Ordering/Payment/Shipping Policies

Questions and Concerns

  • Check the Sweet Maria's Coffee Forum for answers to common (and not-so-common!) home roasting/brewing questions.
  • You may also want to check this FAQ for answers to the most frequent questions we get. At the bottom of the FAQ, there is a form to email us with questions.
  • We do have Gift Certificates here!
  • We are a small business! Learn more about us....
 

Our Online Shopping Cart Order System
To track the contents of your shopping cart while you browse, our shopping cart system requires that cookies be accepted by your browser. We do not use cookies to collect any browser information and we do not share any customer information with anybody... ever! We take your privacy very seriously.

Online Order Form
If you have trouble with the shopping cart and haven't sworn off dealing with us (please don't!), we continue to offer our secure online form too. Sometimes older browsers and slower connections can cause trouble with cart systems.
 
Order by Email/Fax/Email
Please use email to reach us. By doing so, we can continue to offer you great, responsive service and ship your coffee and supplies to you quickly. Our fax number is 1-888-876-5917 (toll free) or 510-628 0919 (local). Please print and fax our "lo-tech order form" or feel free to use the secure server form. Send checks, cashiers checks, business or personal checks to: Sweet Maria's Coffee, 1115 21st Street, Oakland CA 94607
Payment Methods
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, money orders and personal checks. Checks must be drawn on a US bank and money orders in US Dollars.

Walk-in/Pick-up Orders
Our shop is located at 1115 21st Street, Oakland CA 94607. Here's a map. We are a block away from the intersection of Adeline and West Grand.

Pick-up hours: Monday - Friday 11 am to 5 pm. When you place your order online, select "Customer Pickup ($0.00)" as the shipping option.

Walk-in orders are welcome Tuesday-Friday 11am to 5pm. It's best to order ahead of time online since we are not set up as a retail space so you can see merchandise a lot easier on the our website. Believe me!

We are closed the following Holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day After Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Our Christmas Holiday business hours vary from year to year, see our Contact Us Page for more details.

We hold pickup orders as long as possible but after 30 days we will cancel and return funds. There is no refund on green coffee orders that are not picked up after 30 days. We will make a few attempts to contact you by phone and/or email before your order is cancelled. Thanks for understanding.

We hope you are ok with dogs because there are usually two hanging out in our office space.


Shipping Charges Sweet Maria's Shipping Special!
We offer a discounted shipping price on UPS Ground good on orders up to 60 pounds to any address in the continental US (no AK or HI or APO/FPOs). The rates are:

0 - 20 Lbs. = $8.99
21 - 40 Lbs. = $14.99
41 - 60 Lbs. = $21.99

Transit times are shown below. Boxes need to be sent to a street address - no PO Boxes. Please be sure to include your suite or apartment number since UPS can add extra fees if this information is missing or invalid.

UPS: UPS is generally the cheapest option for heavier packages.
UPS does not count the pick up day or weekends as time in transit, so a Next Day package sent on Friday will arrive on Monday (except for holidays). We ship 5 days a week by UPS. Transit time map is below. UPS does charge "dimensional weight" on air orders - which means that if the box is light and bulky there may be an extra charge that we will inform you of.

USPS: USPS shipping options are Priority Mail and two Priority Mail Flat Rate options described below.

  • USPS Medium Flat Rate Box: This box holds 12 lbs. green coffee max.
  • USPS Large Flat Rate Box: This larger flat rate box fits 18lbs maximum and costs $17.02.

Delivery confirmation locates the package in two places only - once when we generate the postage and then when it is delivered. Packages are not really trackable and there is no default insurance. We strongly recommend you select our Shipping Special or UPS Ground for these reasons!

Taxes

  • California residents only: Coffee is food, and carry-out food items are not taxed in California. But merchandise is taxable 7.25% statewide. If you live in Alameda County, California - where our shop is located - the district tax rate of 8.75% is applied (merchandise only).

 
Transit Times for UPS Ground Orders
Click on the thumbnail image of the map
on the left to estimate shipping time.
*Please note: UPS does not count the day the package is shipped, and weekends and holidays are not included in time in transit calculation.
UPS time in transit map for Sweet Maria's Coffee

Incorrect Shipping Information
Please double-check your shipping address. It can severely affect when your delivery arrives. Worse than that, if you provide the wrong shipping address, UPS charges us a $10-$15 penalty!! We'll contact you if we get charged a wrong address fee by UPS and make sure the charge is warranted. In the very rare occasion we are responsible for an incorrect shipping address, please let us know ASAP so we can make the proper corrections. I am glad to say it happens rarely...

Restrictions on Shipping Green Coffee to Hawaii
Unfortunately, we can not ship green coffee to Hawaii. All green, unroasted coffee shipped to the State of Hawaii is subject to restriction. A permit issued by the Dept. of Agriculture is required and shipments must be "...subjected to methyl bromide treatment or other non-chemical treatment such as heat."

We are not going to gas our coffee with methyl bromide. It just is not possible for us to do this for each individual order. We will continue to sell equipment, supplies and roasted coffee to Hawaii. Although we are aware of this rule and will abide by it, we do not have an automated way to exclude green coffee orders from Hawaii, and may not catch every order.


We reserve the right to not ship certain orders. You will be contacted if your order cannot be shipped.


Our Refund Policy

We hope you are happy with the home roasting supplies and green coffee you purchase from Sweet Maria's. We offer refunds on unused and "as new" items returned in their original box. For used items we offer credit based on the condition of the item.

Please be aware that the equipment we sell is intended for home use. By using it for a purpose other than what it was intended for, you will void the manufacturer's warranty. If equipment you purchase from us fails prematurely, please contact us.

We cannot offer "satisfaction guarantees" on items or coffee. We ask you to read descriptions and purchase in good faith. Please do not purchase with the intention of returning. We do not want you to keep something that you are really unhappy with, but often times we can advise you on the proper use of an item and resolve other issues. If you find that a coffee you selected is not matching its review, let us know as we can help figure out what the reason may be. Different people taste things differently. Tom stands by his reviews - though that does not mean you will taste the same things as Tom does. We do not accept returns on coffee, since it is a food product.

We process returns once a week you will be contacted by email when your return has been processed.

Please print and fill out our return form and include it with your return package to the address on the form.

Our Back Order Policy

If we are out of stock on an item that you ordered, either merchandise or coffee, our policy is to hold your order and contact you about any delays. You can then decide to make substitutions or delete the item. We don't ship partial orders. With merchandise, we rely on our suppliers to tell us when an item ought to be back in stock, but we have no control over when it will actually arrive. We do our best to keep folks informed in case of delays and if there is an item out of stock, we will always notify you by email.

 


Sweet Maria's Privacy Policy

We do not sell, trade, or share customer information or mail list subscriber information with anyone...EVER! Our shopping cart does not store credit card information, just name, address, phone number, etc. Please email Tom at tom@sweetmarias.com if you have any concerns.


International Orders

Two (and a half) Shipping Options:

1) When you want your order quickly, have it fully insured and have the ability to track it, UPS WORLDWIDE SAVER or WORLDWIDE EXPEDITED are worth the extra cost.

Sweet Maria's offers UPS Worldwide Express shipping at a discount from published rates. UPS Worldwide offers guaranteed worldwide delivery and tracking via the UPS website and a tracking number that is emailed to you the moment we ship your order. Worldwide Saver is a 1 to 3 day service - by the end of the business day and Worldwide Expedited offers 2 to 5 day service.

  • UPS charges "dimensional weight" if a box is not that heavy but bulky. We will email you to discuss any issues if they arise. A quote from our shopping cart system is not a guarantee of the rate.
  • The shipping fee does not include any VAT or sales taxes assessed by your country. UPS does assess a $10 customs bond fee and COD fee (unless you have a UPS account set up to pay taxes and duties.)
  • UPS Worldwide has a guaranteed time-in-transit. If the time-in-transit is over the number of days according to the tracking record, your shipping charge will be refunded. Time-in-transit does not include delays due to customs inspection and does not include weekends and holidays.

2) When you want the package not as quickly, have some faith in the post office and want to save money, USPS Priority Mail International is what you should use.

USPS Priority Mail International has projected 6 to 10 day transit times but offers no guarantee. It often takes longer; USPS delivers to the local postal service in the country of destination for final delivery so transit time also depends on the local postal system. There is no tracking feature that locates the package in transit.

Other considerations:

  • The maximum weight of package contents is 40 pounds. The actual regulation weight is 44 lbs but we allow a few pounds packing materials. Yes, you can order more but it will ship in 2 boxes.
  • Customs may reject our shipments or subject the package to quarantine. The receiver (that is you!) would assume financial responsibility in this case. We can not ship green coffee to Mexico. Have we ever had a package rejected or confiscated by customs? Yes, once from Chile, once from Mexico and once from Asia - but in general, no...and that is after shipping thousands of orders.
  • Insurance covers the cost of merchandise if the shipment is lost or damaged as long as there is proof of damage. It does not cover shipping costs nor does it cover delivery time-in-transit. Insurance is automatically figured into the price of postage and we insure all international postal shipments.

2.5) If you buy 12lbs of coffee or less with no merchandise, we suggest the Priority Mail International Flat Rate box.If you are ordering 18lbs of coffee or less we suggest the Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate box. Insurance is included.

USPS Priority Mail International Flat Rate offers the same transit time estimates, reliability and customs restrictions as Priority International, and we include insurance on International Flat Rate packages in our shipping/handling cost . This covers the replacement cost of the coffee only and not the cost to re-ship it.


International Shipments: Warranties and Restrictions

Glass, Ceramics and Other Fragile Items: Unfortunately, except for shipments to Canada, we will not send Roasters or glass and ceramic items to international addresses. No exceptions! Even with package insurance, we are not reimbursed for replacement shipping and with international packages this can be a major expense.

Warranties: If you take your roasting or brewing equipment out of the country you void your warranty.

Customs, Duties, Taxes, etc: Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Israel and Australia have very strict import regulations and may require special import permits. There are several countries that impose a quarantine on coffee. Please contact your local customs office for more information on restricted items.

Our International Refund Policy: We cannot offer refunds on international orders, especially if your country's customs deny the package. Also, there will always be fees of some kind from your mail delivery service, or taxes/duties. You must account for these too! Otherwise, we will do everything we can to make sure your package reaches you and package all items as best we can to increase the chance of safe arrival!

We reserve the right to refuse an order. If this is the case, we will notify you that the order is cancelled and you will not be charged.


Terms: Submitting an international order to Sweet Maria's means that you accept the terms and limitations listed on this page and elsewhere in this web site.