Sweet Maria's Weblog

march of the centrals

The award winning Panama Carmen Estate 1800+ Meters, our special selection of the highest altutude coffee from this farm, is back in stock again, as bright and dynamic as ever. And we have a new farm source for an all-Bourbon varietal: El Salvador SHB Pulp Natural -San Emilio, with dense body and excellent chocolate character with a fruited subtext. Nicaragua FTO Esteli - Miraflor Coop sold out quickly but has now returned, which has very high roasts for cup quality this year, and roast notes at the City+ level.

the ultimate bird-friendly coffee, and some amazing new lots

Once again, we have so many new arrivals at once I can only provide a list, and links to the full reviews. Many of you from the homeroast list have aske about the Jacu Bird Coffee - that's here, along with a darn pleasant Harar, and (finally) a solid Aged Sumatra. And now for your pleasure, meet your all-in-one coffee picker and processing facility, the Jacu:

a thin slice of hawaii

We have a small lot of Hawaii Kona - Kowali Typica XF (1 Lb limit, sorry ... there is very little). The recommendation on the roast has changed from our earlier lot this year (FC, FC+) to a real sweet spot I found around C+.

a new one, an old favorite, a weird one

We have yet another Oaxaca coffee offering. As I mentioned before, this seems to be an "up" year for the region, and these two lots exemplify uniquely different Oaxaca cup character. This second arrival, Mexico Oaxaca Pluma - Don Eduardo has an interesting fruied and winey subtext to the cup, with good tangy chocolate at FC (Full City) roast. I was really impressed with the Brazil Screen-Dried Moreninha Formosa we offered early in the season, and wanted to bring it back. But this is a fresh late-harvest lot arrival, with outstanding body and chocolate roast tastes at FC+. And for you espresso-blend tinkerers, we are offering the unique flavors of India Monsooned Robusta once again!

coffee conference melancholia

it is time once again for the scaa convention, this time down in happening long beach,ca . yes, the long beach near the oil fields, near the port, near l.a.; the long beach everyone talks about. (maybe i can sneak over to San Pedro for some excitement). i must confess a certain dread. it's a massive swarm of people from all over the globe, and Iowa too. And 94% of them have absolutely no relevance to what we do here at sweet maria's on a daily basis. well, the coffee business has never been much about coffee, sadly. and to the extent that it is, this includes a wide range of interests from flavoring extracts, to shiny designer accessories, from those hapless puck-polishers with sage-infused micro-foam to powdered chai latte pushers. then there is the Coffee Cognoscenti, the group of scaa insiders with rows of badges pinned to their sleeves, running around to speeches, forums, panels and workshops. Invariably, it's those who are selling something (themselves), either directly as a consultant, or with an eye to climbing the rungs in the coffee industry, or for general status. They have something to gain by appearing knowledgeable in front of others. And there there is me and the rest of my ilk, mildly traumitized, skulking around, keeping our heads down, trying to avoid conversations and glean what little there is from the trade show floor. i know, it's probably the same in your industry ... conventions are much alike. if you were on the student board in high school, if you went to the pep rallies, if you got your picture in the yearbook a few times, you probably have no problem with conventions. so hurrah for the coffee convention, the generic high-profile keynote speaker, the ribbon-wearers and panelists at "Pushing the Right Button: Choosing a POS System" and "Location? Predicting Potential Business Success". I will be issuing a facinating report on "dust-bunny size and location in the convention hall foyer" postscript: my grumpy 2007 scaa report has no pictures of dust bunnies, sadly. -tom