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
Sweet Maria's Weblog
It's crazy here, really crazy. Maria is crazy, I am crazy. We are working like crazy, packing like crazy, cupping like crazy (hence I dug up the "coffee cupping monkeys" photo from an origin trip I took). Just be glad if you are one of those who does not get swamped at the holidays, if you can actually enjoy it. We envy you. Then again, we love coffee, and no holiday avalanche of orders can prevent these fantastic new arrivals from coming available. Here the are: A new crop dry-processed, heavy body Brazil Screen-Dried Moreninha Formosa is here. Fruited, syrupy, and rustic; some will love it, others might find it too funky. Either way, this cup has character! Along the same lines is our new crop, Dry Processed lot of Sulawesi Grade One Toraja; deep, intense, dark chocolate, wet earth. In terms of the more classic cup character, a velvety and infinitely more sophisticated Colombia Tolima Planadas - El Jordan; complex, with fruited shades of berry and apple. We are lucky: there seems to have been some great late crop lots out of Ethiopia at a time we are normally out of these coffees. Here is a stellar lot: Ethiopia Late Harvest Yirgacheffe. And we have a nice, fresh new lot of lively Costa Rica Tres Rios WP Decaf.
five new arrivals, and despite the holiday "tsunami of orders" i managed to get them uploaded and good to go:
- Guatemala"Blue Quetzal" Bourbon , that's Bourbon the coffee cultivar, and this lot exemplifies it's classic, complex flavors. Raisiny sweetness, spice.
- We really don't need another Nicaragua on the list, but the review will explain why I had to offer the Nicaragua FTO Lozahoren (Dipilto)
- It cups like a Sulawesi, and is different than the Flores Bajawa from last season: Indonesia Flores Sasandu Dry-Process .
- Lastly, a really potent, rustic, unique Sumatra Blue Lintong
- Mexico Organic Nayarit Terruno, has no review yet, but it's a sweet-and-simple, light-bodied, snappy cup coming very late in the season.
We have a limited amount of Panama Auction Lot '06 - Carmen Estate from the Best of Panama Competition. This was one of the 3 coffees we sold as a set earlier this year. I found out there was a bag still unclaimed so I jumped on it (well, figuratively).¬† It's expensive. We paid 14.35 per pound in the auction for it, if that gives you some idea! One another note, we are entering the period we refer to as the Christmas Jamboree of 7-Day-A-Week Order Packin' Fun! Well ... at least we have good coffee to get us through it, sigh. -Tom
i just returned from a short trip to Chiapas, which is as far south in Mexico as you go without ending up in Guatemala. we landed in Tapachula, then headed up to the coffee town of Motozintla. i learned a few things, the least of which is this: i dislike traveling in a group. anyway, i wrote another fairly acerbic commentary, with a lot of pictures and a few nice ones here and there. -tom