Latest Posts

  1. Podcast Episode 19: Kenya Coffee: Growing, Trading and Marketing

    Podcast Episode 19: 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. New Macro Videos

    New Macro Videos

    An inside look at parchment coffee and Kenyan coffee grades

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  5. Kenya Coffee Grades

    Kenya Coffee Grades

    A geeky macro video of the various grades and types of Kenya coffee. Some of this information can apply to wet processed coffee elsewhere too! -Tom

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  6. Sweet Maria's Product Guide: Roasted & Green Coffee Storage

    Sweet Maria's Product Guide: Roasted & Green Coffee Storage

    ...because you gotta put it somewhere.

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  7. Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

    Sumatra Aceh Mandheling Preparation Notes

    Just some quick comments on the benefits to pre-sort this lot of Sumatra before roasting

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  8. The Amazing Spider Graphs

    The Amazing Spider Graphs

    ...fighting the crime of buying bad coffee

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  9. Adios! We're Out! Hooray!

    Adios! We're Out! Hooray!

    No more Centrals, and that's a good thing.

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  10. New Postcards...With a Lot of Information About Dry Processing

    New Postcards...With a Lot of Information About Dry Processing

    It's much more than just dehydration.

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  11. Roasted Coffee Macro Images

    Roasted Coffee Macro Images

    This photo gallery has a collection of extreme close ups of roasted coffee beans.

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  12. Podcast: Ferment in Colombia with Leo

    Podcast: Ferment in Colombia with Leo

    Breaking down coffee...literally

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Where are we at with Harrar?

Where are we at with Harrar?

A Question from the Home Roast List

Anyone know when the Ethiopian Harrar is obtainable (in season)? I am interested in seeing if I can pull the blueberry notes out of the bean. - Kevin

It's late in the season now, and basically it was only the first arrival that had over-the-top blueberry. Our special prep lot was balanced, but didn't have extreme berry notes. I commissioned that special lot preparation on the Green Stripe as an experiment, but also because I had a feeling it was a down year for Harar in general. I think it was, overall, because I cup a lot of lots and throughout the season they just kept dropping in quality, and so many were simply dusty tasting, hay, dry earth.

Anyway, you can get blueberry from the Ethiopia Dry Process Sidamo lot we have now. This is from a new exporter I am trying to work with (he is a pain because he can't get anything done on time) however the coffee he shipped was outstanding. Obvious second recommendation is the Idido Misty Valley which is an unbelievable coffee in terms of fruit. Wet-process Ethiopias have been great this year but those don't have berry notes in general, more citrus and floral. I start to look at incoming new crop Harar in January and February (pre-shipment samples). The problem with Pre-Ship samples from Africa is they never arrive tasting the same- huge flavor shifts. So you can’t count on knowing much in advance of arrival lots, and you just have to source them widely and roast them all to find the gems.

- Tom