Sweet Maria's Weblog

el salvador matalapa estate

5/23 Additional Note: I didn't realize that this same lot of Matalapa was the single-origin espresso in Kyle Glanville's winning efforts at the 2008 United States Barista Championship  ... a nice accolade. This weeks roast, the el salvador matalapa estate was finished with a fairly slow profile at 430f. I actually cupped the first batch versus the sample roaster batch i used as a reference and the difference was profound. the problem with doing this is freshness - you can't really cup coffees when they are 10 minutes out of the roaster! the sample roast batch, done on thursday, was the darkest of the 4 roast degrees i did at that time, but all were on the light side. It had a lot more brightness than the 10-minute-old probat batch, but what i can project is that the roastmaster lot will have a lot of body, and be very, very balanced, and that perceived acidity will increase as it rests. We have been consistently finding that the roasts from the larger roaster really require 3-5 days to start coming into their own. With these slower roasts we do, and the way we "soften" (i.e. draw out) the 1st crack, seems to leave the coffee bean less expanded, less puffed up, more structurally intact, and (I think) leaves more C0-2 intact in the little cellulose chambers within the seed. So the de-gassing period after roasting is even more important, and the shelf life of the coffee much longer, with this gentle approach in the roaster. If this post makes little sense, don't worry. It's probably because I am befuddled today. And, to a large degree, this is intuitive stuff that comes from years of pulling the sample trier out of the roaster, years of watching coffee get brown and expand in so many different ways, and years of calibrating those things you see in the roaster with your palate. It's no mystery; you respond to what you see happening to a coffee with intuition based on experience ... but describing it is a bit of a challenge for me.

2 Centrals - 2 Kenyas

Two new Centrals: Two new Kenyas. We have our perrenial favorite Guatemala Fraijanes -Finca Agua Tibia and a new lot from our favorite Honduran growing region: Honduras Organic SHG Marcala (full cupping review coming). Our first Kenya auction lots have arrived and they are amazing! Kenya Pebaerry Kirinyaga - Gakuyuini is a potent lot, darkly sweet with black currant. Kenya AA Nyeri - Kiamaina is a refined cup with peach-like flavors and brightness. Both lots are so different, both wonderful in their own right.

scaa show - roaster's choice awards

Tom, Josh and Derek are back from the SCAA show. This whole cupper vs. barista thing was really on everyone's minds. Also, our Rwanda roast did quite well in the Roaster's Choice competition despite some very, very beautiful coffees we were up against. We were just hoping to make the top 10! Oddly, I had misread it as "Taster's Choice competition", and was at Costco looking for 30 Lbs of Taster's Choice to enter ... which wouldn't have done quite as well as the Rwanda. Note that this is the exact same lot we roasted a couple weeks ago as our Roastmaster selection.

scaa show '08 (sigh)

Tom, Josh and Derek are back from the SCAA show. This whole "cupper vs. barista" thing was really on everyone's minds. Also, our Rwanda roast did quite well in the Roaster's Choice competition despite some very, very beautiful coffees we were up against. We were just hoping to make the top 10! Oddly, I had misread it as "Taster's Choice competition", and was at Costco looking for 30 Lbs of Taster's Choice to enter ... which wouldn't have done quite as well as the Rwanda.

some smokin' new lots

We have received our 2 exotic Nicaragua lots featured in seasons past: Nicaragua Pacamara Peaberry is the ovoid version of the huge bean crops between Pacas and Maragogype cultivars. We also have the unusual Nicaragua Limoncillo Java Longberry Cultivar back, with a unique distinction that (under a different name) it placed #2 in the Cup of Excellence this year! We already have lots of super fancy Brazils, but this one is in a league of it's own: Brazil Carmo de Minas -Fazenda Esperança has been a top 10 lot in Brazil Cup of Excellence several times, including #1 top spot in the last one! The review explains my feelings about this incredible lot. And Sumatra Lake Tawar 19+ Extra Bold is back, bolder than ever, super-premium coffee with incredible size and preparation, and a real powerhouse cup this season.