Sweet Maria's Weblog

Pre-Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

It's an understatement that we are busy during the holidays. With a big increase in the amount of coffee and merch orders placed and fulfilled this week, we still found a way to offer some new products and finally posted Part 2 of our choosing a roaster series. We blogged a bit about what it really means when coffee has apple notes. Also, the crew presented Tom and Maria with some nice gifts recognizing the fact that we have been in business for 15 years. Thank you Tom and Maria for being such wonderful people to work for.


We are shutting down the warehouse for Thanksgiving and the day after so we are expecting a mountain of orders to fill come Monday so please be patient if it takes us an extra day to ship your order. Please have a very safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.


New Products:

-The Small Clever Brew Kit comes with Filtropa filters, a Hario Slim Mill and a Small Clever Coffee Dripper.

-The Baratza Esatto scale is an attachment that works with your Baratza scale to give you accurate doses.

-The BonaVita Replacement Thermal Kettle replaces the thermal kettle that came with your BonaVita brewer.

Taste Testing: Apples to Apples

 When we talk about apple-like flavors in coffee, they're usually the result of presence of malic acid. Malic acid is one of the organic acids that our found in coffee that lends certain flavors and characteristics. Sometimes when we talk about apple like flavors, we name specific apples. The apple can a a broad range of characteristics depending on the variety. 

I imagine that you already realized this, but I wanted to look at a couple different varieties of apples to try to draw out how those particular flavors or characteristics show up in a coffee. Sometimes it's more of the sweetness, or tartness, or even the mouthfeel which leads us to the apple descriptor.

The 4 apples that I looked at were: Gala, Rome, Honeycrisp, and Fuji.

Gala: This is one of the softer type of apples with the meat of the fruit being more mealy than crisp. There is stil a good deal of sweetness, but very little tartness. This apple has some similar qualities to a pear, but without being as syrupy sweet. It has just the slightest bit of tartness, but is much more sweetness. In a coffee review there's a good chance you'd see them together, such as this one in the archives or the Ethiopia Wet Processed Kebado: www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.archive.new.php

Rome: THis was the dries of all 4 apples, almost astringent with very little sweetness. This apple was both mealy and a little waxy, there was a really slight cider-like apple flavor just in the middle of the palate, but the finish almost had a vegital bitterness. This was one of the deepest red apples I've ever seen. I found Rome Apple used as a descriptor for the 2005 Cup of Excellence in Bolivia where there's also some citrus rind and other sharp flavor descriptors used: www.sweetmarias.com/boliviaCoEresults2005.htm

Honeycrisp: The honeycrisp is a modern apple variety developed by the Univ. of Minnesota to be an apple that could be grown in cooler climates. The honeycrisp I had in this tasting was one of the smaller ones, where as the bigger ones tend to exceptionally crisp, as per the name, and incredibly sweet, the smaller one on the table today had a texture that was just a little more crisp than the gala, but not quite as the Fuji. It was indeed super sweet, syrupy and juicy, with a long lasting sweet finish. The Costa Rica Finca Salaca Las Brisas is described as having crisp apple and white grape nots...

Three of Our Latest Coffee Additions

Hope you had a chance to check out our latest offerings. If not, here they are...


Ethiopia Dry-Process Gr. 1 Aricha has that strawberry/blueberry jam-like sweetness that fans of Dry-Process coffees crave, this is a small lot so we're limiting the offering to 1's and 2's only.


Kenya Nyeri AB Gatomboya our second arrival of Gatomboya AB is packed with stone fruit flavors and is sweet and complex at various roast levels.


Sweet Maria's Moka Kadir Blend is back! Folks have been wondering if we'd offer this again, and we finally have the right components on hand to revive this dual use blend with a brooding cup profile, intense syrupy body and bittersweet chocolate notes.

Dreary Wednesday Espressos

The weather has finally turned to fall here in the Bay Area, leaving us in the  warehouse dragging a bit.  Time for mid-afternoon espressos! The Ethiopia Goma Duromina is a delicious shot. - Maria

Two Great New Additions This Week

Kenya Nyeri Karogoto AB is one of our top Kenyas of the year, loaded with fruit, substantial sweetness and a long, honeyed finish.


Sumatra Pak Lintong Joner has great rustic sweetness, Concord grape notes, and mulling spice in the finish.