Coffea Liberica – What is it?
For the first time we are offering a coffee that is neither Arabica nor Robusta - Coffea Liberica is an entirely different species of coffee. It is grown on a much smaller scale and has properties one will never find in the more common species. The Liberica trees are huge! Growing as tall as 20 feet with large leathery leaves. This is a peculiar crop and is generally considered too wild of a taste for mass cultivation. And it is a wild taste. We have had the India Anohki (Liberica) in stock for a couple of weeks and it has caused some consternation here at the warehouse – some love it, some hate it. We are generally adventurous folks though and don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing that the aromas in the cup veer from blueberry to cow-pie. Brewing up a cup of Liberica forces one to reconsider what a “good” cup of coffee should taste like, much like an aged cheese reconfigures one’s senses in unimaginable ways. Pleasure and pain are closely related in terms of brain function and if Liberica doesn’t cause at least a little of both in you, then you might be a cyborg after all.
Some customers might know that I studied photography. Putting that glamorous MFA degree to work I recently shot a whole host of smiling (or grimacing, as the case may be) macro photos of single seed green coffee beans, check the weblog for the link or type in:
All images are at the same magnification. All are wetprocess unless noted otherwise. While the images represent a fraction of the coffee varieties available, they give an interesting visual overview of the amazing variety in the appearance of coffee types. Notice the color, size and texture. No wonder the Liberica coffees taste so different: just look at that crazy squat bean! And we all know the Geshas taste terrific, but how about the smooth almost perfect looking bean itself? No wonder Aged Sumatra tastes so funky. The pictures are a lot of fun, but remember that the appearance of the beans is only part of the picture- the truth is in the cup. Some coffees, like Sumatras, rely on the more rustic nature of the beans and preparation to give them their earthy, pungent qualities. Super-duper clean preparations of Sumatra can prep the characteristic origin quality right out of the cup. What I like about specialty coffees are the subtle (and in the case of Liberica – not so subtle) differences between the cups). The specialty beans featured in the close-up images on these pages are truly unique products of dedicated growers and processors. Keep an eye out for more “under the macroscope” shots from me, the resident shutterbug. -Tom
10th Anniversary Shin-dig
Thank you to all who came to the 10th Anniversary Party! Tom and I find it hard to believe that we have been in business for 10 years. I am sure all you small business owners can understand but looking back on it, sometimes it seems that the time has flown by, and at the same time, I remember logging countless hours typing in credit card numbers, printing up UPS tags, answering email, writing checks, etc etc etc. It seems endless! But I suppose that is a good thing – we clearly like what we do, won’t do anything else. Otherwise we would have looked for another job a long long time ago. – Maria
2007 Holiday Season
The 2007 holiday rush seems to be on now - ah, the sweet aroma of holiday stress is wafting through the air! Please remember that we can fall behind our usual speedy turn around this time of year - usually just the beginning of the week and especially after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. So if we are a bit slower responding to your email, phone message, or shipping your order, please understand that we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Holiday schedule: Closed November 22nd and 23rd.
Closed December 20th through January 1st
We re-open January 2nd, 2008
Sweet Maria’s Coffee
1115 21st Street, Oakland CA 94607
Sweet Maria’s Green Coffee Offering List
as of Nov 16, 2007 – there are many, many incoming lots weekly.
Check the web site – this list is certainly out-of-date!
Central American 1lb 2 lb 5 lb 10 Lb 20 lb
Costa Rica Coop Dota Dry-Process $5.20 $9.88 $22.62 $43.16 $80.08
Costa Rica Dota Peaberry Special $5.20 $9.88 $22.62 $43.16 $80.08
Costa Rica La Horqueta "Top 50" $5.50 $10.45 $23.93 $45.65 $84.70
Costa Rica Naranjo Caracol Peaberry $4.95 $9.41 $21.53 $41.09 $76.23
El Salvador Peaberry "Aida's Grand Reserve" $24.80 $47.12 2 Lb Limit
El Salvador Cup of Excellence -Siberia $6.90 $13.11 $30.02 $57.27 $106.26
El Salvador -Orange Bourbon Cultivar $5.65 $10.74 $24.58 $46.90 $87.01
El Salvador Finca Kilimanjaro $7.40 $14.06 2 Lb Limit
Guatemala Acatenango-Buena Vista Gesha $13.20 $25.08 $57.42 $109.5 $203.28
Guatemala Antigua Finca Retana Yellow Bourbon $6.90 $13.11 $30.02 $57.27 $106.26
Guatemala- Finca San José Ocaña