Sweet Maria's Weblog

New arrivals from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Flores

New arrivals today include Costa Rica La Candelilla Tarrazu "Miel", a really sweet and chocolatey high grown micro lot from a great farm. We have a crazy, non-traditional flavor profile in the Nicaragua Limoncillo Pacamara Dry-Process, over-the-top fruited flavors, and great body with moderate acidity. It's my choice for darker roast levels. And in a different vein of fruity coffee, Indonesia Flores Organic Manggarai ... this lot is by far the best I have ever cupped from this origin!

Kenya AA Auction Lot 526 - Tegu

It is tuesday evening after a busy day getting orders out the door and taking care of walk-in customers picking up and placing orders.  I finally had a chance to sit down and enjoy a cup of the Kenya Tegu we roasted on Monday and love the juicy sweetness in this lively cup.  Tom suggested roasting this batch to 435 degrees which took about 15:30 minutes on the Probat.  Kenya coffees can be overpoweringly bright, but this lot has a good quality of acidity, which reminds the cupper that acidity has many shades.  For the espresso we roasted our Classic Italian Blend which was brought up to around 460 degrees on the Probat in 15:45.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  

Costa Rica, and 2 new Sumatra lots.

We have another coffee to release from our vault of mid-crop Costa Ricas (i.e. lots we have vacuum packed to roll out later in the season). Costa Rica Guillio Francesca -Finca Guadelupe is a classic, crowd-pleaser cup profile from a coffee farmer who is quite a character! We have our first premium Lintong-area coffees, coincidently arriving just as I returned from Sumatra. The king of all Sumatras is the large bean selection Sumatra Lake Toba 19+ Extra Bold (formerly Lake Tawar - see the review) is a potent, brutish cup, and the specially-prepared Sumatra Lintong Blue Batak is really no less potent, with chocolate, caramel, herbal hints, tobacco, and that bittersweet finish.

Sumatra and Sulawesi ... the long and short of it.

I just returned from Sumatra and Sulawesi; it was a looonnng trip that seemed all too short. I divided the pictures into groups because there are a bazillion images:

  • North Sumatra, including Lintong and the Lake Toba area
  • The Aceh District of Sumatra (actually north of North Sumatra!) which includes Takengon and the areas around Lake Tawar
  • .... and then Sulawesi and Tana Toraja, an amazing, mystical place, where I handily whacked my head crawling through a tunnel in a Toraja traditional burial cave. It still hurts. -Tom
(another soccer ball finds an appreciative home in Takengon, Aceh, Sumatra!)

Papua New Guinea AA Maloolaba

I'm back from Europe and jumping right back into the roasting with this funnily named Papua New Guinea lot.  Derek and I tried a test roast that was Full City and it was very pleasing with both the aromatic wood notes and chocolate Tom mentions in the review.  However, I felt it was perhaps a bit too dark so decided to go for more of a City+ roast and that meant a final thermoprobe temperature of 435.  After about 200 crappy cups of coffee in Europe I'm looking forward to a nice balanced cup from this lot.  We also roasted the Papua New Guinea decaf and although I too tried to baby the small batch sizes up to City level, there may be a small amount of oil that escaped, darn decafs are so delicate.  As for the Espresso Monkey, I listened closely and tried to hit the right spot far enough into second crack for the Northern Italian roast Tom recommends, this wound up being around the 459 degree mark at about 15:30 minutes into the roast.  The batch continued to snap and pop away for a good 30 seconds after hitting the cooling tray due to the slow build and then reduced heat profile we've been employing on the Probat.  So nice to be back in California and with my trusty pal the Probat delivering perfect roasts batch after batch.