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
Sweet Maria's Weblog
A heads up that I am working on the final reviews for these coffees, coming in Thursday Nov 16: Guatemala Huehuetenango -Finca La Providencia Guatemala Quiche - La Perla Estate Panama Boquete - Maunier Estate Colombia Cauca Organic -La Esperanza Congo Kivu Peaberry Rwanda Migongo Bourbon (postscript: they are up on the site today as promised but I am still working on parts of the reviews. The Guats are totally finished but the later 4 are coming. Our green coffee offering list has some brief review comments, which might help give a general idea of the cup profiles of the later 4 lots. -Tom nov 16)
... meaning, share with others: we want this lot to get to as many folks as possible, so there is a 1 lb. limit per person. anyway, we lucked upon a bit more of the hacienda la esmeralda especial, that is, the 100% gesha lot that we offered earlier. to get it here in good shape (being late crop, and with the seasonal change in boquete region) we flew the coffee here on continental airlines. however, high price air travel could not save our precious, expensive lot from being slashed by customs ... oops, now it is customs and border security. this esmeralda special gesha (no, not geisha) is in and the cup is consistent with the previous lot, meaning, excellent! -tom
I slacked off after my quadruple header of Central Cup of Excellences (what is the plural of excellence?) Anyway, I never put the pictures up. I don't always make travelogs for every trip, but if I take pictures I ususally edit them, write something and put them up. But 4 competitions in a row (actually, 5 counting Panama) is just too much! Anyway, here are the pictures from the 2006 Guatemala Cup of Excellence and related travels, just a few hundred photos, scant commentary and some mopey musings mixed in. And here's a link to the pictures from the 2006 El Salvador Cup of Excellence, featuring "blinky man" and the wiggling butts video (how can you miss that)! If you didn't see it, the motherlode of travelogs is the 2006 Peru Trip, over 600 photos, and some good stuff in there too. And if you are wondering why you never saw all these links before on the sweet maria's site, it's because a. the site is labyrinthine, and b. you never made it to The Coffee Library page.
New coffee arrivals yet again. We have a new lot of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe - Moledina 3993, traditional wet-processed floral and citrus, but not sour. This lot is remarkably sweet (think ripe tangerine). The name? It is from the exporter who brought this coffee to our attention, and 3993 is the final digits of the "chop" (ICO lot number). On a different note, new crop Indonesia continues to trickle in. No, not the Sulawesi (which we expect in December, a very short crop this season). No, not another Sumatra. This time a heavy-bodied Timor FTO Maubesse . This lot has more "Java-like" character, more rustic, foresty Indonesia funk than last year's peaberry lot, and a ton of think, viscous body. It also makes a great S.O. espresso at FC+ roast. And for you classic espresso hounds, there's a new lot of India Organic Washed Robusta. Organic from India is good since they have the habit of puffing methyl bromide into the containers before they seal them up. It's not as nasty as it sounds, and a strange choice to make since good clean Specialty coffee is not going to have little bugs crawling around in it (low grade coffees harvested from the ground are a better target for fumigation). Anyway, I have been researching methyl bromide and will write more about the fumigation issue a bit later.