2 Centrals - 2 Kenyas

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!

scaa show '08 (sigh)

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.

some smokin' new lots

We have received our 2 exotic Nicaragua lots featured in seasons past: Nicaragua Pacamara Peaberry is the ovoid version of the huge bean crops between Pacas and Maragogype cultivars. We also have the unusual Nicaragua Limoncillo Java Longberry Cultivar back, with a unique distinction that (under a different name) it placed #2 in the Cup of Excellence this year!

Rwanda Duhingekawa Women's Coop - Sulawesi Toraja Gr. 1

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.

a very guatemalan guatemalan / a hawaiian from jamaica

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.

what we mean by hand-sorting

this is pretty much the highest level of hand-sorting, when coffee is visually sorted at a desk, not a conveyor, and not just machine color-sorting. You see this a lot in Guatemala.

Yemen Coffee Bonanza (and Tea! and Indonesians ...)

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!

some compelling new arrivals

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 blows the rest away: Ethiopia Harar Horse DP - Lot 17406.

huila - thika - sana'a - kona

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).

an array of new arrivals

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.

gwa - teh -mah - lah

Yellow Bourbon Harvest I spent last week in Guatemala cupping new crop coffees and checking out a few farms that we really liked from last year. My Guatemala travelogue doesn't have a lot of comments, but there's a few nice photos! Above, checking out ripe Yellow Bourbon cherry as it comes into the mill after a day of harvesting.

2 new Brazils & 1 Wanna-be

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 from 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.

costa rica micro-mills

I posted a Costa Rica Micro Mill travelogue to the new/temporary Sweet Maria's image gallery site. I went on a whirlwind tour of Costa Rica small mills, basically a big shopping trip, looking for new contacts and outstanding coffees. I felt like it was a 8 day trip, but it was only 4 ...

Panama / Rwanda

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 ...

India: delightful, appalling

Coffee cherry growing on old hard wood I just returned from a week in India, my first time there. I edited down from 1350 pictures to a mere 302, and I give you my usual warning ... 50% of them are not about coffee. Additionally, it's all my opinion. I also wrote a little essay about the contrast in India between things delightful and appalling.

big list of new green coffee arrivals

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 Konga cooperative. I am recommending very light roasts for a floral, sweet. It's a syrupy Yirga Cheffe with remarkable clarity in the cup flavors, that is best with a very light roast.

Dry-Processed x 3

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.

new coffees; a little bit of this, a little of that

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.

Shipping and packing party at sweet maria's

So we survived the holidays, and the S.M. crew did a pretty amazing job turning around orders. Last year we fell behind by 24 hours or so getting orders out, but this year we had days we were sending off orders placed that very morning. We always do the best we can, but now we face the backlog of orders than came in during vacation. So please be patient. We are shipping 'em out in the order they came in, and will be back to our normal 24 hour turn-around by next week. -Tom  (P.S. - I have a new Sumatra and the end of our Costa Rica La Minita allotment coming early next week)
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