Sweet Maria's Weblog

some new mokapots, cone filters, knock box, piddley stuff

We have some new products this week. We are stocked a new model of Moka Pot (i.e. stovetop espresso). The Bialetti Musa Mokapot is brushed stainless steel, remarkably sturdy and looks pretty sharp too. We have 3 different size; 4 tasse, 6 tasse and 10 tasse. We have a new Commercial Espresso Knock Box, stainess steel with a nice big non-slip rubber base. And as a preview (coming in a week), we have a new larger sized Porcelain #4 Cone Filter Holder (I have been looking for these for years!). We also have an elegantly simple Porcelain #1 Drip Pot Set, a filter cone and matching pot with lid. Once agian, these porcelain items come in a week or so.

mneb and fto shg ep, fyi, asap

A mouthful of abbreviations. Just when I thought that the entire crop was a bust, we received this Bolivia FTO SHG EP Caranavi with an outstanding, bright, lively character apple, hazelnut and mild chocolate notes. And after a long absence, we have an India arabica (non-monsooned) lot: India Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold has unusual dry-roasted peanut notes, low acidity, good body ... and makes a very compelling single-origin espresso.

Where's the Centrals?

Well, up until now they are out of season, and the early samples I have cupped are unworthy of offering; lower grown and rushed through processing at the dry mill. Remember, coffee is a crop. Sure, greens store well, but still it is important to buy during the peak of the harvest. It would be irresponsible of me (and run totally counter to everything we do here) to buy lots I knew were inferior, simply to plump up our inventory. Coffee is not soap-on-a-rope. Buying and offering coffee is not like stocking canned goods down at the A&P! (Although I wish it was sometimes ... it would make my job a lot easier).

Now, the Centrals are indeed on there way. We have 2 Costa Rica lots arriving Thursday April 12. (Indeed, I leave tonight for Costa Rica to cup some 86 lots of Tarrazu, Dota and Naranjo special lots, hoping to find 1 or 2 that stand out). Mexico Chiapas and Oaxaca are "on the water". Our first Guatemala is coming in 10 days. Ôø?We also have some outstanding, fresh South America coffees from Peru and Colombia which offer the same cup profile as Centrals: bright, snappy, clean, floral, etc. So please be patient, my roasting friends, and know that we are going to have a heck of a lotta great Centrals on our list within the next few weeks. New micro-lots from Chiapas, special Guatemala estate coffees, Costa Rica is holding their first Cup of Excellence this year ... lots of new things happening, and the result will be some pretty interesting new offerings this season. -Tom

a tidal wave of new coffee arrivals

So many new arrivals at once. Some lots were delayed in shipping, but everything seemed to come in at once! Therefore, it's all I can manage right now to give you a list of links and some short descriptions - Tom

yemen, espresso competition, and stuff.

We are waiting on some other new coffee arrivals (and a couple new merch arrivals too) but I wanted to highlight the Yemen Mokha Sana'ani. Sometimes we switch to a new lot, and forget to underscore the fact, or even mention it! This new crop Sana'ani is quite dynamic and has some very lively bittering chocolate and spice notes. This lot exemplifies the postitive aspects of "leathery" flavors in a better way than any Yemen I can recall. Yes, leather can be good! We also have a new Sumatra Tapanuli WP Decaf which is quite nice (an very useful for a base low-caf or no-caf blends, espresso too). In fact, 60-40 with the Yemen Sana' ani as the later is an amazing low-caf blend. On a different note, this weekend up in Petaluma, Sonoma County, is the WRBC Barista Competition. I'll be giving a presentation about sweet maria's, home roasting, and what-have-you. If you have any idea what I will be talking about, please email me and let me know.