Latest Posts

  1. A Second Look at 4 Ethiopian Coffees

    A Second Look at 4 Ethiopian Coffees

    We took a second look (and taste!) at 4 Ethiopian coffees from our 20% off sale.

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  2. Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

    Video: Sample Roasting with an Aillio Bullet R1

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  3. Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    Video: Guatemala 2019 Coffee Clips

    A few fairly low tech clips and some thoughts on coffee processing and coffee buying in Guatemala.

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  4. Video: Dry Process Coffee & Quakers

    Video: Dry Process Coffee & Quakers

    How we grade for the quality of our dry process coffees

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

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

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

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  6. New Postcards. Quakers: Resistant to Roast

    New Postcards. Quakers: Resistant to Roast

    Our new postcards. Look for one in your next order.

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  7. Podcast Episode #22 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 2

    Podcast Episode #22 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 2

    Part 2 of 2 - Continuing the talk about the coffee supply chain and other topics

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  8. Six Under Six - July 2018

    Six Under Six - July 2018

    Six great coffees. All under six bucks.

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  9. Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Podcast Episode #21 - Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1

    Part 1 of 2 - Talking about the coffee supply chain among other topics

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  10. Podcast Episodes 19 & 20: Kenya Coffee: Growing, Trading and Marketing

    Podcast Episodes 19 & 20: Kenya Coffee: Growing, Trading and Marketing

    A while back we had Mary Maina Manyeki visit us in Oakland, and had a great conversation about her experiences as a Kenya coffee farmer.

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  11. The New Postcard

    The New Postcard

    We are really proud of our latest postcard because it captures an aspect of one of Tom's photographic projects; shooting realistic macro photos of coffee beans.

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  12. Sweet Maria's Green Coffee Sample Sets

    Sweet Maria's Green Coffee Sample Sets

    The ultimate order-ahead-of-time-pre-holiday-non-procrastinator-thing-you-can-buy-from-us-right-now

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Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

August 18, 2015

Sumatra coffees are a grand exception in many ways. We would not accept the earthy tones, the low acidity, or other exotic and rustic flavors from other origins, especially in wet-processed coffees. But in Sumatra coffee, flavors seen as defect from other origins can be positive attributes! The unique flavors are due to the influence of the coffee varieties, the climate, and, last but not at all least, the processing method we call Wet-hull (or Giling Basah to locals).

We don't have a whole lot of information on this particular coffee, thought it is from the Aceh (pronounced ah-cha) area in the North, from 1450-1600 meters. It's shows much of what we think of as "Sumatra" character - low acidity, molasses sugars, and complex earth tones. Even as a "Grade 1" preparation there are still several defects, mostly chipped beans and bug holes. This is fairly common for Sumatra, and while it cups fine as-is, this is a good opportunity to test your coffee sorting skills. It's also fun to roast two batches side-by-side - one sorted, one unsorted - and see how the elimination of defects affects the overall cup character.

This coffee shows layered chocolate roast taste coupled with pungent molasses sweetness. The finish has a slight dryness and bittersweet quality, reminiscent of Baker’s Chocolate. Herbal highlights that you might expect from Mandheling-Aceh coffee come up, mixed in with a sort of non-descript "fruitiness" as it cools. Acidity is very low too, which makes for a nice blend component or wild earth-toned single origin espresso.

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