Sweet Maria's Weblog

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.

Sumatra Classic Mandheling - Liquid Amber - Panama Decaf

Continuing with the theme of using more complicated profiles for roasting we took this Classic Mandheling to City+ and a final temperature of 436 degrees, final roast time was an average of 16 minutes. To try and develop more character in the cup we started the roast off with the gas throttled down a bit until the beans began to show some yellowing. Then the heat was brought up to full blast until the thermoprobe read 370 degrees. This was about 10 minutes into the roast, then we dropped the heat back significantly to draw out the roast. Hopefully this will help maintain the structural integrity of the bean imparting more complex flavors and balance to the cup. We brewed up a pot today and it shows promise, we'll see how it tastes after a full day of resting. The Liquid Amber was similarly profiled to build up a healthy charge on the front side of the roast and then draw out the already extended first crack which started at 406 and continued all the way until the 430 degree mark. For this espresso blend we favor a Vienna or French roast level so final temp was 460 degrees and total roast time was an average of 16:30. The batches were dumped well into second crack and continued to snap and crack as the coffee cooled in the tray. We'll pull some shots late today or tomorrow after the coffee has had plenty of time to rest and see how we did. The Panama decaf was roasted to City+ with a final temp of 420 degrees and roast time of 15 minutes. For this decaf I built up the heat in the drum a little more slowly before lowering the gas to create a gentler first crack.