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Roasted Coffee: Rwanda Coffee Villages & Burundi Kibande Ruyaga

February 18th 2015 (pictured: wooden bicycles from Rwanda outside the Sweet Maria's offices in West Oakland)

It's been two weeks and we have another exciting pair for our roasted coffee subscription. This time I chose one coffee from Rwanda and one from Burundi. Both of these arrived recently here at the Sweet Maria's.

Rwanda Coffee Villages City +

The sweetness stands out in this balanced coffee from the Karenge station in Eastern Rwanda. It reminds me of a less refined sugar like muscovado. There are mild notes of apple and dried fruits in the acidity. Subtle hints of all-spice and clove come forward in the aroma and add complexity to this brewed cup. There is a bit of dark chocolate in the finish.

Burundi Kibande Ruyaga City

There is a pleasing acidity upfront in this one from the Muyinga province of Burundi. It sparkles with a combination of juicy citrus and a brighter lemongrass flavor. The sweetness is syrupy, like honey or caramel. At this City roast level there is a candied nut flavor.

Want to sign up for Sweet Maria's bi-weekly roasted coffee pairing? Click Here

I also roasted these two espresso blends

Sweet Maria's New Classic Espresso Blend

Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber Espresso Blend


Four New Coffees

February 16, 2015

Rwanda Rulindo showcases complex cocoa and spices, subtle fruit notes making great brewed coffee and espresso.

Zimbabwe Chipinge is a mild cup, but with reverberating sweetness, perhaps having more in common with Latin American coffee than African!

Java Sunda Kamojang at City+, it achieves sorghum syrup sweetness with a nice mix of dark chocolate and walnut.

Sumatra Dry Hulled Pantan Murara is a unique, fully washed Sumatra coffee. It is loaded with dark sugar flavors, and a smattering of fruited notes. It's heavy on the palate, and unlike wet-hulled coffees, earth tones are in the background than up-front pectin sweetness.

Three New Coffees

February 9, 2015

Ethiopia Dry Process Yirga Cheffe Cheleba is a nice later arrival Ethiopia new to our list. With actual "new crop" Ethiopias still a few months out, this fruit-forward cup rounds out our Ethiopia offers nicely. The profile is loaded with berry and fruit punch flavors, pectin sweetness, and a nice cocoa finish.

Brazil Fazenda IP Yellow Bourbon is pulp natural processed coffee, so while fruit flavors do show in the profile (especially when cool), it is much more oriented around flavors of burned sugar and cocoa.

Nicaragua La Bastilla Llamada is a mild coffee, toffee-sweet, and with roasted nut and tea flavors.

Both the Brazil and the Nicaragua are "coffee" coffees, crowd pleasers, if you will, and taste great in the middle roast range. Full City - Full City+ is a great level for espresso.

Roasted Coffee: Ethiopia Agaro - Nano Challa Coop & Ethiopia Bonga Forest Mankira

February 5th, 2015

For this installment of our Bi Weekly roasted coffee pairing, I roasted two very different coffees from Ethiopia. Though they are both wet process coffees, and were both roasted to a City + roast range, their flavor profiles are quite different. 

Ethiopia Agaro Nano Challa Cooperative roasted at City +

The aroma is pleasant, and filled with florals. This coffee really shines with juicy fruit notes of apricot, citrus, and mango, as well as a thick honeyed sweetness. We were really happy with the way this one turned out and it's a great example of why Ethiopian coffees are known for their fruit notes and floral aromas. Makes a great pour over. 

Ethiopia Bonga Forest Mankira roasted at City + 

We slightly drew out the final roast leg with this one, taking it a tad south of City+. Unlike the floral and fruit aspects of Nano Challa, Mankira boasts a rustic sweetness, viscous body, and is rounded out by bittersweet cocoa and a hint of aromatic wood. There is definitely acidity too, but it is more subtle, and reminiscent of candied citrus peel. 


Want to sign up for Sweet Maria's bi-weekly roasted coffee pairing? Click Here

And here is a link to a recent video of Tom walking through the Bonga Forest in Kaffa, Ethiopia

I also roasted these two espresso blends

Espresso Workshop Blend #34 Ewe Tu


Sweet Maria's Security Update

February 3, 2015


Dear Sweet Maria’s Customers,


It has been brought to our attention that there have been a few isolated incidents of customer credit card information being compromised. We have been working diligently with our server host and PayPal, our merchant credit card processor, to find any potential weaknesses in our security. So far all scans have come up clean, but we are treating this as if it were a larger attack in auditing our security systems.


Although this is alarming and difficult for those affected, this was an isolated situation that hit about 20 cards out of over 20,000 transactions.  Every case is important to us, please contact us if you’ve experienced any fraud.