Sweet Maria's Weblog

Costa Rica El Puente "Caturra Miel"

We're going for sweetness with this week's roast.  This Caturra was carefully prepared for Sweet Maria's by a great farm in the Puente Ecologica (a coop owned by 6 farmers) and demonstrates how pulp natural Centrals are really coming into their own.  The "miel" process does indeed impart a honey sweetness in the cup and this particular lot balances this with a fair bit of fruity brightness.  We kept the roast in the City+ range with a final thermoprobe temperature of 431 degrees.  Roast times averaged 15:30 minutes.

Costa Rica CoE, 3 new Kenyas, Lintong, Yemen Qishr

New Kenya lots (3) have arrived (Gatomboya, Giakanja, Tegu). Each of these is quite different (Gatomboya is a real sleeper ... very sweet Tangerine; Giakanja has a wild streak in it and winey fruit; Tegu is brighter, a classic Nyeri-type cup). In addition we have our first CoE lot (finally), Costa Rica Cup of Excellence -Santa Lucia, a nice late season Sumatra Lintong, and a new lot of Yemen coffee-skin tea, Yemen Qishr.

Brazil FTO Poco Fundo Peaberry

This week we are roasting a nice lot of Peaberry from the Poco Fundo cooperative.  This is a well established co-op that has good years, and not so good years.  We took this week's roast to the Full City level, final thermoprobe temperature of 439 degrees.  I did mix in a little that was roasted a few degrees more to make certain that the fruity aspects of the cup are balanced with a chocolate roast flavor.  I didn't enter second crack at all so we are still talking about Full City here.  I did do slightly larger batches this week and the roast times reflect this increase coming in at about 16 minutes on average.  In general we've been trying to shorten roast times a little bit more lately to ensure we aren't "baking" the coffee too much.  I think the results from the past few weeks have been pretty great.  Hope you all agree!

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.