/4: Early November and we are just rolling along here. We are still waiting on some items like the new Alpenrost (which is due now maybe in Dec.) and the return of the Rosto (later this month?) and other items either will or will not be available by year's end as noted in the item description. No word yet on the ever-promised, never-arriving Island of St. Helena coffee. My mom said that she got some snow in northern Indiana this morning, so thoughts will be turning to the holidays soon I bet. Tom will be a judge in the Kona Coffee competition next week - so he is off for four days of tropical sunshine and surf, oh, and uh... coffee. -Maria
  • 10/24: Jamaica is back. I talked in the newsletter about the shipment of Jamaica Blue Mountain -Mavis Bank Estate that left the island the day before Hurricane Ivan struck, doing quite a bit of damage to the coming crop. Well, the shipment was held up in customs in Oakland but has been released, and the cup is quite nice. It's that nice, subtle, mild "Island Profile" coffee we expect, with nice herbal secondary flavors. Nice!
  • 10/22: Hearthware i-Roast Coffee Roasters are in stock again!
  • 10/20: We seem to be in a pre-holiday lull - maybe everyone is dazed from vitriolic campaign ads and depressing news coverage. We expect more more Caffe Rosto roasters within the next couple of weeks so there is plenty of time for holiday shopping still. This time of year we start to get requests from thoughtful people for GIFT CERTIFICATES Maria
  • I have finished my rather extensive travelogue from Brazil 2004 Cerrado Competition and Coffee Tour. Maria thinks I am nuts. I spent 3 days trimming down my 600 pictures to a mere 179, and writing the decriptions for each. There is just so much I learn on each new trip, so these web pages are as much for myself as you everyone else. I hope you get something out of it too. -Tom
  • 10/15: I just added some sale items to the sale page. Sort of a pre-holiday clearance. Check it out...- Maria
  • 10/1: First off is the Honduras CoE -Finca Las Marias, our last Cup of Excellence lot to arrive. It is awesome, a complex, unique cup. And that means that right now, probably just for the month of November, we have the most CoE auction-winning coffees available. Also just in is a great, sweet coffee from the Lake Atitlan region, Guatemala Atitlan - Santo Tomas Pachuj. And finally, our last and largest Auction Lot Kenya of the season has arrived. This is a crisp, and nuanced cup, the Kenya Auction AA Lot 220 - Karatina. Enjoy! -Tom
  • 10/24: Jamaica is back. I talked in the newsletter about the shipment of Jamaica Blue Mountain -Mavis Bank Estate that left the island the day before Hurricane Ivan struck, doing quite a bit of damage to the coming crop. Well, it was held up in customs in Oakland but has been released, and the cup is quite nice. It's that nice, subtle, mild "Island Profile" coffee we expect, with nice herbal secondary flavors. Nice!
  • 11/4: New crop Peru Organic/Fair Trade Chanchamayo has arrived. I cupped a lot of new Perus already and this one is by far the best lot!
  • 11/26: We have a couple new decafs that are really impressive: Ethiopian WP Decaf (Sidamo DP) ... that is Dry-Processed Sidamo ... is a floral cup with great aromatics. And the Peru Organic / Fair Trade WP Decaf from the Pangoa region has a great bright cup character - it really has the flavor and intensity of a good non-decaf Peru.
  • 12/2: We have a new lot of Yemen Mokha Mattari from a different source (Muslot & Sons) - it has a different cup quality, fruiter like the old Raimi lots we had before those dropped in quality. This was one of those special lots that sold out as soon as it hit the warehouse ... Muslot is sorta hit and miss and some do not come in as nice as this. Also, we anticipate that Ismaili will return in late December - January too.
  • 10/13: Tom is back from Brazil ( the Cerrado competition and a tour of farms in central Minas Gerais, South Minas, Mogiana, the coffee port of Santos, etc. ). He is getting a "travelogue" page ready with all the photos ... but jetlag is pretty severe. Maybe by tomorrow...
  • 10/1: The Honduras CoE -Finca Las Marias, our last Cup of Excellence lot to arrive, is in. It is awesome, a complex, unique cup. And that means that right now, probably just for the month of November, we have the most CoE auction-winning coffees available. Also just in is a great, sweet coffee from the Lake Atitlan region, Guatemala Atitlan - Santo Tomas Pachuj. And finally, our last and largest Auction Lot Kenya of the season has arrived. This is a crisp, and nuanced cup, the Kenya Auction AA Lot 220 - Karatina. 7 new coffees in one week. Oh brother.... -Tom
  • 9/28: New arrivals! The long delayed shipment of Indian Pearl Mountain is here, with 2 new crop coffees from this farm; Indian Pearl Mountain Peaberry and Indian Pearl Mountain MNEB Nuggets! The cups on each are slightly different, with the Nuggets having more complexity but less sweetness overall (it has a real "baker's chocolate" roast taste). Also in is an exemplary lot of Java Government Estate -Djampit which I had unique character from at lighter roasts than usual (City). And the mid-crop lot from Panama Boquete - La Berlina Estate has come in better than the early lots, and with that classic Central American old-growth Typica cup profile. See our Green Coffee Offering Page for more -Tom
  • We have a special on the Polished Stainless Steel Gaggia Classic espresso machine. It is $50 off! Simply select the "Polished Stainless Steel" after you add the machine to your shopping cart, and you will notice your total is $399, not $449! Brushed Stainless Steel is still $449 though.
  • I have finally had time to work on the tribute page to the ingenious home roasting folks out there who have true DIY spirit; the Homemade Home Roasters page is progressing and is full of great projects. -Tom
  • 9/24: Well, it seems that we are out of a lot of the home roasters at the moment. I am not sure how that happened but suppliers are a bit slow in getting the stock in, or we are just selling more than expected, because we have hit a pre-holiday dry spell in terms of roasters. All of the usual suspects will be back in time for holiday orders, even the Caffe Rosto which supposedly has been improved and is more reliable. So not to worry - we will have more roasters in stock in October so holiday ordering ought not to be a problem (especially if you start holiday shopping around December 20th! Which is a bad idea....forget I mentioned that! : ) - Maria
  • 9/23: Costa Rica Dota Conquistador is back with a fresh late-crop arrival. We also have some arrivals coming in very soon - Indian Pearl Mountain, Java Blawan, Panama La Berlina ... all coming next week.
  • 9/10: We have received our Nicaragua Cup of Excellence lots! There are 2 coffees, the #8 lot Nicaragua Cup of Excellence - El Regreso, and the #14 lot Nicaragua CoE - Coop 15 de Septiembre. The later is Organic/Fair Trade certified too ... but the main point here is the exemplary cup quality of these coffees; you need to read the reviews to get the full story... We also have our next to last Kenya for the year Kenya Auction AA Lot 211 -Kiamabara, which I found out today is next door to one of my favorite lots from 2 years ago, Kenya Gaturiri. It's a lower-acid, deeply sweet cup with a black currant fruit to it - nice! And we also have a really nice, strong, husky dry-processed Brazil in which works great in espresso blends or French Press: Brazil Cerrado -Patrocinio Natural . For decaf people, the Komodo Blend is back too...
  • I created a new version of the Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide with much improved pictures. Click on the small images to see the larger versions, and I have also added a multi-bean photo for each roast stage. -Tom
  • 8/30: The El Salvador Cup of Excellence (CoE) Lots arrived! They came in really great; the #12 coffee is from Finca San Jose, a 100% Bourbon that is great in espresso (Illy uses these Bourbon Salvadors in espresso blends); the #15 coffee fromFinca La Montañita is a flavor-forward Pacamara; the #19 is a Peaberry Pacamara from Montecarlos farm. The last is a fantastic cup with floral and citrus notes, almost as if a bit of Yirgacheffe was in there. I also have the new reviews up for the Guatemala HHT Finca San Vicente and the Mexican SHG EP Chiapas Jaltenango. And last (and it no way least) I would like to introduce my latest blend. It has been a year (!) in the making, and a concerted effort over the past month. It's called Sweet Maria's Puro Scuro Blend (Italian: Pure Dark) and is for the Vienna roast range; best in a French Press, but a compelling espresso too! See our Green Coffee Offering page for the links to the reviews. NOTE: I made a mistake and forgot to make these items "active" in the shopping cart. It is fixed now, sorry! -Tom
  • We have the updated model of the Zach & Dani's Roaster in stock again. Not any big changes here with the latest version, but still a nice machine for really even, lighter roasts.
  • 8/21: We just received the Guatemala HHT - Finca San Vicente that I mentioned earlier. This is a lot of coffee, like our Tarrazu Peaberry, that we had specially prepared at the excellent Los Pastores mill in Antigua. HHT= Huehuetenango ... I just can't fit it all in the name. It's an excellent, bright, high-grown Guatemala, 100% Bourbon cultivar - review coming! See our Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 8/22: It took a while, but I finally found a coffee from Chiapas that I really like. It is the Mexican SHG EP Chiapas Jaltenango(SHG means Stricly High Grown and EP means European Preparation, indicated extra hand-sorting at the mill). It's kinda rustic in the cup, but it has character and that's what matters. We also have a very unusual new decaf, Indian Monsooned WP Decaf, which can be used as an espresso blend base, and produces great crema! This is a great way to cut caffeine a bit, and use other non-decaf coffees to accent the espressos overall flavor profile. Reviews for these coming soon. See our Green Coffee Offering page.
  • I created a new version of the Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide with much improved pictures. Click on the small images to see the larger versions, and I have also added a multi-bean photo for each roast stage.
  • 8/16: Just to let folks know that the Fresh Roasts + 8 are back in stock. They are the same model - the only difference is that now they have a Sweet Maria's logo on the chaff collector! : ) I guess when you buy enough of something they eventually offer to stick your name on it! - Maria
  • 8/12: I just added a few items to the sale page in case you want to look at what is on there. Some roasters, some mills, the usual melange. Maria 
  • 7/30: Our other Best of Panama competition auction lot is here. This is the Panama Auction Lot 2004 -"Leru" and has a lot in common with the Lerida except that this lot was specially prepared to the highest standards for the auction. While the Jaramillo was a really unusual cup (perhaps even imbalanced) the Leru is a beautifully bright and balanced cup - really a very high grown Central at its best! And it is not priced on the outer reaches of the stratosphere either! We also have new crop Guatemala Organic Coban - El Tirol and the cup this year is awesome - clean fruit, balance, a great Guatemalan cup from the densely forested Coban area.7/28: Two new African arrivals that are very, very compelling coffees in the cup. A surpise lot of Ethiopian Organic/Fair Trade Harar with really outrageous aromatics, and tops our Harar Horse in most respects (except body). And also in is another Ugandan coffee, Uganda Organic Bugisu "Sipi Falls", with great complexity, and a darkly fruited, deep cup.
  • 7/26: Just a note to let folks know we were closed Thursday and Friday, July 22nd and 23rd through the weekend for a short trip to Chicago. We didnt ship orders on those days. There be a slight delay in sending your order early this week, but we should be caught up by Tuesday PM- Maria
  • 7/26: The top coffee from the Best of Panama Auction is in stock, Jaramillo Especial from the Esmeralda Estate. We have a very small amount of it so there is a 1 lb. limit. And as you might be aware, this was the highest price paid at an auction ever so it is pricey stuff ... $24.80 for a pound! But this cup is totally unique among Panama coffees, and in all of Central America. There is truly nothing like it - read more about Jaramillo. (All gone now - sold out in about 10 days... The excellent Panama Auction Lot Leru is still available at this writing. -Tom)
  • 7/17: Our next Kenya Auction Lot arrived! This time it is a AA flat bean, the Kenya Auction AA Lot 234 -Kagumoini - a very deep and complex Kenya cup profile that stands in contrast to the Kora peaberry and others. So many different charcaters of Kenya coffee.... check out the review.
  • 7/8: If you are a fan of earthy, natural dry-processed coffees, we have 2 new selection that might interest you. I have had a hard time this year finding a good lot of Ghimbi and Sidamo, but we finally found it: Ethiopian Organic Sidamo dry process, a heavily fruited, full body cup. And after an absence of several years, we have the intense dry-processed Sumatra Organic Gayo Mountain read the review, this is not like the coffees sold as "gayoland") back in stock! See our Green Coffee Offering page -Tom 7/12: New crop Papua New Guinea Kimel Plantation is here too - great cup with a brighter character than most Indoneisan coffees.
  • I finally finished a complete journal and slide show for my trip as a judge at the 2004 El Salvador Cup of Excellence Competition!
  • Another note; the Panama Lerida processed by Ruiz that we have in stock is the same coffee (not same lot) that won #2 in the Panama Auction! We will have that auction lot soon, but you can get a preview of this great coffee now (and at a much lower price than the auction lot). We will also have a very limited amount of the #1 coffee, Jaramillo Especial from Finca Esmeralda. I have a few photos and an interview with the farm owner that you might find interesting (this coffee is arriving very soon). This sold at a record auction price and was split among 6 coffee roasters and Sweet Maria's. It's going to be a very small amount, and very expensive! (Think of Isle of Saint Helena type prices). The cup is extraordinarily unique - a little-known cultivar called Geisha which has some Ethiopian heritage in it.
  • 7/6: We have 2 really neat coffees here - Mexico Oaxaca "Pluma Hidalgo" is from a micro-region of Oaxaca that produces a great cup profile. And (for the first time ever) an Aussie coffee! This is the Australian Mountain Top Estate XF with a charming, simple cup that is the epitome of sweetness in coffee. It actually has some of the sweet character of Saint Helena coffee without the floral side of that cup. See our Green Coffee Offering page for more information and the reviews.
  • We finally have the Rancilio Miss Silvia espresso machines in stock! And the Rancilio Rocky SS Grinders are here too. I took a lot of photos to try to illustrate what a lot of espresseratti already know, that Rancilio makes nice stuff. It's good timing on the Rocky arrival because the Anfim Mill is basically no longer being brought into the country, except with the Pasquini badges which will cost you a couple hundred more. The Doserless Rocky is a great alternative to an Anfim, and I think it has less propensity to clog, and quiter operation. We also have some new sizes and styles of frothing pitchers and a new low cost thermometer...
  • We finally have our new Stainless Steel Stovetop Popper in stock, for roasting coffee. If you are not versed on stovetop popper roasting read my list of advantages and disadvantages of the process - it is not for everyone! We also have a neat, simple Digital Thermometer with thermocouple in stock. -Tom
  • Tom has a new page about exotic coffee cultivars listed on the Coffee Library page too - Maria
  • 6/30: Some more new crop Central American decafs have arrived - really excellent cup qualty! There is the Guatemala Huehuetenango WP Decaf, a Mexico Organic/Fair Trade WP Decaf and a Nicaragua Jalapa WP Decaf from Prodecoop (who won 3 spots in the Nicaragua Cup of Excellence this year). Reviews for these are coming soon. En route: we have 2 really neat coffees coming very soon - Mexico Oaxaca "Pluma Hidalgo" and (for the first time ever) an Aussie coffee! This is the Australian Mountain Top XF.
  • 6/28: I just posted a few things to the sale page - some roasters, some miscellaneous. I am sure it won't last long... Maria
  • 6/22: More More More ... more coffee arrivals. Yes, another Kenya came in. This is the other Peaberry lot I have been referring to, the dynamic duo of our Kenya auction bidding this year. This is the Kenya Auction Lot 656 -Tegu Peaberry and it is (like the Kora) a clear standout cup from a very competitive Kenya cupping table. Check out the review. Also here is Nicaragua Matagalpa Margogype, the huge 21+ screen "elephant bean" varietal. The cup on this coffee is really great, up from last year, with a really thick body. Needs special roast treatment due to the huge bean size though. See our Green Coffee Offering page for more information and the reviews.
  • Maria and I are back from the PNWG II get-together in Oakland (Oakland, Oregon that is) this past weekend, hosted by Alchemist John and Penelope and family and cats and dog. It was, needless to say, fantastic! The 14 hours of round trip driving --- not so fantastic.
    The El Salvador Cup of Excellence Auction takes place Tuesday, so I guess I have to get up at 6 am, fire up the mac, and start bidding away. Wish us luck ... since good luck for us is good luck for you too. I knew from the final day of the cupping in El Salvador exactly what we would be going after, and that hasn't changed. The cup quality was awesome, and the variety of cup characters between the Bourbon coffees and the Pacamara coffees was really remarkable. -Tom 6/21

    Wow - the El Salvador CoE Auction is over and I was able to buy all 3 of our favorite coffees. Now it occurs to me ... I have a lot of really good El Salvador coffee I am going to have to sell! Well, it always works out and last years lot sold out within 2 months. We have 1 lot of a beautiful 100% Bourbon coffee from a great farm at 1500 meters, and 2 flavor-forward Pacamara coffees. One is a peaberry(!) grown at a whopping 1600 meters. BTW, these coffees will take 4-6 weeks to get here, so be patient please! Tom 6/22
  • 6/9: A final Costa Rican addition to the list: Costa Rica Tarrazú Peaberry -SM Select is a coffee we had specially prepared for us by a truly talented cupped, Sergio Cruz, on our trip to Tarrazu in January this year. He did an amazing job - the cup is awesome! And Brazil Sul de Minas -Carmo Estate is back in stock - an awesome espresso base. The Yemeni coffees are finally here - new crop! We have both the Yemen Mokha Ismaili (Hirazi) and the Yemen Mokha Mattari.
  • I'm back from my back to back Cup of Excellence duties, in El Salvador and Nicaragua. I haven't waded through all my notes and pictures yet, but I was inspired enough to make my usual little movie.
  • We finally have the Rancilio Miss Silvia espresso machines in stock! And the Rancilio Rocky SS Grinders are here too. I took a lot of photos to try to illustrate what a lot of espresseratti already know, that Rancilio makes nice stuff. It's good timing on the Rocky arrival because the Anfim Mill is basically no longer being brought into the country, except with the Pasquini badges which will cost you a couple hundred more. The Doserless Rocky is a great alternative to an Anfim, and I think it has less propensity to clog, and quiter operation. We also have some new sizes and styles of frothing pitchers and a new low cost thermometer...
  • 6/1: We are getting a lot of inquiries about the circular bracket that comes with the i-Roast. This pesky devil is not mentioned anywhere in the manual - it is designed to fit on top of the chaff collector - it alignes with a series of holes on top of the roaster. You can connect this to a length of dryer vent tubing - if you wish to direct smoke away from the roaster (and the operator). It is not necessary but for folks who want to direct some smoke out a window - it might be handy. Tom will conduct some tests with this connected to see if it alters the function of the roaster at all (i.e. to see if it causes heat to build up in the roaster). - Maria
  • 5/27: Part 2 (it's too many coffees to post in one day!). We have the excellent Colombian Nariño del Abuelo again this year - if you haven't tried Nariño coffees they are unique among Colombians for their sweet, floral cup, and this one (the Excelso preparation of the Reserva del Patron coffee) is the one to get. We have received a new crop Indian coffee (Pearl Mountain coffees will be coming in 6 weeks). This is the top grade Indian Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold (MNEB) and it is a beautiful, complex cup. Whoops, I skipped one. The Panama Boquete - Lerida Estate, an award winner in this year's competition and many previous, is here; a zesty, lemony top-loaded cup that "opens up" beautifully as it cools. Lastly, and by no means least, is an Kenya that, frankly, puts me into orbit. It is actually a peaberry that we won in the auctions (yep, we bought it all); Kenya Auction Lot 624 -Kora Peaberry, and in valley vernacular, it's to die for. See our Green Coffee Offering page for more.
  • 5/26: Okay, I am back from my role as judge in the El Salvador and Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competitions, and there are a lot of new coffee arrivals too. Many of you know the Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu "El Conquistador." It's simply an remarkable, clean, fruited coffee from this micro-region in the Tarrazu valley that used to go exclusively to Germany. A trueTarrazu cup profile (bright, clean, slight winey note) can be found in the Costa Rican Tarrazu -El Indio, from small farms around the capital town of San Marcos de Tarrazu. We have received the Guatemala Antigua "La Flor del Cafe" again this year, consistenly a benchmark Antigua cup profile. And after some early disappointing samples a lot of Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca Huixoc came in with a wonderful, bright, tangy, piquant cup. See our Green Coffee Offering page for more.
  • 5/24: The new Hearthware i-Roast is here ... finally! Here is our information page, and a link to Tom's review of the machine - Maria
  • 5/11: Well, Tom is in El Salvador this week, next week it is Nicaragua, and the rest of us are holding down the fort. We will run out of some coffees - like the Kenya Kanake and the Yemen Ismaili, so while there are new Kenyas in the works, and a new shipment of Yemens, we are delayed in posting these until Tom comes back and can cup the samples. -Maria 
  • 4/28: Our first two new crop Kenya auction lots have arrived! The Kenya AA Auction Lot 633 -Karugwa and the Kenya AA Auction Lot 499 -Mweiga are fantastic (and quite different in the cup). The first is a delicate, floral, refined cup; the later is a deeper-toned, thick, complex and deep Kenya. You may recognize the Mweiga - it's a lot we have bid on twice in the past ('99 and '00). See the Green Coffee List -Tom
  • 4/26: More new Central arrivals! We finally found a lot from Mexcio that was really nice mild cup; Mexican Organic/Fair Trade Oaxaca Pluma from the cepco cooperative. And a great coffee, Guatemala Fraijanes -Palo Alto Azul arrived that is a bit hard for me to describe, it is so balanced and has such an attractive, er, "coffee flavor" ... try it and you will see what I mean. See our Green Coffee Offering page for more. -Tom
  • 4/22: New crop Costa Rica La Minita Tarrazu is here ...Another season, another great cup as always!
  • 4/14: New crop Costa Rica Tres Rios - La Magnolia is in! It's a bright, floral cup with great aromatics, and a favorite around here for years...and also new crop 2004 Sumatra Iskandar is in here
  • Lots and lots of new Sweet Maria's T-shirts. We went a little nuts... we just really like T-shirts I guess, and found a very nice place down the street to do the printing. So the "Brave the Smoke" shirt is back by popular demand, some new colored logo shirts, and our new "beanface" design. Prices are reasonable, $9 or $10. Take a look!
  • 4/1: No, this is not an April Fools listing... 2 new coffees arrive tomorrow: Guatemala Antigua Los Pastores and Peru Organic/Fair Trade Ccochapampa (not a misspelling!). Read the detailed reviews on these great coffees! (Peru link, and Los Pastores link). We are also receiving a new crop shipment of Mexican Esmeralda Natural Decaf.
  • 3/23: The first really good, really high grown, new crop Central has arrived! This is the Nicaragua Organic/FT Segovia from the Prodecoop mill in Esteli (see my notes from the Nicaragua cupping trip a few months back). The cup is balanced, chocolatey, bittersweet, with a heck of a lot of body.
  • We finally have our new Stainless Steel Stovetop Popper in stock, for roasting coffee. If you are not versed on stovetop popper roasting read my list of advantages and disadvantages of the process - it is not for everyone! We also have a neat, simple Digital Thermometer with thermocouple in stock. -Tom
  • Tom has a new page about exotic coffee cultivars listed on the Coffee Library page too - Maria
  • I have been doing a lot of espresso testing, and we have decided to start carrying Gaggia machines: the Espresso, the New Coffee, the Baby and the Classic. Why? Because they start with such a low price tag and they make great espresso. Gaggiahas really solid internals, a great 17+ bar pump, a full-size commercial quality brass espresso handle ... read on ...
  • We have a bunch of neat, new Nissan Stainless vacuum bottles, tumblers and mugs. I just couldn't resist them any longer, they are too cool - but we will still stock particular Zojirushi models too. Check them out on our Travel Mug & Vacuum Bottles page. -Tom
  • The new Hearthware I-Roast should be available in late November or early December. We are receiving a production prototype that I will test extensively in the next week. (still hasn't arrived -10/24, Tom) I am excited with what I have seen so far! But we do not think it's wise to accept pre-orders for anything, and have never done so in the past. With new roasters, 9 out of 10 times the arrival date is pushed back, or there's some sort of snafu. We think it's best to wait until the roasters arrive, the lot is randomly tested for performance and consistency against the prototype's performance, and THEN it's time to offer them. It really ends up serving your interests, Mr & Mrs Home Roaster, in the end... I hope you agree. -Tom 10/14/03
  • I just returned from the Bolivian national cupping competition today. Look for a new page with a lot of details and a lot of pictures later this week. Prospects for some of the top coffees from the competition look good, but it will take 4-6 weeks or more to receive them! Our Bolivia review page has a few pictures, or dig into the complete pictorial on the Bolivia 2003 Competition page. Also, see my little Bolivia Movie ... -Tom 9/2


  • We are now shipping all our 20 Lb'ers in burlap, not plastic, at no extra charge. You can also add additional 20 Lb Burlap bags to an order if you need them. The new custom burlap bags we have (in 5#, 10-15# and 20#) are a bit more money than the others, but are food-safe and really nicely constructed.
  • There are a few interesting (well, I hope so!) new travel articles and a Coffee Roaster Image Gallery page on our Coffee Library page - take a look! We now have the new Solis Maestro Plus Mill in stock, with a new heavy metal base for stability, and 40 click-stops of grind adjustment, from fine Turkish through coarse French Press. We have the Milano Espresso and Cappuccino cups available in Classic White - simple, nice! And we have the HotTop Replacement Filters - read my note about how often you truly need to replace them.
  • Mugged: Poverty in Your Coffee Cup. The recent Oxfam International report on the world coffee market and the effect of abysmal prices paid to farmers is the first study to make an accurate survey of the situation and suggest a course of action. To read their press release, click here. But you really need to download the full report (a PDF file) to adequately understand the situation. Also, take time to read Kraft and Nestle's responses to the indictments against the "big 4" coffee companies...they also make some good points.

  • 2/27: We finally have our new Stainless Steel Stovetop Popper in stock, for roasting coffee. If you are not versed on stovetop popper roasting read my list of advantages and disadvantages of the process - it is not for everyone! We also have a neat, simple Digital Thermometer with thermocouple in stock. -Tom
  • 2/25: Well, who says it never rains in California?! We had a bit of a torrential downpour this morning that flooded the other end of our street, and then lost power for a few hours in the afternoon - a very exciting Wednesday! So if you called in the last day - we lost the message when the power went out.Please call again. And if you emailed, we are receiving all emails, just a few hours behind in getting back to them. I guess the bright side is all the orders shipped out as usual! : ) - Maria
  • 2/24: New crop from the small, family-run Hawaii Kona Purple Mountain Farm is in stock! We have three grades of it including a very small amount of Peaberry. Read the cupping notes. Finally, we have received a really nice Tanzanian AA Songea Flatbean from the southernmost coffee-producing region of the country. And for the first time we have a coffee from Rwanda ... Rwanda Masaka "Seven Lakes" - great stuff, see the review.
  • 2/14: It's a great time for Colombian coffees, as the mid-crop arrivals are showing here ... the latest is the Colombian Huila -La Florencia, a cup profile that alternates from bittersweet chocolate with nuts to a fruited cherry note as it cools. We also have another excellent decaf, the Timor WP Decaf from the Maubesse region. See our Green Coffee Offering page for more.
  • 2/5: Our South American coffee selection is swelling with new crop coffees, as the Centrals selection is limited with new crop in 2 months. We have a new Colombia Popayan Supremo "Caucano" which is an excellent full-bore, big cup character: read the reviewEcuador EScafe Co-op is a new origin for us to stock; Ecuador has the potential to produce great coffee but has not sent quality samples until now. This cup is sweet, aromatic, with just a slight wild note. See our Green Coffee Offering page for more. Also, I created a sort of quick and temporary page of images from last week's Costa Rica trip. More to come... -Tom
  • 2/2: Looks like we had an overloaded email box on Sunday - spam is the culprit as usual. If you sent us an email on Sunday, please resend it! -Maria
  • Well, it looks like the new iRoast is a reality! Whoo hoo! Maybe I ought not to be too happy yet - but the latest word is that they have made some refinements to the design and production is beginning so we ought to see the machines by say April 1st (I hardly dare mention that that is April Fools' Day!) So in a few months we ought to have them in stock I hope. The new shipment of the FreshRoasts is supposedly in the port of LA by now - and we ought to see a shipment arrive here the end of next week or the 16th at the latest. In both of these cases since we have waited a long time - I want to see the truck pull up out front before we take orders - just so we know for sure we can ship them out to folks. I know Tom is working on posting the Costa Rica trip pictures, so that ought to be uploaded soon.-Maria 2/6/04
  • 1/26: We have not just one but 2 excellent Bolivia coffees that just arrived. And they are both unique: the Bolivia Organic Cenaproc Co-op is a brighter cup with light body and raspberry notes; the Bolivia Fair Trade 'de Montana" has deeper tones and ripe apple flavors. These Bolivians are great substitues for Centrals that are running low in stock (Panama, Costa Rica, etc.) Our last Kenya of the year is here; the Kenya AA Auction Lot 369 Kanake is a sweet floral coffee with rose aromatics.
  • New sale items from our "used but still perfectly good" department just were posted.... here's the link
  • 1/20: Two "firsts": the first worthy lot new crop Sumatra is in, the Sumatra Mandheling Grade One - Lot 5201. And the first delicious Kona is here; the Hawaii Kona Peaberry -Greenwell Farms. Yes, these are the most opposed pairing of origins you can imagine, but there's something exciting when the new bags get unloaded and the hope that every incoming sample will hint at one of those stellar "crops to remember," like the Yemens from 4 years ago, the Blueberry Harars, Sumatra from last season, etc. wait... I am babbling again... just let it be said that these are excellent lots suggest great things to come this season!
  • 1/20: Just read an email from Tim at Fresh Roast that the container ought to arrive in port in southern California Feb. 6th. I will wait until I hear it is at the suppliers - just in case it is at the bottom of the boat! As soon as we can we will open the ordering on these and ship the back orders as soon as possible. -Maria
  • 1/19: Tom and I both are headed to Hacienda La Minita in Costa Rica for four days - so we will be closed next Wednesday to Friday - 1/28 to 1/30 - and will reopen and start catching up again Monday 2/2. Orders placed before this, up to say 9 am PST 1/27 Tuesday will be shipped before we leave. After that, orders will be taken and shipped starting 2/2. We will have Alison (my faithful office assistant) check email and the phone. Should be pretty exciting! I hear that they have a pool there at the farm - which I have to admit sounds better to me than coffee at this point! : ) - Maria
  • 1/13: Brazil, Brazil, Brazil! Wow, so many Brazils on the offer list! But this is the time when the best new crop Brazils are coming in, and our big selection represents the "best of the best." This week the new addition is Brazil Organic/Fair Trade Poco Fundo Co-op. You might remember how good the specific lot we stocked last year of Pco Fundo was heavily fruited, full bodied ... this year is the same. We also have a "new" Indian Organic Washed Robusta - actually it's what we use in blends and have had a little while. It's a premium. clean-cupping robusta for espresso blending, with excellent top-notch preparation and organic certified to boot! There 2 new decafs; Colombian Medellin WP Decaf and Costa Rican El Sol WP Decaf, both good solid cup profiles. And, as mentioned in our Jan-Feb newsletter, we have the Thumbs Down selection and a new web page explaining our occassional Thumbs Down offering. This month our theme is old coffee, and our offering is Ye Olde 1 Lb. of Coffee 2002 Crop!
  • 1/7/04: Just got word that the Fresh roast shipment is delayed - which is abig bummer... So I have held up ordering on this until we know for sure absolutely that it is on its way... We are still catching up this week with orders, emails, phone calls and returns... makes me wonder why we ever close! :( Oh well, we ought to be back to normal by next week I hope.... Tom has a new page about exotic coffee cultivars listed on the Coffee Library page too - Maria 

2003

  • 12/19: We have some new arrivals: South America is coming in strong with another great Brazil natural-dry process coffee, Brazil Fazenda Ipanema "Dulce", and new crop Colombian Organic Mesa de los Santos, our perennial favorite. And new crop Timor Organic/ Fair Trade Maubesse is here with a beautiful prep and a great cup! See our Green Coffee Offeringpage for more -Tom
  • 11/25: Java is going to be scarce this year (supposedly the crop was down 70% from last year due to weather) but we received a Java Government Estate -Blawan lot that is excellent! See our Green Coffee Offering page for more -Tom
  • 11/21: We seem to be in a pinch with roasting machines - everybody is out until the first week of December. Not every machine - we will have Fresh Roasts and HotTops, but the Alpenroast and the Caffe Rosto are out for a bit longer. And no real update yet on the new Hearthware ETA.... All we can do is keep you posted. Happy thanksgiving to everyone! - Maria
  • 11/18: Finally, some really nice East African coffees have from Zimbabwe and Zambia have arrived! Zimbabwe AA Salimba Estate has been the best on the table for a few years now, and this new crop delivery is no exception: great body and balance. I think the Zambian AA Lupili Estate may have a bit more punch though; brighter, citrusy, sage, and that characteristic East African wild note. We also have another great Kenya (2nd to last Auction Lot arrival of the year), that's the Kenya AA Auction Lot -Ruiruiru ... another tongue-twister. And a really nice, bright, snappy decaf, Panama WP Decaf -Panamaria Estate has arrived. Reviews for the later 2 are coming soon! See our Green Coffee Offering page for more -Tom
  • 9/10: Oh boy ... more new arrivals! We have a really nice El Salvador Chalatenango -Zona Alta, a cup that is sweet with great floral aromatics. New crop Papua New Guinea Kinjibi Estate A is in stock, great just like last year when we had the peaberry. And yet another of the late-arriving auction lots, the Kenya AA Auction Lot Kihenia 389. If you remember a long time back, we offered 1 lb. bags of Vietnam Robusta Grade 4 as an educational experience so people can taste market-grade low-grown coffee. Add it to an order and remind yourself how good your normal home-roast coffee truly is! see our Green Coffee Offering page for more -Tom
  • Our Zojirushi Travel Mugs are now on sale! Check out our Sale/Clearance page!
  • 9/3: Our two Cup of Excellence (COE) award-winning coffees from Central America have arrived! The El Salvador COE -Finca San Francisco (no, it has nothing to do with the city across the bay) is a dynamic, lively cup, very floral and well-fruited. The Nicaragua COE -Co-op 22 de Septiembre is a deep, balanced cup with origin flavors specific to the region of Jinotega, where it is from. This means we have a record amount of juried auction coffees at this point, and we'll probably not have so many at one time again: Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and as always, our excellent auction lot Kenyas. You could add Brazil Vargem Grande to that, since it is a past winner from 2001-2002. And we have a new Kenya arrival - the Kenya Auction Lot 705 -Mbwinjeru is a deep, complex Kenya, more like the Mika than the more citrusy-bright Rugeju. see our Green Coffee Offering page for more -Tom
  • 9/3/03 The latest word on Hot Top availability is that we ought to have new machines by September 17th. Still no new information about the new Hearthware machine - as soon as we have a model to test and can try it out - we will post a review so folks can chek it out. Maria 9/3/03
  • Garage Sale 2003: it's not over yet! There's still some good stuff: Gold Foil Valve Bags at a discount; French Pressers -if you have a 3 cup press, check out those Swissgold 3 Cup Filterdiscs. And there's a couple refurbished Caffe Rostos.Here's the link to the page with all the items. I will email you when we process the order to confirm that you won an item - or if it was already taken. Roasted Coffee? Yep -we actually do a little roasting now. Twice a week, Tom roasts small batches of coffee in our German Probat roaster. The choices are limited. But the price is fair, the selections are from our excellent green coffee stocks, and the roasting is precise and profiled for the specific coffee. It's not that we will ever sell a lot of roasted coffee, or even make an effort to ... but if you don't roast your own, this is really the next best thing. Read onto for details...
  • 8/22: Two exciting new arrivals: the first is our long-awaited auction lot from the 2003 Costa Rican Cosecha de Oro national competition. It's the Costa Rican Auction Lot - El Legendario, and the cupping of the arrival shipment is everywhere bit as good, if not better, than the cupping samples from the auction. See the review for the full description. Secondly is a new crop lot of Jamaica Blue Mountain -Mavis Bank Mill. This particular lot was better than the rest, and shows that the MB mill's investment in new equipment is paying off in cup quality. ... see our Green Coffee Offering page for more. Also, a new lot of Caffe Rostos is in stock...
  • 8/6: Our very special lots of small-farm Honduran coffee have arrived: The Honduras SHG -Selin Recinos was #4 in the Competition this year, a classic, delicate Central cup profile. The Honduras Organic SHG -Sebastian Melgar is a caramelly cup, but I have found a really really nice espresso blend to make with it ... see our Green Coffee Offering page for more -Tom
  • 8/1: We are now shipping all our 20 Lb'ers in burlap, not plastic, at no extra charge. You can also add additional 20 Lb Burlap bags to an order if you need them. The new custom burlap bags we have (in 5#, 10-15# and 20#) are a bit more money than the others, but are food-safe and really nicely constructed.

 

  • There are a few interesting (well, I hope so!) new travel articles and a Coffee Roaster Image Gallery page on our Coffee Library page - take a look! We now have the new Solis Maestro Plus Mill in stock, with a new heavy metal base for stability, and 40 click-stops of grind adjustment, from fine Turkish through coarse French Press. We have the Milano Espresso and Cappuccino cups available in Classic White - simple, nice! And we have the HotTop Replacement Filters - read my note about how often you truly need to replace them.
  • 3/17: GARAGE SALE 2003 !!! Sale Page is mostly over! A lot of things were snatched up right away - but some good things are still available - so take a look. We have small frothing pitchers and a few other items left - won't last long! - Maria
  • 3/11: Our Brazil "Cup of Excellence" auction lot coffee has arrived and I zipped over to the terminal to pick it up right away. The Brazil "Cup of Excellence" -Boa Vista was my favorite from the 18 top lots because it cupped like a real Brazil! There's also a page dedicated just to this coffee with pictures. We also have the new 1/4 Lb Valve Bags in stock
  • 2/28: After a lot of heavily-caffeinated days of experimentation, I am proud to say that Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber Espresso Blend is available for your consideration. It is named for the rich color and multitude of crema it produces. It is a sharply pungent espresso with hints of fruit, mushrooms, sweet smoke, caramel, and cream in the extended aftertaste. I hope you'll give it a try... -Tom
  • 3/10: I just updated the UPS rates again - no big changes, but a better discount on Worldwide Express service - 25% off the published rates. So this still might be too pricey compared to USPS Air service, but it might be the right choice depending on what you are shipping and how fast you need it. Parcel Post always seems like such a crap shoot - sometimes fast, sometimes slow, never trackable. 
  • I have updated our list of online back-issues of our newsletter Tiny Joy
  • 2/25: We have received new crop Hawaiian Kona Purple Mountain Estate from the Stiles' family farm, and this shipment might be our only lot of it for the year given that the harvest was small. The Yemeni coffees have finally arrived: Yemen Mokha Ismaili from the Hirazi region and a fruity Yemen Mokha Haimi. We also have new crop Uganda AA Bugisu Mbalecoming this Friday, that deep chocolate cup. And we have yet another great Sumatra, a smaller bean, specially prepared, defect-free Sumatra Mandheling DP Super-Prep, with a syrupy, caramel-vanilla cup character. See our Green Coffee Offering page...
  • 2/10: We are in a pinch for a while with roasters being out of stock - Hearthware decided to keep the rest of their dwindling stock for warranty replacements - which is a good thing but it means we have run out. You can still get the older Hearthware Precision model from Hearthware directly on their site. Also Fresh Roasters will be out for about four weeks until mid March. The new Hearthware is much anticipated - it should be a larger hot air machine roasting a half pound at a time and more reliable (we hope!). So there will be some changes in the coming months - but right now the selection is a bit tight. If you are looking for a roaster you might check out this page which has the instructions for non-machine types of roasting. -Maria
  • There's a new proprietary home roaster, both innovative and a little limited. We have a Zach & Dani's Gourmet Coffee Roaster Review. It includes a cupping session of the Z&D vs. the Hearthwares, tips and tricks, and recommended coffeesto get the most out the machine.
  • We have received a new 550 Degree thermometer, something we custom-ordered from Marshall Instruments. It has a stainless steel face and comes in at $9.65. We also have a new oddball Sweet Maria's T-Shirt!
  • It's the middle of the busy season but it's also time for the Brazil Coffee Auction! I posted a list of the winning coffees and a few comments and our lot, the Boa Vista (due in February)
  • We have new Cooper Thermometers for sale and a new page with ideas about how to make a Thermometer Clip yourself
  • Mugged: Poverty in Your Coffee Cup. The recent Oxfam International report on the world coffee market and the effect of abysmal prices paid to farmers is the first study to make an accurate survey of the situation and suggest a course of action. To read their press release, click here. But you really need to download the full report (a PDF file) to adequately understand the situation. Also, take time to read Kraft and Nestle's responses to the indictments against the "big 4" coffee companies...they also make some good points.

  • Available Home Roasters: The Hearthware Home Innovations Precision is now out of stock at Hearthware, and we have none either! We are going to maintain this page, and try to continue stocking the chaff collector parts. Hearthware will continue to provide parts and warranty for all Precisions! There has also been a price drop on the Caffe Rosto, from $150 to $138. The Zach and Dani's roaster is being sold by S.M. now. And when Hearthware lets us know about developments with a new roaster, we will let you know. I saw the prototypes at the SCAA show and the roast-profiling control was really neat. We will receive test models before we stock it, but we anticipate this in May 2003. If you are new to thiswhole roasting thing, have you considered starting out with an air popcorn popper?

2002

  • 8/9: The Caffe Rosto is back in stock! Orders with Freshroasts are slightly delayed and will all ship by Wednesday am. We are going to be out of Kenya Karani until we reopen (another trucking problem) but we do have the excellent Kenya Karumandi in stock. Now... back to packing... -Tom
  • 7/30: We have received the new coffee to replace Lake Tawar, it is the Sumatra Iskandar Triple Pick, incredible cup and perfect preparation of the green coffee. We have a new Nicragua in with a very impressive "classic" Nicaragua cup, with that nutty/aromatic woodiness in the cup. It's the Nicaragua SHG Nueva Esperanza from the Matagalpa region. We received a couple coffees back in stock that we were temporarily out of: Peru Organic/Fair Trade Chanchamayo from the La Florida co-op, and Guatemala Finca La Laguna Bourbon from the Fraijanes region. See our Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 7/12: Just an update... St. Helena is selling out very fast. It will probably be gone by this next Friday 7/19. We offer 1/2 lb'ers this year so people who find it prohibitively expensive can give it a try. If you haven't tried it yet, keep in mind that it is a bright citrusy coffee, so if you dislike bright Centrals or Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, you might not like St. Helena.
  • 7/2: Coffee from the Island of Saint Helena has arrived! This is the very limited, rare crop of isolated Yemeni seedstock grown on this south-central Atlantic Island. Kenya AA Karumandi Auction Lot is also in stock -a very floral cup!
  • 6/27: New arrivals include more great mid-crop Central Americans and Auction Lot Kenyas. The auction lot Costa Rica from the Cosecha de Oro (Golden Crop) event is in: Costa Rican Diamante Tarrazu. The Guatemala Organic/Fair Trade Huehuetenango from the Asobagri Coop is back, a favorite from last year; a new main crop auction Kenya AA Karani with great depth and complexity, and another called Kenya AA Karumandi on the way. And a shocking Uganda Robusta- Nanga Farms that, while still a inferior Robusta cultivar, has amazing cup qualities for espresso blending. See our Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 5/28: Small farm Kona is in stock: the Hawaii Kona - Purple Mountain Farm has finally arrived! This is a '02 late-crop picking (Jan-Feb) that has been stored in parchment until the very day it was shipped, 2 weeks ago! The green coffee color is a bit lighter and more varied than early-crop pickings, but this coffee comes from the most mature coffee cherry, as the cup shows. It is Estate Grade of F/XF/1. Also just in is the Mexican Organic/Fair Trade Loxicha from the San Augustin section of Oaxaca, a coffee that has had great cup quality for several years that we have stocked it, and in this year of poor quality Oaxaca coffees it (along with the El Olivo) is truly an exception
  • 5/20: The Costa Rica "Cup of Excellence" Auction was surprisingly quiet and uncompetitive (not sure if there was some snafu) but we wond the lot we were going for quite effortlessly. All that means is the Meseta Diamante Tarrazu will be available at a low cost to you, rather than the usual auction prices. The coffee is going to ship from Costa Rica in a week or two so arrival here will not be until about 6/20. More new stuff: There is an new 1/2 LB. roaster in development called the HotTop Roaster. we have some preliminary comments on the test unit, pictures coming soon. There are prototype units available but the unit has a cooling problem as-is. Interested persons should be patient for the final version, due in November or so.
  • After the inspirational trip to the Panama and the Panel Cupping Sessions at the SCAA Conference, I am working on our newly revised cup rating system. The results are listed on our Cupping Reference Page, and the new coffee reviews will be posted by Wednesday! And the new Central American coffees just keep coming! New coffee arrivals this week are Honduras SHG Organic MarcalaNicargagua Sabor de Segovia (Organic/FairTrade), and Panama Finca Hartmann "Songbird." See our Green Coffee Offering page.
  • Misc. New Stuff: A new page from my trip to the Panama Cupping Competition in early April 2002 is done! The Bodum Santos Set is back in stock. I am off to the SCAA Conference (Specialty Coffee Association of America) in Anaheim this weekend. Should be a good show as usual, where 7,000 coffee growers, exporters, brokers, roasters and equipment manufacturers meet. It's a great place to evaluate new grinders, and there are going to be 2 new small roasting machines there for demonstration (although I am not expecting a whole lot from either). But I will be taking my new camera and hopefully the pictures will turn out a lot better than they did in Miami last year! If you are attending, we can meet up at the Roasters Guild Meeting on Saturday afternoon (I have to step out to attend the Mexico Cupping but will return). And lastly, I have spent today roasting all the samples for the 2002 Cosecha de Oro (Golden Cup) Costa Rica Auction. Not sure what to think yet... . :-) -Tom
  • We have some neat new polished Copper Ibriks from India for making Greek/Turkish coffee. They also are great as a milk frothing pitcher for your home espresso machine!
  • We have the Hearthware Gourmet Model in stock, and there has been a big price drop to $62.50, same as the Freshroast Plus! The Hearthware Home Innovations Precision is now out of stock at Hearthware, and we have none either! We are going to maintain this page, and try to continue stocking the chaff collector parts. Hearthware will continue to provide parts and warranty for all Precisions! There has also been a price drop on the Caffe Rosto, from $150 to $138. When Hearthware lets us know about developments with a new roaster, we will let you know. We will receive test models before we stock it, but we anticipate this in about 8 months!

2001

  • 11/25: In addition to the holiday note above, we also have some new coffees that are listed on our Green Coffee OfferingList. New arrivals this week include: our old favorite Guatemala Antigua La Tacita; an excellent coffee from a new origin - Burundi AA; the return of Tanzanian Peaberry Kibo; new crop Timor Aifu; and yet another fine Kenya Auction Lot Kirigara, which is milder than other Kenyas but spicey.
  • 11/13: We have Hawaii Kona Purple Mountain farm back in stock again! Our new lot of Yemen Raimi is also excellent, and all Yemeni coffee fans should take note.
  • 11/12Email's Working We had an email problem over the weekend - namely too much email! But we have it solved now. So if a message to us bounced this weekend, please resend it as it will come through today. We did receive all the orders - so everything will be shipped as usual.
  • 11/5: Our blend favorite, Ethiopian Sidamo Dry-Processed is back. It's excellent in espresso and in dark roast blends, as well as a straight roast at Full City. And our ...er... educational bags of Vietnamese Robusta is here, with a strict 1 Lb. limit for YOUR safety! We have this so you can try the crud they put in an increasing number of low-grade coffee brands. A whopping 75¢ for your 1 Lb. of "education." I really encourage you to experience this. These new coffees are listed on the Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 10/25: The new Solis Maestro Mill is in stock ! It is VERY impressive! For more info ...
  • 8/18: I have added some images from Guatemala of the coffee process from ripe cherry to green seed to our Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide page. We have added the Solis Master 5000 SuperAuto Espresso Machine to our line-up. After 6 weeks of enjoying one in the shop, it seemed wrong not to sell this great one-touch coffee machine, perfect for offices or other shared situations.
  • 8/16: Sumatra Mandheling Natural Decaf is finally back in stock ...an excellent decaf for brewed coffee or as an espresso base for lo-caf shots. We also have the Panama Boquete -Finca Maunier again, a new Organic/Fair Trade Mexican Decaf. Tip for those who like Central American coffees: Guatemala Huehuetenango Finca Huixoc and Finca El Injerto. Excellent coffees! These new coffees are listed on the Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 8/3: We have a new certified Organic Ethiopian Limmu in stock. Limmu cups like a Yirgacheffe with a little less citrus and a little more milk chocolate. Very nice! We also have an excellent Nicaragua Segovia from the Canta Gallo co-op in stock. And an excellent Guatemala coffee from Huehuetenango that cups like an Antigua ... a really really good Antigua: Guatemala SHB Finca El Injerto. In fact, I will be an the El Injerto farm on Wednesday this week... These new coffees are listed on theGreen Coffee Offering page.
  • 7/23: We finally have an excellent El Salvador San Rafael Los Naranjos in stock -great, sweet cup. Also a suberb Ethiopian Ghimbi MC Decaf, and another coffee from Hacienda La Minita: the Costa Rican La Magnolia from the Tres Rios region. These listed on the Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 7/5: The very popular Hawaii Kona -Kowali Blue Mountain is back in stock this year. I think this new crop even surpasses last year! If you haven't read about it, this is a small-farm Kona grown at an exceptional farm, and it is grown from 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain seedstock (but cups better than any Jamaican I have ever evaluated). It is listed on the Green Coffee Offering page with a link to the review.
  • I am working on a web page that is a visual guide to the roast process, but it is far from complete. However, since I have discussed it with a few of you, I though I would upload it in its current state... also, I made a page for some recent pictureswandering a coffee warehouse in California.
  • As you may know, the coffee market is at a record low, and it is hurting the farmers. Sweet Maria's is paying fixed prices far above the market price for most coffees and we are Fair Trade certified, but we have bought a couple excellent quality coffees this year, and honestly felt that the coffee was worth much more. In response, we are donating 20 cents per lb. to charity for every pound of Guatemala Acatenango Naranjo Kikiya, and the same for every lb. of Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona. (our other Guat.s are certified Fair Trade). We chose the best charity to target Guatemalan farming communities is the incredible empowerment projects initiated by Coffee Kids-Tom 6/10/01
  • It is finally done: my pictures and notes from the Trip to Guatemala the coffee farms we buy from there.
  • The long-awaited Yama Replacement Filters for the Yama Vacuum Brewer are in stock. Don't worry, we will have them in stock for a very long time... Also just in, the Bodum Santos Set, which includes the Santos and the Spirit Warmer Kit combined.
  • I have added some images from Guatemala of the coffee process from ripe cherry to green seed to our Roasted Coffee Pictorial Guide page. We have added the Solis Master 5000 SuperAuto Espresso Machine to our line-up. After 6 weeks of enjoying one in the shop, it seemed wrong not to sell this great one-touch coffee machine, perfect for offices or other shared situations.
  • I am working on a web page that is a visual guide to the roast process, but it is far from complete. However, since I have discussed it with a few of you, I though I would upload it in its current state... also, I made a page for some recent pictureswandering a coffee warehouse in California.
  • As you may know, the coffee market is at a record low, and it is hurting the farmers. Sweet Maria's is paying fixed prices far above the market price for most coffees and we are Fair Trade certified, but we have bought a couple excellent quality coffees this year, and honestly felt that the coffee was worth much more. In response, we are donating 20 cents per lb. to charity for every pound of Guatemala Acatenango Naranjo Kikiya, and the same for every lb. of Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona. (our other Guat.s are certified Fair Trade). We chose the best charity to target Guatemalan farming communities is the incredible empowerment projects initiated by Coffee Kids-Tom 6/10/01
  • •It took 4 years for us to come up with our first T-shirt but here it is: It is a 100% cotton shirt with sienna-brown logo on the front chest, and an image of a 19th century hand-crank roaster from our collection on the back. Our roasting motto "Brave The Smoke" is in small text under the roaster ... I am sure it will confuse everyone but dedicated home roasters will understand perfectly. Click here for more info...
  • It has only taken 6 months but we are Fair Trade Certified by Transfair ...lots of paperwork but well worth it.
  • We have the Non-pressurized Filter Baskets for the SL-90 (and SL-70) Solis espresso machines in stock now. These are the type used in a commercial espresso machine, without the crema-enhancing feature of the stock SL-90 filterbaskets. The fact is, you can get great crema from an SL-90 without an crema-enhancement! We also have the new SCAA Silver Cupping Spoons in stock, and the SCAA Flavor Wheel Mouse Pad!
  • International Customers: Effective February 26 Sweet Maria's is offering UPS Worldwide Express shipping at a 42% discount from published rates via our shopping cart system. Imagine 2 Day guaranteed worldwide shipping, fully trackable via the UPS Web Site (you receive your tracking number by email the moment we ship it). This includes any brokerage fees too. And we will be shipping these orders every day in our regular queue of domestic orders. Click here for more information.

  • 7/23: We finally have an excellent El Salvador San Rafael Los Naranjos in stock -great, sweet cup. Also a suberb Ethiopian Ghimbi MC Decaf, and another coffee from Hacienda La Minita: the Costa Rican La Magnolia from the Tres Rios region. These listed on the Green Coffee Offering page.
  • 7/21: We have a new lot of Ethiopian Harar that is really nice, and we are going to start designating the Lot No. on this coffee so you can keep track of the cup character! We also have a new Southern disctict Tanzanian coming in: Tanzanian Flatbean Ruvuma. Lots of new coffees in the pipeline as the Central American season comes to a close. Look for an outstanding Organic Ethiopian from the Limmu region soon, and the return of the excellent Ethiopian MC Decaf.
  • I am working on a web page that is a visual guide to the roast process, but it is far from complete. However, since I have discussed it with a few of you, I though I would upload it in its current state... also, I made a page for some recent pictureswandering a coffee warehouse in California.
    We are closed and without email from Sat 6/30-Wednesday7/4 but Jovan will be bravely packing some orders solo... so a moderate amount of UPS orders will ship, in the order they are received. We won't be shipping USPS until Thursday. I hope you all have a great, relaxing holiday! Maria and I will be in SF meeting some coffee brokers and eating really good Asian food! -Tom
  • 6/22: A very large shipment of coffee has arrived and they are all listed on the Green Coffee Offering page(s): 2 new Auction Lot Kenyas are in: Kenya Gaturiri AB is an extremely bright, potent coffee that we recommend for those who know and love extreme Kenyas, and Kenya Tinganga AA is balanced and deep with berry notes. We also have an extremely wild, fruity Ethiopian Ghimbi in stock, the Colombian Narino del Abuelo from Hacienda La Minita (this is the smaller bean prep of the Reserva del Patron, I thought it was a better cup!), Yemen Ismaili (Hirazi) is back, and we have a new, more potent lot ofAged Sumatra.
  • 6/21: A lot of folks have been waiting for the Salter Digital Scale to return: it is back in stock now.
  • 6/19: We are completely out of the very popular Kenya Eaagads auction lot, but we have 2 excellent new Kenya Auction Lots due 6/22, PM.
  • 6/16: The only 2 bags in the United States from the 2001 Crop of the Isle of Saint Helena has arrived. Check out theupdated review of this coffee, probably the most deserving of the high-priced coffees in the world. We have a 1 lb limit on this coffee so as many people as possible can try it... (Postscript Note: St. Helena is Out Of Stock for the year! Hopefully we will be able to obtain this coffee again with next year's crop, due in mid 2002... -Tom 6/25/01)
  • 6/6: The Panama "Cup of Excellence" coffees are in stock, the #1 rated Panama Finca Lerida and the excellent Panama Finca Maunier. We also have a new Guatemala from a region near Antigua we have never stocked before: it's the Guatemalan Acatenango -Naranjo Kikiya. We are also very happy to have a new Brazilian coffee from the Mogian region that plan to keep in stock indefinitely, and that is a superior espresso blender than the Cerrado coffees. In fact, we are using it in all our blends that require Brazil. It's the Brazil Mogiani Sun-dried Bourbon -Safira now on the list. Check the Green Coffee List for more info and links to the reviews.
  • Coffee Market Update: As you may know, the coffee market is at a record low, and it is hurting the farmers. Sweet Maria's is paying fixed prices far above the market price for most coffees and we are Fair Trade certified, but we have bought a couple excellent quality coffees this year, and honestly felt that the coffee was worth much more. In response, we are donating 20 cents per lb. to charity for every pound of Guatemala Acatenango Naranjo Kikiya, and the same for every lb. of Guatemala Antigua Bella Carmona. (our other Guat.s are certified Fair Trade). We chose the best charity to target Guatemalan farming communities is the incredible empowerment projects initiated by Coffee Kids-Tom 6/10/01
  • •It took 4 years for us to come up with our first T-shirt but here it is: It is a 100% cotton shirt with sienna-brown logo on the front chest, and an image of a 19th century hand-crank roaster from our collection on the back. Our roasting motto "Brave The Smoke" is in small text under the roaster ... I am sure it will confuse everyone but dedicated home roasters will understand perfectly. Click here for more info...
  • It has only taken 6 months but we are Fair Trade Certified by Transfair ...lots of paperwork but well worth it.
  • 5/16: We have the Non-pressurized Filter Baskets for the SL-90 (and SL-70) Solis espresso machines in stock now. These are the type used in a commercial espresso machine, without the crema-enhancing feature of the stock SL-90 filterbaskets. The fact is, you can get great crema from an SL-90 without an crema-enhancement! We also have the new SCAA Silver Cupping Spoons in stock, and the SCAA Flavor Wheel Mouse Pad!
  • 3/15: Hearthware has released an updated model of the Precision roaster and we are shipping as of Monday 3/19. It's called the Home Innovations Precision by Hearthware. It features upgraded safety features and an improved computer chip, but is otherwise identical to the Precision (the all-black model) and roasts to the same basic profile. It is available only in White as pictured. We highly recommended selecting the White Home Innovations model when you order, because of these new internal upgrades! Yes, we will continue to offer the Black Precision PCR model but Hearthware is out of stock of the black model until 5/1

2000

  • There might have been some problems with the shopping cart on 10/3/00. It appeared to be loading slowly, and I received some emails from people who said it wouldn't load some pages at all. But we did received orders through the day, and my test orders seem to be going through just fine at this time. I am sorry if you were caught in the slowdown!
  • Yet another round of new coffees have arrived: Its the first time we have carried a Guatemalan Fraijanes, a great Organic estate coffee too. This shipment of Peru Chamchamayo is especuially good, with a spicey, smokey flavor in the cup. The new Yemen Mokha Mattari is extremely nice, bought direct from our Yemen source. Dominican Montana Verde is back, as is the Indonesian Komodo decaf blend. We are also going to offer our Sweet Maria's Decaf Espresso Blend for the first time. New reviews for the recent Kenya arrivals are posted too ...sorry for being so late with those but I am learnign a new database to web page conversion to make posting the reviews much easier. We are out of Indian Monsooned Malabar for a short time: it will arrive 10/3/00.
  • Some good prospects in Kenyas are still out there ...terribly late in the season for them but it would assure great quality Kenyas through January. An interesting Aged Sumatra too. It's very nice but very mild. It's not at all like the inredibly aggressive Aged Java. Need to make a decision on that soon... Most stocks are holding up well though...
  • There's an updated version of the Coffee Blending article posted on the Coffee Library page. Its a complicated subject about which I have some mixed feelings, and the article still has a way to go to be more thorough. But it is a heck of a lot better than the previous draft.
  • We lost all our phone messages from when I was out of town. It appears the power went out, but I know there were a bunch there. Folks, send an email! Phone is not the best way to get things done with us. We never lose email!
  • We are out of Saint Helena but do have a precious quantity of this rare coffee in transit. Of course, "in transit" from the Isle of Saint Helena is a long, long process. It basically goes to South Africa, then bounces around the world usually arriving in the US from Canada. Seriously! So I will update the email list when I know more.
  • We chose to run out of Timor on 8/15 because new 2000 Timor Aifu is on the water, in route to the US. While I could stock Timor and, like other coffees, never run out, its important to remember that coffee is a crop and you want to stay with the latest. Running out of a coffee invariably produces a few moans and groans from people who think a particular coffee is like dishsoap on a supermarket shelf and should always be there. It's not! And when coffee IS stocked like soap (and it is so many places) then does it really matter if its Timor or Java or Harar or Kenya? ...not really. Green coffee lasts a long time but there is a point where it loses its character, and becomes undifferentiated commercial-grade coffee. So running out of a coffee is in the best interest of the quality of the cup, and that needs to come first! Otherwise, all those people who laugh at us when we talk about "Sumatra this and Sulawesi that" and think we are just being snobby, well ...they would be right!
  • Our new Hawaiian Kona coffees have arrived. They are bought directly from the Kowali Farm in Kona and are examples of Kona at its best. We have both the Kowali Farm Extra Fancy Kona and the unique Kowali Kona Blue Mountain. The later is 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain seedstock provided initially on an experimental basis from the University of Hawaii. The limited crop has worked out so well they are going to expand the emphasis on this rare coffee. Cupping reviews for these coffees are posted today (8/5).Also arrived: new stock of Yirgacheffe that is not as citrusy as the previous but perhaps more floral. Also the new arrival of Mexican Fino Rojas, my personal favorite, is back. We are getting quite low on Timor Aifu and Java Kayumas but new crop samples on those coffees are not far away...
  • Remember those cone shaped filter holders that have the narrow neck for brewing directly into a thermos? It has been 2 years since we had them, and I finally found a new supplier! The Thermos FilterCone are very thick abs plastic and durable but a bit pricey... They are listed on the shopping cart end of our site, and available. But I dont have them with the other paper filter supplies yet.
  • Stainless Steel Moka Pots have been hard to come by but I found a really attractive larger-sized GB Moderna 10 Tasse MokaPot that I really like... images of the incredibly cute Pallerno 4 Tasse coming soon too.
  • I reorganized the categories in the shopping cart system. There was just too many items under the "coffee brewers" heading so now they are broken out into separate sub-categories. I intend to do the same soon with the regular web pages. I keep thinking I should convert the site to frames. I am just not sure if it lends itself to the hoards of information on our pages, or whether scrolling downwards and not having frame navigation is better... We also created a new footed for the Coffee Library information and the readings and resources end of the web site! I hope this helps everyone find the coffee information that we have written a bit easier.
  • So many new coffees have arrived lately that I think my burlap seams are going to bust, or the floor of the shop is going to drop through to the basement. (It is 100+ years old). Check out the Green Coffee Ordering pages and the Coffee Cupping Review links for more...
  • We have realised lately that our shopping cart system requires Cookies for certain key features. They allow the cart to keep track of the contents while you browse other pages, or even leave the site and return (carts expire in 60 minutes though). So if you have turned Cookies off in your browsers preference, you may want to turn it on to use the cart.
  • We have reorganized all of our coffee Roasting Tip Sheets and Brewing Tip Sheets, added some new ones (French Press, Ibrik, MokaPot) to the web page. Its part of an ongoing effort to reorganize the vast informational side of this site and make it easier to navigate.
  • New items include the Stainless Steel Latte Cup with Saucer and the SCAA Silver-plate Cupping Spoon.
  • Uncommon Grounds by author Mark Pendergrast is in stock ...does anyone care? I think its a great coffee book!
  • It appears the coffee retention program organized by the coffee producers is not going to have much effect: several countries dropped out of the agreement before it was ever implemented. It is actually a good scheme provided the money goes to farmers, not to traders and middle-persons! We will have a new subscribable e-mailer in a couple days! It will be a bi-weekly update of "what's new" and include coffee tips. Look for it soon. And as always we have new coffees en route too that should be listed late this week.
  • Alpenrost has had to raise the price and we have had to follow suit. We are trying to make the deal sweeter by offering a full 8 pounds of coffee with the roaster!
  • "What a difference an 's' makes!" It looks like a rather nasty site has bought the "sweetmaria.com" domain name; a couple coffee-seekers ended up in a very different kind of web site by dropping the "s" from the end of our name. In hindsight, I should have bought that name up, but there is a Sweet Maria's bakery out there --I always imagined they would get that one and we would all be happy. But what can you do???
  • New items from Bodum: the Spirit Lamp Kit was here and is sold out already! I expect more in 4-6 weeks for use with the Bodum Santos Vacuum Brewer. Also, I really like the super speedy Bodum Ibis for heating water (for French Press, Vacuum Brewing, etc.). It is a Bodum Ibis Cordless Electric Kettle and has a huge stainless steel heating coil that gets water up to temperature very fast, and quietly.
  • The phone ... We don't have a secretary to answer it! We are an internet business so please use email: how about tom@sweetmarias.com . I promise a faster response via email than by phone!
  • With the new low prices on the Fresh Roast Coffee Bean Roaster, it's a might tempting choice as a first roaster. Please read a bit about its strengths (quiet!) and limitations (small batch size), and check out our prices: $69 bundled with our 8 pack green coffee sampler, $59 solo!
  • Two new issues of Tiny Joy newsletter on the Coffee Library page. One of these includes some good clarification on why we use the first and second cracks to talk about degree of roast in our reviews, and what we mean by them. Also there is this stuff:
    • Like a toy prize in the bottom of every box ...I find foreign matter uncovered in coffee to be a fun treat in my ho-hum daily life... and an opportunity offer a exchange a few friendly coffee-trade barbs.
    • Green Coffee Freshness ...I have started to re-think the common wisdom on shelf-life of green coffee.
  • More new coffees arrived 2/24/00 and 3/4: Kona Greenwell Farms is on the way! Check the list: it will be up there as soon as it is available. We have 3 Papua New Guinea and 4 types of Yemen! Since we buy based solely on cup quality, this is what happens when great samples come my way ...check the gree coffee list.
  • Finally, an electric coffee mill I can truly endorse! We now offer the Solis Type 166 Sonical Burr Mill and the wonderful Solis SL-90 Crema home espresso machine; I have tested them for several weeks now ...take a look at the new page with extensive comments and images of their features.
  • Attack of the the light-bodied, bright coffees: Many new coffee arrivals! A couple Auction Lot (AL) Kenyas are in transit or arrived. Kenya AA Kiunyu is a wonderful bright, light-bodied, refreshing cup and it is in stock. Kenya AA Nyanjaestate is citrusy and will arrive 5/30.Panama Hartmann Estate "Songbird" has returned. Its a bright, light-body cup, not the most complex coffee but a hugely popular one around these parts. Mexican San Pablo from the Tres Flechas beneficio is here. We cupped it against Jamaica Blue Mountain. It won by a mile! Last and not at all least, Nicaragua La Illusion is just outstanding this year. Put Colombia aside for a minute and give Nicaragua a try!
  • New items from Bodum: the Spirit Lamp Kit is available for use with the Bodum Santos Vacuum Brewer. Also, I really like the super speedy Bodum Ibis for heating water (for French Press, Vacuum Brewing, etc.). It is a Bodum Ibis Cordless Electric Kettle and has a huge stainless steel heating coil that gets water up to temperature very fast, and quietly.
  • I bought a kilo of Dry-processed Mexican coffee for $1.90 in Naco, Mexico on our vacation. Incredibly cheap. You know, it really wasn't bad! A bit woody in the cup, but it had a very nice strawberry flavor too. But with Mexican farmers getting prices that low for their crop, I felt like it would be supporting the migrant farmer crisis in the border regions by buying it. You know, if farm-workers in Mexico were getting a better wage for exports, and we reinstated the old "bracero" program of legal migrant US farm labor, we wouldn't have to be building such a hugely expensive wall down there at the border! Just my opinion from a few days of observation...
  • With the new low prices on the Fresh Roast Coffee Bean Roaster, it's a might tempting choice as a first roaster. Please read a bit about its strengths (quiet!) and limitations (small batch size), and check out our prices: $69 bundled with our 8 pack green coffee sampler, $59 solo!
  • The Sumatra Triple Pick --the highest degree of hand-preparation you can get in a Sumatra has arrived. The cups is just outstanding! Next comes new crop Costa Ricans: La MinitaDota "Conquistador" (a coffee I have been trying to get for 2 years!) and Tarrazu La Pastora! The we have new crop Mexican Organic Loxicha, very nice straight roast cup! Then the Indian coffees will arrive: Malabar Gold resupply, Monsooned RobustaKaapi Royale. Try the new Guatemalan Huehue Catinil too, great fruity cup! What a week...
  • You now have the option of ordering through our new shopping cart system. As of 4/2 I added "Add To Basket" buttons next to all merchandise on our regular web pages. That will take you to the View Cart screen of the Cart System. Use your browser's BACK button to return to the web page you were on. We also have a new version of the green coffee offering sheet with cart-enabled buttons. If you want to use the older online secure order form, then do not use the Add To Cart buttons...
  • We have increased the quantity of green coffee included with new sales of the Hearthware, the Alpenrost, and the Whirley Pop Kit. It was 6 x 1/2 lb bags, now it is the full 8 Pack Sampler: 8 types x 1/2 lb each. It is less complicated for us, and a better deal for you!
  • We have also introduced the new 4 Pack Coffee Sack! (scroll to bottom of list). It is 2 lbs. of coffee, 4 types x 1/2 lb each. Its a grab bag, and the selection will change every 2 weeks. You can order one with every new order if you like! It is $9 + 2 lbs. shipping weight. That makes it a nice way to get some smaller 1/2 lb amounts (that we do not normally offer), try some coffees you might not select otherwise, and save a little since the cost rate is $4.50 per lb and I can assure you all the coffees shipped are more money than that ...No Myanmar will be included, I promise!
  • Images from Faraway! Our 500 lb. shipment of coffee departing the island of St.Helena. The coffee farm manager emailed photos. Sweet Maria's will be the sole U.S. provider of green coffee from the Island of Saint Helena for home roasters this year. Its an extraordinary coffee from an extraordinary place (in the South Central Atlantic --this is the island where Napolean was exiled and died), from true heirloom Yemeni seedstock (brought to the island in 1735 and completely isolated since then)! It is priced similar to true JBM and is an wonderful cup displaying lush Yemeni and Ethiopian character true to its seedstock, but in a soft, full cup that is definitely an "Island Coffee".
  • Homeroast Mail List: Our majordomo list server has transferred our list to a new address. Check out this link for details. The DIGEST version is not functional at this time! - currently we are trouble-shooting some problems with it... I am not sure when we can get the Digest going so if you really want to be on the list you need to subscribe yourself to the regular version...
  • The latest on the Bad Coffee Weather in Brazil with pictures emailed straight from the source of unhappy coffee trees are on our Coffee-Related Topics Page. Will it affect coffee prices severely? Most say no, because the coffee surplus is so huge...
  • Some Tips and Tricks for using the old Melitta Aromaroast coffee roaster ...now on our Coffee-Related Topics Page.
  • New Hand-blown Chemex Brewers! New book on the history of Coffee Makers, a large coffee-table book entirely in color at a great price too!
  • Illy Demitasse Espresso Spoons! Picture coming soon ....
  • A new Cona Vacuum Brewer Instructions page is finally "finished" (is anything on this site ever finished???)
  • We now accept the Discover Card! Use it...they give retailers like us a great rate. Of course we also take Visa, MC and Amex too.
  • It's not new, but remember that we have secure, on-line ordering.

1999

  • Lots of new coffees are listed, including a new section of Premium Robusta coffees for espresso blends. Also for espresso is the new semi-washed Brazil Acaiawhich we have immediately incorporated as half the Brazil content in our Espresso Monkey Blend (the other half is Monte Carmelo dry-processed)
  • Sumatra Mandheling Dp new '99/00 crop is in! We also have new crop Java Kayumas ...the first time in 3 years I have found a Java that is high quality at a reasonable price.
  • Some very popular coffees have sold out, including the Sumatra Golden Pwani and Sumatra Lintong. Please remember that I buy coffees only when we receive great samples, and sometimes a new crop is imminent. In other words, stocking coffee isn't like stocking soap! We expect new crop Timor in 10 days, and are hoping new crop premium Sumatra samples arriving in 3 weeks are impressive ...if not, we'll just wait for one that is!
  • Operators Standing By ...not. Sorry about the fact that we can't get to the phone, but we just can't. And its probably going to continue this way for a while, through the holidays. Please leave a message, I'll call back. Better yet, please use email. You will get a faster reponse through email than by phone!
  • Roastbusters is revealed! the secret is out; here's the results...
  • Vacuum Coffee Brewers ..I love them. Sure it takes longer. Sure they are expensive. No, you can't brew 7-11 Big Gulp -size cups. But you can make the best darn cup of coffee with these things. We carry the king of all vacuum brewers, the Cona, and now we carry the excellent brewer from Japan, the Hario. Both are certified Y1K (the original millenium) compatable :-) PS: Hario cloth and paper filters are in stock, but not added to the web page yet --coming soon!
  • The Hearthware Precision Coffee Roaster sells like hotcakes. I can say that it is the best air roaster on the market. They are in stock and we are shipping them! Please read my comments by following the above link....
  • Quite a lot of new merchandise items ...stuff I have been meaning to add for a long long time:
  • A new Cona Vacuum Brewer Instructions page is finally "finished" (is anything on this site ever finished???)
  • We now accept the Discover Card! Use it...they give retailers like us a great rate. Of course we also take Visa, MC and Amex too.
  • Ah, Sweet Maria's Cotton Bags for storing your wonderful green coffee are finally in stock. They feature custom printed moka brown SM logo in glorious monochome, a heavier-weight natural color cotton and thicker drawstring than our previous generic bags. You'll get a thousand uses and untold thrills knowing your green coffee is properly branded as it sits on its lonely shelf awaiting its day in the roaster! PS : we are out of 5# burlaps tho.
  • Coffee Cleaning Products from Urnex are now in stock including their popular Espresso Machine Cleaner. I am also stocking brushes specifically designed for cleaning brewing equipment and espresso machine group heads. Clean brewing equipment is critical to cup quality! ...Take a look.
  • Woops, those popular sturdy demitasse moka brown espresso cups back in stock again...
  • I will slowly be changing the format for our Coffee Descriptions (the elaborate tables you get to by clicking on the names of our green coffees on the Green Coffee Offering page) soon to be called Green Coffee Cupping Reviews. Each coffee-producing country will have its own web page with an overview, and then the specific cupping reviews and roasting recommendations will follow. This should allow pages to load in a timely fashion and provide a MUCH more comprehensive picture of the country in general, and the coffees in particular!
  • We have Coffee Kids T-Shirts, and there are some graphics so you can get an idea of how handsome these shirts are. Please, help a worthy cause and get a great shirt too ...$15 each.

1998


1997


Sweet Maria's started our business and web site in October/November 1997.