Sweet Maria's Weblog

Preview: The 2015 Dogs of Coffee Calendar

Folks have been asking us if we plan on producing a Dogs of Coffee calendar this year. The answer is "yes" and we are very excited about it. The layout is done and we are just waiting for the printer to finish the job (their turnaround time is lightning fast but it feels like it's taking forever). If all goes well, we will have them up for sale in a few days.

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Three new Guatemalas. Two new Javas. Two new Decafs.

November 21, 2014

Guatemala Huehuetenango - Finca Regalito is a sweet crisp cup that's clean from start to finish.

Guatemala Antigua Finca Cabrejo Villa Sarchi features caramel apple, dark fruits, and bittersweet chocolate.

Guatemala Proyecto Xinabajul - Pena Roja has a well structured body, acidity, deep fruits, and confectionary sweetness. All three Guatemala coffees are amazing as espresso too!

Java Sunda- Gunung Parigi has thick body, low acidity, and balances out nicely with molasses and a clean finish.

Java Sunda - Gunung Crugutambor expresses spice cake, black cherry, and green apple with amazing body and texture.

Ethiopia Sidama Decaf retains clear origin characteristics with sweetness, fruits, florals, and acidity.

Guatemala Huehuetenango WP Decaf displays brown sugar, dried apple, and a mild acidity level. There you have it... All seven new coffees. Have a great up coming weekend!

Five new coffees this week from a vast group of origins

November 13, 2014

Kenya Nyeri Gatomboya AA has citric highs, ripe fruits, and developed sugar sweetness, this is a stellar AA outturn, well worth the premium we paid.

Costa Rica San Martin de Leon Cortes is our last Costa Rica of the season, a classically "clean" coffee, a sweetness like honey and top notes of tea and apple permeate from the cup.

Brazil Fazenda Junqueira Reis is a welcome addition. The profile is centered around a culmination of dried fruits, roasted nut, and bittersweet cocoa. A nice, rounded Brazil.

Guatemala Patzun - Finca Santa Anita is a balanced cup, with stone fruit notes, and a thick, viscous body.

Guatemala Huehuetenagno Michicoy focuses on developed flavors of caramel and cocoa powder.

Roasted Coffee: Peru FTO Junin - Trujillano Microlot & Ethiopia Illubabor Baaroo

November 13,2014

The picture above represents only a tiny amount of hand coffee mills that are here at Sweet Maria's along with small hand cranked coffee roasting devices from around the world. This weeks roasted coffee offerings also come from two different parts of the world and compliment each other perfectly. Keep in mind that if you are not a Ongoing Subscription - Bi-Weekly Roasted Coffee Pairing subscriber, you should place an order for these coffees sooner than later. They usually sell out with the quickness! 

Peru FTO Junin - Trujillano Microlot City+

This coffee is a perfect example of what a creamy bodied coffee has to offer. It lays on your tongue like milk chocolate or melted ice cream. There is also lots of sweet honey and cocoa with a snappy apple acidity at in the finish. A City+ roast showcases this coffee perfectly and I would not recommend roasting this coffee any lighter. 

Ethiopia Illubabor Baaroo City+

A very gentle coffee with everything you would want from a Western Ethiopian coffee. There is a lot of kola nut in the fragrance and taste that peeks out immediately. Expect some floral notes, and sweet stone fruits, cacao nibs and caramel. The body registers in the middle and clears with citrus-like acidity. 

In addition to these coffee offerings above, there are two different blends for your espresso machine. Although you can run any coffee through any espresso machine, these two blends are specifically intended for espresso. The roasting approach is a little different and was intended to pull the acidity level down a touch. Please don't misunderstand me, there is still nice acidity levels here. The difference is with brew time and grind particle size. Mellowing out the acidity in an intended espresso roast could show as a flat or baked with a pour over extraction. Think of it as the difference...

Rhyme or Reason: Why You Roast - Carlos Aguayo

November 26, 2014

When I started this project of reaching out to roasters and asking them about why they roast and what their aspirations with roasting were, one of the first home roasters I had thought of was Carlos Aguayo because of his posts in the Sweet Maria's forums. For some time Tom and I have talked about designing a Sweet Maria's home roasting starter kit, and the flour sifter design that Carlos and some others have been discussion on the forum is one of the most inspirational set-ups that I've yet to come across as far as something to base it off of. I reached out to him to ask him about his how and why.    -Chris Schooley

CS: What’s your name and what equipment have you used?
CA: I use my own homespun roaster built with a heavily-modified Poplite popcorn popper and a flour sifter. My modifications include splitting the fan and heat power so I can adjust the airflow (and thus, the air temperature) manually, and putting a thermocouple in the air flow to measure that temperature accurately. I don't know that I am the first to use a flour sifter for this, but it works really well in this configuration. See the original thread for details: http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5331

CS: What do you most love about roasting?
CA: I love that I can control the roasting process to get coffee that meets my tastes and preferences. I also really enjoyed the tinkering and experimenting that it took to get my roasting setup working well, and look forward to another design iteration when time permits.

CS: How did you get into roasting?
CA: I have moved to a new state several times in the last decade, and have struggled to find a consistently good source of coffee that I love every time. I got spoiled by fresh Peet's in the San Francisco Bay Area, and found that even if a place roasted it's own coffee, it often did not measure up. So when I found myself with a bit of time to tinker and a local source of green beans, I decided to give it a shot.

CS: What's your dream roaster set up?
CA: I'm more of a roast-your-own fanatic than a gearhead, so I don't know the various brand names and commercial options. But I would love to move closer to a true...