Sweet Maria's Weblog

east africa & west africa

We have two new African arrivals. Another great East African lot from the Main Crop auctions; Kenya Kirinyaga - Thimu Peaberry has a deep-toned character (for a Kenya) with berry-like fruited notes and winey hints. And for the first time we have a West African coffee! Cameroon Caplami Java is an unusual longberry cultivar, with a cup that has Indonesia-like body, and interesting spice and fruit notes. It's difficult to underscore how odd it is to have a good arabica coffee from West Africa. The French colonies there are known strictly as low-grown, low-grade robusta producers, mainly supplying the French market with bitter dark roasted coffee for Cafe au Lait and such. (Now why would anyone assume the French had a noble coffee tradition?)


It's Panama-rama time! We received three prize-winning lots: From the 2007 Best of Panama Competition we have the #2 lot, Panama Auction Lot - Mama Cata Gesha, my favorite lot with a balanced cup and plenty of floral character from the Gesha cultivar. We tried to buy the Panama Bambito Estate coffee for several years, a unique farm that was #2 in last years competition. We had to pay a premium, but we finally got this lot, from an amazing "old growth" farm. Once again we have Panama Esmeralda Especial - Gesha Cultivar and it is in fantastic form this year! And the spoiler of Panama-rama, Brazil Organic Fazenda Jacaranda, with balanced fruit and nut, and a great sinle origin, single farm espresso!

new bodum drip brewers, cups, yama burner

bodum glass mugsYama Butane Burner for Vacuum Brewed Coffee bodum konabodum kona We have some new items that arrived lately. Bodum came out with 2 new drip brewers with great visual appeal, the Bistro and the Kona. (Which is not the same as the Cona Vacuum Brewer!) They also have new double-wall borosilicate Glass Mugs - very nice... and we finally received the Yama Butane Burners, a welcome addition for those using the new Yama Tabletop Vacuum Brewer or the Cona models.

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more oddball t-shirts

Computer Shirt: A no-tech painting of a lo-tech computer. What's your guess? A 286 circa 1988? Well, if you go to David, Panama, an agricultural center in the lowlands of the Chirqui province, and you are looking for an "internet cabana", that is, a place to check email at speeds around ...oh 56kb ... you just might see this exact painting on the wall outside the datacenter of your dreams. Okay, I admit it's a fake: I added the coffee cup from a place a few blocks away. It had to have something to do with coffee, right? Well, like most of our shirts it barely has anything to do with coffee, but it's great "art brut," printed in black and blue duotone. weird chicken coffee tshirt Weird Chicken (with a cup of coffee): It is one weird chicken indeed! But we didn't do anything to make it that way. This is another t-shirt from coffeelands; in this case it was inspired from a painting on a restaurant in Chiapas, Mexico. The area around this small town is surrounded with coffee, and on Saturday and Sunday the town is packed with the coffee farmers. I can't attest to the popularity of this particular restaurant, and whether their "wierd chicken," pockets and all, actually helps business. The shirt is a nice yellow-orange Hanes cotton, so this is an orange-on-orange theme. Our cup logo (also from a local painting) is in orange on the back, lower corner: very "low-key." so you won't feel like a walking billboard. Kids love this shirt- it's silly. We are thinking of making some child and even baby size versions. �