back from costa rica, brought coffee with me...

Not really; I can't pack 8000 Lbs of Costa Rican coffee in my checked baggage and bring it back. But it so happens that while I was in Costa Rica cupping micro-lot coffees, our first two new crop arrivals from arrived. They are well-known to our regulars. Some coffees we carry each year because they consistently perform so well on the cupping table.

mneb and fto shg ep, fyi, asap

A mouthful of abbreviations. 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.

Where's the Centrals?

Well, up until now they are out of season, and the early samples I have cupped are unworthy of offering; lower grown and rushed through processing at the dry mill. Remember, coffee is a crop. Sure, greens store well, but still it is important to buy during the peak of the harvest. It would be irresponsible of me (and run totally counter to everything we do here) to buy lots I knew were inferior, simply to plump up our inventory. Coffee is not soap-on-a-rope. Buying and offering coffee is not like stocking canned goods down at the A&P! (Although I wish it was sometimes ...

a tidal wave of new coffee arrivals

So many new arrivals at once. Some lots were delayed in shipping, but everything seemed to come in at once!

yemen, espresso competition, and stuff.

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!

sort-of, kinda, halfway-ready-to-go new coffee arrivals

I keep re-roasting and re-cupping these lots to finish the reviews ... but they ARE indeed available, and I am half-way done with my descriptions. I blame lack-of-sleep due to my new status as "dad." It is making me inarticulate. Well, more inarticulate. Anyway, we get people looking for Central American offerings, wondering why our selection in that area seems half-hearted. Well, it should be at this time of the year!

hawaii comes to you

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. The body is very silky and (relatively speaking) the acidity is quite low. The preparation of the green coffee is very nice too (a complaint I had about this coffee 2 years ago). It screens as 18/19, and Estate Grade coffee that is basically a Fancy/Extra-Fancy Mix. Hmmm...

the eclectic mix of new arrivals

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.

guess what? more coffee arrivals ...

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.

colombia cup of excellence lots are in

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 more heft, a rounded flavor profile with a winey hint.

not just another "new arrival"

ben otto owen it's a boy! oh wait, we already new that. maria had our first, ben otto owen, on saturday jan 25 at 5:25 am. he was 7 lbs 10 ounces and almost 22 inches long. the birth was relatively easy: now comes the hard part. we came home monday mid-day and are overwhelmed and tired, but of course happy. amazingly, we have found he likes just a tad of robusta blended into his milk (better foam) and takes formula off a cupping spoon! (uh, not) - tom and maria

a misty valley from the typica norte: nkoanekoli!

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.

2 funky ones: mokha mattari, sumatra lake tawar

For those who love the rustic, funky flavors of natural dry processed coffees, this is an arrival you might pay attention to. 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.

omg, it's 07

my problem is that changing a 6 to a 7 is not easy. now next year, changing a 7 to 8, that will be a breeze. how can people just blow a firework and declare it a new year? it takes me 4 months, or more. lots of scratched out dates on my checks. anyway, we are revving up top reopen, inventory, deep cleaning, all that. everyone comes back tomorrow and then we try to overcome the accumulated orders since Dec 26. it was so nice to spend a week just being a home roaster, going out on the porch with the hearthware and 4 oz of green. brewing in my technivorm, or aeropress if it was just for me.

holiday avalanche cannot prevent new coffee arrivals

coffee cupping monkeys It's crazy here, really crazy. Maria is crazy, I am crazy. We are working like crazy, packing like crazy, cupping like crazy (hence I dug up the "coffee cupping monkeys" photo from an origin trip I took). Just be glad if you are one of those who does not get swamped at the holidays, if you can actually enjoy it. We envy you.

motozintla means "land of the squirrels"

i just returned from a short trip to Chiapas, which is as far south in Mexico as you go without ending up in Guatemala. we landed in Tapachula, then headed up to the coffee town of Motozintla. i learned a few things, the least of which is this: i dislike traveling in a group. anyway, i wrote another fairly acerbic commentary, with a lot of pictures and a few nice ones here and there. -tom

not-so-recent coffee trips

Finca Agua Tibia schoolI slacked off after my quadruple header of Central Cup of Excellences (what is the plural of excellence?) Anyway, I never put the pictures up. I don't always make travelogs for every trip, but if I take pictures I ususally edit them, write something and put them up. But 4 competitions in a row (actually, 5 counting Panama) is just too much!

new coffees (gran finales)

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!

everybody's doin' it

why not a sweet maria's weblog.
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