Sweet Maria's Weblog
This year's SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) event/trade show took place two weekends ago in Boston so it was very chilling to hear of the marathon bombings just a day after being there. The tradeshow floor can be overwhelming if you aren't prepared for the thousands of square feet of specialty coffee madness. Luckily, I'm really obsessed with gadgets, devices, products, etc. Here's a few photos I shot of noteable new products spotted while sorting through the endless booths selling syrups, cup sleeves, pods, and smoothie mixes.
One of our favorite drum roaster companies, HotTop, has been working on a touch screen controlled roaster with a 1 kg capacity. I think the folks that stay up late roasting multiple batches with their 1lb drum roasters will be excited. At the time of the show, there were no predictions as to when it will be available or how much it will cost. Hopefully it won't be too expensive.
Ecuador Zamora has raisin, prune and date flavors with rock candy and burnt sugar in this super sweet cup, juicy body, versatile at various roast levels.
Kenya Nyeri AA Gatomboya is loaded with fruit: red grapefruit, pomelo, Meyer lemon, candied orange peel finish, amazing SO espresso with citrus and chocolate.
I had the good fortune of going on my first “origin” trip last month with Tom and Aleco in Guatemala. I was of course very excited to learn that I would be joining them on a tour of some of the farms we are working with this year. The three of us have put in tons of hours roasting and cupping Guatemalan farm samples the last few months, so I was really looking forward to finally be able to put faces to many of the farmer’s names I’ve become so familiar with.
a beautiful view from above
We visited some pretty large and amazing farms during our trip, but my favorite days were spent driving through areas that were nothing less than hard to reach. It goes without saying that Guatemala is a beautiful and lush country, and I had the pleasure of traveling along some particularly dramatic landscapes. Small farms perched up on the mountainside with very little road to keep your tires afloat, and the majority of space being air-filled gaps between drastically chiselled cliffs built up over time by massive tectonic activity. That’s my kind of “drama”.
Traversing the mountainside switchbacks in a four-wheel drive, at times it was a dizzying ride for me. Needless to say, we were afforded tremendous vistas at 6000 feet above sea level, and the farms on the other side seemed like a patchwork of various shades of green and brown squaring off on the mountain. Once up close, it becomes clear that these demarcations of color are crops plotted along the mountain terraces that many...
Guatemala Volcan de Fuego Guacatepeque has good caramelized sugar sweetness, dark toffee and almonds along with raisin notes, a classic "crowd pleaser" cup.
Guatemala Finca Candelaria - Lote Nueces with a citrus rind twist, bracing acidity, orange-laced chocolate, and persistent sweetness throughout the finish.
Ethiopia Organic Suke Quto is a complex cup with floral notes, stone fruits, melon, dark brown sugar and coffee cake crust at darker levels.
Sumatra Toba Batak Peaberry with dark dried plum-raisin fruit, stewed rhubarb, spiced apple cider, syrupy body and amazing sweetness (for a Sumatra lot).