Sweet Maria's Weblog

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

Behmor roaster & holiday time

The Behmor 1600 roaster is here and we have posted the review on this page.  The Behmor will be a great  roaster for a number of people I am sure - but it is not without its limitations.  Please be sure to check out the review - all 5 pages! Or at least the review summary page. The 2007 holiday rush seems to be on now - ah, the sweet aroma of holiday stress is wafting through the air!  Please remember that we can fall behind our usual speedy turn around this time of year - usually just the beginning of the week and especially after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. So if we are a bit slower responding to your email, phone message, or shipping your order, please understand that we will get back to you as soon as possible. Holiday schedule: Closed November 22nd and  23rd. Closed December 20th through January 1st We re-open January 2nd, 2008 - Maria

adding coffees, catching a plane

I am off to Yemen (my first time there!), so am up late adding a whole bunch of new arrivals to the list tonight. We have some unusual offerings that diverge from typical processing methods to produce some remarkable lots -Tom