Sweet Maria's Weblog

matching sets of new coffee arrivals

I am back from a long Africa trip (including the first-ever Rwanda Cup of Excellence competition). We have a couple "matching pairs of coffees to list: El Salvador - Orange Bourbon Cultivar is from the Santa Rita farm, and has great balanced flavors and brightness (it makes a mean SO espresso!) whereas it's cousin, El Salvador -Yellow Bourbon Cultivar, is brighter and has a more dynamic brewed cup. Our second pair is Yemen Mohka Mattari (think chocolate bittersweets with winey hints), and Yemen Mohka Sharasi, potent, fruit-laced, and intense! And we have more coffees coming in Tuesday including 3 new Kenya lots. -Tom

Hyenas of Harar #2

Hyenas of Harar #2, originally uploaded by sweetmarias. My full photoset of Harar Pictures is available on our site!
The pack in Harar has been fed for 50 years by the Hyena Man (2generations of Hyena Men, to be correct). They also come into town through "Hyena Hole", a gap in the wall surrounding the Jogol, the old town. While they are dangerous and wild, they are pack animals, and highly adaptable. So the feeding of them seems partcularily tame. But there are hyena attacks on children, as you will see when I photographed a 10 year old victim who survived (my full pictorial coming soon.) They will take young children and simply disappear to the mountains. This happened 2 weeks before in the region of Hararghe where I went to meet the small farmers.

Ethiopia Organic DP - Dale Yirga Alem

Better late than never...This was quite a treat to roast and is a fine example of a dry process Ethiopia coffee.  Perhaps some of you have had a chance to roast the Wet Process Koratie we have on offer, becuase that would draw a nice contrast to this particular coffee.  I pushed this roast right up to the Full City+ level with final temperatures in the 438-442 degree range.  Lighter roasts of this coffee explode with blueberry and the darker roasts bring out bittersweet chocolate notes, so my goal was to have the best of both worlds.  Again, we combined a few different roast levels to achieve this goal and I think the results were pretty great.

Costa Rica Helsar "Typica Villalobos"

This week we decided to do a combo of roast levels.  With four total batches needed I took two of them up to 435 degrees and two of them to 430 degrees, then blended them all together.  The resultant cup should have a great balance of apple notes and low acidity.  Again, we used the trusty "build up momentum slowly then cut the heat" profile that has been working so well lately.  This style of roast is very similar to the method we used when roasting the other Helsar a few weeks back.  Can you tell that we're a little gonzo for Helsar here?  Enjoy.