Sweet Maria's Weblog

not just another "new arrival"

ben otto owen it's a boy! oh wait, we already new that. maria had our first, ben otto owen, on saturday jan 25 at 5:25 am. he was 7 lbs 10 ounces and almost 22 inches long. the birth was relatively easy: now comes the hard part. we came home monday mid-day and are overwhelmed and tired, but of course happy. amazingly, we have found he likes just a tad of robusta blended into his milk (better foam) and takes formula off a cupping spoon! (uh, not) - tom and maria

it's brazil time: 2 new lots arrive today

We have 2 new lots coming in from Brazil, and both are pure Bourbon varietal coffees: Brazil Fazenda Boa Sorte Natural Bourbon and Brazil Cachoeira da Grama Yellow Bourbon . That means overall we have a great selection of full-on natural (dry-processed) Brazils, and pulped naturals. It's probably a good time to experiment with these coffees as brewed and espresso. I prefer naturals for the Southern Italian (darker) roast style, and pulped naturals or semi-washed for the lighter N. Italian style. We also have a nice pulped natural, full body decaf lot arriving today: El Salvador PN Las Ranas WP Decaf.

a misty valley from the typica norte: nkoanekoli!

Finally, the second lot of Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP has arrived. This is a very special preparation, Grade 1 dry-process Yirgacheffe ... quite different than both traditional wet-process Yirgacheffe, and typical Sidamo and Harar dry-process. We Have a really nice Peru Norte Especial that came in too, a case where a particular conventional lot comes in way better than expected. We have had a lot of questions about Kona, but now we are getting to that window in the crop cycle when the higher altitude farms are ready: our first small-farm arrival, Hawaii Kona - Kowali Farm Typica is excellent again this year. And we have a interesting East African arrival with rustic butterscotch sweetness: Tanzania Mount Meru Nkoanekoli (one of our toughest coffee names to pronounce too!) -Tom

2 funky ones: mokha mattari, sumatra lake tawar

For those who love the rustic, funky flavors of natural dry processed coffees, this is an arrival you might pay attention to. It's unusual to offer a coffee with certain qualifications, but I felt this Yemen Mokha Mattari FC+ is so good with the right roast that I put it in the title: FC+, Full City + roast. We received the cryptically named Sumatra 19+ TP - Lake Tawar (translation: 19/64ths or greater bean size, triple pick hand sorting to remove defects). It is a sister coffee to the Iskandar Triple pick, but more rustic, herbal, foresty ... basically, more Sumatra-like. In addition, the wildly popular Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP is due next Wednesday (had to revise the date, it isn't ready for pickup as of now). Bear in mind this week we are working through the orders that accumulated from the holidays, and are running about a 48-72 hour shipping lag, just so you know. My advice, wait for the Idido if you haven't enjoyed it yet. -Tom

omg, it's 07

my problem is that changing a 6 to a 7 is not easy. now next year, changing a 7 to 8, that will be a breeze. how can people just blow a firework and declare it a new year? it takes me 4 months, or more. lots of scratched out dates on my checks. anyway, we are revving up top reopen, inventory, deep cleaning, all that. everyone comes back tomorrow and then we try to overcome the accumulated orders since Dec 26. it was so nice to spend a week just being a home roaster, going out on the porch with the hearthware and 4 oz of green. brewing in my technivorm, or aeropress if it was just for me. i had to come in to my cupping room a couple times during the break, but it was nice and relaxed. i know it's an inconvenience that we're closed. i order a lot online too. but then again, it's great to have a break, and i feel almsot like it's a genuine sign of respect for the significance of the holidays, to think about something other than the day-to-day. and its a rare chance for me to be a home roaster again. i messed up a few batches, but even those were interesting to taste ... to wonder why the yirg had no citrus, and the dp sidamo was more earthy than i expected. i realized that, even with roasting just for moi, how important it is for me to know what i am tasting, where it came from, if it is what i expected, if there is something new i find in the cup. i can see that, even if i wasn't mr. sweet marias, i would still be doing this, thinking about it in the same way, wanting to know a bit about origins, and ponder the flavors. it changes other things for me too. when i read the paper, there's some extra significance to a flood in banda aceh, sumatra, or ethiopia clashing with somalia, or evo morales shutting down a newspaper. oh, enough of this, happy new year! -tom