Sweet Maria's Weblog

2 for 1 Container Tuesday

Okay – it was not all on Tuesday – but it felt like it.  On Monday, aside from what’s becoming our usual 600+ Sweet Maria’s orders to send out, we were faced with the task of shipping a container load of coffee to an Australian customer from our wholesale site.   The 20′ container was loaded floor to ceiling with coffee.   This order was over 37,000lbs, so in order to get it all in, a large amount of stacking was in order. After a couple hours, our excellent crew got it all packed in. As if that wasn’t enough heavy work, our 40ft container of Clever Coffee Drippers arrived yesterday morning. Over 1200 cases were unloaded and put on pallets for easy access in our warehouse. Luckily, moving all that coffee out of our warehouse created enough room for this large amount of Clevers. Today, our shipment of Behmor coffee roasters arrives and we still need to continue getting your coffee orders out the door…whew! What a week.

Oh Nuts

 One question that we get quite a bit via the forum and otherwise is; What are some coffees with a nutty flavor profile? There are definitely coffees that have more of a nutty taste to them, but it would be very helpful to identify some specific types and/or reasons for this nuttiness.

Nuttiness can be the result of processing, either purposeful or otherwise. It can also be the result of bean density, or even the age and condition of the green coffee. Most commonly nutty is a result of roasting. Negative nutty attributes are usually tasted as a peanutty, fatty flavor characteristic in washed coffees. Peanut skin is also a common descriptor associated with an unpleasant astringentcy in a coffee.

Positive nutty attributes can be tasted as; almond, hazelnut, walnut, cashew, or candied peanut. Many coffees that have stone fruit flavors also have some almond-like flavors, especially when roasted more into the Full City range. Hazelnut is usually found in this similar fashion. Walnut is usually paired with a pleasant astringency, and is common in coffees with a slightly drier mouthfeel.

Some of the coffees that I would put into these categories are certain Maragogype/Maracaturra/Pacamara coffees roasted at the Full City range. The nicer coffees from Java, such as the Pitaloka, have a very distinctive sweet almond and walnut quality to them at most of the roast levels. At City +, the toasted almond notes pair nicely with cocoa and spice to give it a very complex sweetness that's excellently expressed in a press pot brew. Coffees from Costa Rica can frequently show some of the sweet hazelnut qualities at a Full City as well.

Pulped-Natural coffees very frequently have a candied peanut flavor to them, especially the ones from Brazil. It's important to note that this processing style can have quite a wide range; from having none of the mucialge removed to having just about as much of the mucilage removed as you would find on a fully Washed process coffee. In Central America these heavily demucilagized coffees can sometimes be identified as Machine Washed. Generally, the more mucilage that has been removed, the cleaner the cup profile is, and therefore the more fruited and less nutty the cup is as well. The coffees that have little of the mucialge removed are commonly called Honey or Miel coffees in Central America, but some other places as well. These Honey coffees are generally incredibly nutty, with loads of candied peanut butter type flavors.

Many of the coffees of Brazil have a distinct nuttiness that is usually paired with layers of...

Eat Real 2012

The Eat Real food festival goes down every year here in Oakland and it's a great weekend-long festival of music, drinks, food trucks, food demos, food and more food. We were happy to get invited back for a second year to show coffee lovers how to roast coffee at home. Our operations manager, Josh did an excellent job explaining to a classroom of interested folks how to roast with a hot air popcorn popper and shared valuable information about where coffee originates from. We even had a chance to plug in a Behmor to show that there are methods that allow you to roast more than a few ounces at a time. After some great Q&A, attendees took home some party favors; samples of green coffee to roast at home. "Thank you" to everyone that came out and to the wonderful staff at Eat Real for having us. We had a great time!

Five new additions...enjoy!

Costa Rica Chirripo Crestones - Finca Alaska has raisin and dried plum notes with buttery body and raw cocoa nib finish.

Guatemala Antigua El Inteligente Pulcal is a tremendously well-balanced cup with crisp pear notes and baker's chocolate.

Nicaragua Finca La Tormenta with a huckleberry tartness, honey wheat hints, and turbinado sugar sweetness.

Colombia Vereda Pedregal has green apple, grape, Palestinian sweet lime, and silky body.

Colombia Alto de Topa Microlot is the first microlot from the recently arrived Colombia container and is loaded with sugar browning sweetness, nectar-like mouthfeel and butter creme.

Panama and Colombia lots have arrived, along with a new Kenya, and a custom Decaf

Panama Organic Duncan Estate has creme caramel notes and crisp acidity.

Panama Volcancito Don K is chocolatey with Granny Smith apple and freshly spun honey.

Colombia Vereda Agua Blanca is bursting with fig notes and raw sugar sweetness...we are very excited about these Colombia lots which just arrived in a container directly to our warehouse!

Kenya Nyeri AB Gatomboya is a beautiful cup, sweet and complex with stone fruit notes.

Africa Wazungu SWP Decaf Blend yet another in our series of our own lot that we've sent for decaffeination at Swiss, this one has dark brown sugar, papaya and concord grape with a tea-like finish.