Sweet Maria's Weblog

Dan's first origin trip to Guatemala


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...

Oh Happy Day, early Guatemala arrivals...

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).

One super special Colombia microlot

Colombia Pedregal Figueroa Quintero Microlot is a juicy cup with red apple, green grape, ripe orange and cherry. Raw almond and milk chocolate at lighter roasts, cacao nib finish at darker levels. Great SO espresso.

A trio of amazing micro lots

Bolivia Organic Copacabana has loads of honey and floral sugar, raw almond, orange juice and cocoa powder finish.

Peru Organic Puno Lot #14 is very creamy with chocolate syrup flavor and subtle malic acidity.

Peru Organic Puno Quispe is a fruit forward cup, one of the most outstanding Peru arrivals of the year, almost like a grape fruit roll-up, there's also sultry fudge and a pleasant Assam tea finish.

New Coffee March Madness

Bolivia Organic Caranavi Uchumachi has Nutella-like flavor with dried orange peel brightness and an acidic snap.

Kenya Nyeri Gaturiri AB is notable for its well-integrated acidity, plum preserve notes and cinnamon spice.

Papua New Guinea Baroida Estate has a range of tropical fruit: guava and papaya along with citrus zest and cocoa.

Colombia Narino Gerardo Lorenzo SWP Decaf one of a trio of amazing new SWP decafs we sent up to Canada, this lot is surprisingly delicate with orange zest and a transparent, clean character.

Ethiopia Illubabor Baaroo SWP Decaf has lightly caramelized sugar notes, floral hints, and blackberry leaf tea accents.

Java Pitaloka SWP Decaf has deep body, toasted caramel, bittering notes of cacao and baker's chocolate.