Sweet Maria's Weblog

Kenya-Kona-Kosta

We have another late harvest Main Crop Auction Lot Kenya arrival, a bright, dynamic, fruited, slightly winey offering: Kenya AA Nyeri -Gachatha Coop. We also have an early Kona that despite being a mill-mark coffee (not a specific farm), is an outstanding cup: Hawaii Kona Greenwell Extra Fancy. And if our huge selection of Costa Rica micro-lots wasn't already daunting enough, we have another addition. Costa Rica Dota Peaberry Special is a lot I hand-selected earlier in the season, and was milled just for us. It's a bit winey, with good depth and chocolate tones.

New Panama Lots & Extra Nice Brazil

It's late to be receiving Central America coffees, but we had some lots of Panama squirreled away for later in the season, and they are some really nice coffees. Panama Organic La Berlina Estate is 100% old-growth Typica cultivar, and has solid balance and good body, whereas Panama Boquete Organic Los Lajones is a bright cup, like Lerida, with lemon accents. We also have a new crop, top quality Brazil from a Cerrado micro-region, that makes great brewed or extracted (espresso) coffee: Brazil Coromandel -Fazenda Sao Joao. In fact, I made one of the most stunning, floral, vibrant SO espressos from this Coromandel lot, roasted to Full City. And for you who need to detoxify a bit, Indonesia Organic SWP Komodo Blend is back in stock.

The Coffee Haj: A first trip to Yemen

Yemen Saihi ValleyIt took a week to sort through all these 900 pictures, but my little travelogue for Yemen is ready more or less, just 350 photos or so. You can view it here at Sweet Maria's, or on our new beta site Image Gallery. It's one of the most intriguing coffee origins I have visited.  We  went to get the lay of the land, and get some sense of the very complex network of traders, collectors and importers within the country. I went with Duane from Stumptown (Portland/Seattle), and we bounced along the incredibly steep, rocky terrain for a week, breathed a lot of second hand cigarette smoke, chewed a lot of qat (see the travelogue to find out about qat), sat on the floors of the locals, a slept there once too. Hopefully this will mean some interesting Yemeni offerings for both our companies in March or so, when main crop Yemeni shipments start to arrive.

Cupping in Addis Ababa

Vegetable Market in Addis AbabaHere's a travelog of my trip to Ethiopia to cup at many exporters in Addis Ababa, and get ready for the new crop coffee. It was a brief time, but I learned a lot ... and the market in Addis is great! (The woman in the image insisted I take a picture of her beautiful vegetables!) You can also check out these images on our Image Gallery test site.

Two Special El Salvadors

We have a few special coffees in time for the holidays - two El Salvadors - a peaberry "Aida's Grand Reserve" and Finca Kilimanjaro. Aida is Aida Batlle, who has several small farms of great distinction on the Santa Ana Volcano. (You can read about Aida in our Kilimanjaro review). Like no other small-lot coffee Tom has tasted (or even heard about), Aida's Grand Reserve is the product of careful propagation, harvesting, picking, processing, and blending. The Kilimanjaro farm is also owned by the Batlle in the same region. Both are special coffees that you might want to try. - Maria