Sweet Maria's Weblog

A Saturday with the Entrepreneurs

Last Saturday, March 8th, Sweet Maria's/Coffee Shrub taught a class in the Food Craft Institute’s Coffee Bar 101 course series. The students were all in the beginning stages of opening cafes and/or roasteries. They had spent previous weeks learning about different business aspects like financing and business training, as well as understanding the different stages of the roast process.


Sweet Maria's Coffee Podcast Episode 5: Local Coffee Price and Competition

For some this podcast may seem esoteric, but I wanted to take on ideas about sourcing coffee and the rather simplistic ideas, overt and implied, in the way "direct trade" coffee is marketed by coffee roasters. There isn't one approach to working with farmers and buying quality coffee, even within one country, let alone in systems as varied as Ethiopia and Guatemala. I don't pretend to have all the answers, to understand the global financial commodities market, or the intricacies of the local market, but you can see that there is much more to a successful relationship than tossing money at coffee farmers. The more I am "active" in coffee buying, the more complicated things can be. Maybe the chickens that disrupt the podcast know more than me ... Thompson

Product Guide: Multi Purpose Brew Pitcher

This is one of those products we don't sell a lot of but still carry because we believe in all the functions it serves.

This all-purpose pitcher's commercial name is something like "33oz Standard Frothing Pitcher". We think it serves more purposes than just frothing milk. Who froths that much milk at home anyways? It serves many purposes and has found a valuable place in our home brewing and roasting arsenals. Tom has included it in his travel kit as well.

There's a lot options out there when you want to brew more than 2 servings from a pour-over brewer; you can use a teapot, thermos or a really fancy, expensive glass coffee server. We just thought that an affordable pitcher like this would be an excellent option. When doing a multi-serving pour over, it is best to decant into a single vessel, instead of brewing first into one cup, and then another.  Using that method will result in two vastly different cups of coffee. Sure, this may not impress the fashion police but it will probably earn you points with the coffee police.

It's easy to clean, extremely tough, dishwasher safe and retains heat well.


What else is this thing good for?

-brewing over ice for a quick cup of iced coffee

-weighing small batches of roasted or green coffee

-that all-purpose "cup" around your kitchen or campsite

-Aeropress brewing (if you are making more than one serving)


Interested? Click here for more pitcher info.

Sweet Maria's Coffee Podcast: Episode 4 - Roasting With a Popper

On New Year's Day 2014, Tom was out of roasted coffee and decided to solve the problem with his hot air popcorn popper. This method is proof that home coffee roasting can be very simple. Of course, there's something to be said about having full control over roast profiles and such but who wants to fuss over all that when your coffee supply is gone and a popper combined with a little knowledge can save the day?


You can download this podcast along with the others we have produced on our iTunes channel.

Three Great New Additions

Brazil Dry-Process Fazenda IP Yellow Bourbon has malt sugar sweetness, hazelnut, moderate acidity and works well across the roast spectrum.

El Salvador Matalapa-Fana SWP Decaf is a straight-forward cup with unrefined sugar sweetness, flecks of fruited notes and malic acidity.

Guatemala Huehuetenango Xinabajul SWP Decaf is sweet and syrupy with chocolate and subtle spice hints.