Monthly Archive for October, 2007

New Africa Arrivals

We have 2 new African lots. From a newer growing region near Harar, we have Ethiopia Organic Dry-Process Golocha, a fruited, low-acid cup with very thick body! It’s a longberry type heirloom cultivar, full natural process, The area is still quite remote, and all coffee is brought to the mill via mule! And a new Main Crop Auction Lot Kenya (with the coincidental name of Oaklands) is very bright, yet sweet in the finish: Kenya Ruiru – Oaklands Estate Peaberry. Oaklands is a fairly large estate, and they submit many lots to the Auction. I have probably cupped about 20 lots this year, and they’re always good but not great. This one is different, clean, citrusy bright, with caramel sweetness. Oh, also note that a small amount of Panama Lerida Estate Peaberry arrived, same lot as we had earlier but processed out of parchment recently at the Ruiz mill.

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10th Anniversary Party

Hello one and all – Tom and I find it hard to believe but this fall the business is 10 years old! To mark the occasion we are throwing a small bash here at the warehouse. Nothing fancy – we will have some coffees brewed up and home brewed beer, maybe some special give-aways (like t-shirts or coffee), folks can try their hand at the South American coin tossing game called “sapo”, and just to make sure that folks who wish to embarrass themselves have a chance to – a karaoke machine!
Where: our warehouse located at 1115 21st Street, Oakland CA 94607
When: Friday October 26th, from 3pm to 6pm (or whenever we pull the plug on the karaoke machine) If you think you will stop in, please let us know so we can plan ahead. Please reply to maria@sweetmarias.com – Maria & TomMalawi Catimor Cultivar

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baby chicken (t-shirt, that is)

We have more than a few requests for kid’s shirts, and since Maria and I (Tom) now have a baby, it makes even more sense to print some baby-sized clothes! Ben (left) really liked my Chicken shirt when I wore it, so why not make him his own Baby Chicken shirt. Maybe you know a baby that would like it too. These shirts are paler in color than the adult ones, more like a custard yellow. The logo on the rear (the cup, like the adult) is in black ink.We have 3 sizes: 12 month, 2T and 4T. They are all “Hanes Playwear” brand cotton, but the 12 Month is a stretchy light cotton, while the 2T and 4T are a more typical t-shirt make. As I write this, Ben is 8 months and could wear either the 12 month or even the 2T shirt, although it would a bit long. If you have bought kid’s clothes, you know how it is; buy big! Here’s a picture of all 3 shirts together, so you can see the size difference.

Mr. Ben Otto Owen in his Baby Chicken Shirt

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rwanda and sulawesi new crop arrivals

I found a Sulawesi lot with good rustic sweetness and body. Sulawesi Enrekang "Mount Alla" is from a high altitude micro-climate and is much more of a traditional Indonesia semi-washed coffee than other Sulawesi lots of late. And new crop Rwanda Kinunu Bourbon is in, pure old-style Bourbon cultivar with balance, brightness and citrus subtext.

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behmor roaster update

Thought i would post the comments I made to the homeroast list here too:

10/3: i met with joe a better part of the day and it looks like early part of november is the arrival target for the behmor roaster. things are looking good, with a couple minor tweaks going on to the drum clasp, and lots of appropriate stickers and labels for the chassis. i can appreciate how hard it is to go from prototype to actual production, and how many bumps there are along the road, especially when you have basically developed the roaster out of the garage, as joe has. and by the way, ronco is out of the picture, which makes me more at ease… target price is 299, not 399 as i previously mentioned! – tom

10/5: (in response to list questions) I have pretty high hopes about the quality of these machines, discussing some of the fine points about the components with Joe. I think what makes them so compelling is the batch size and price … especially with all the home roasters who supply friends with roasted coffee. If you let the cooling cycle run it’s course (you can open the door for much faster cooling … recommended) then you can pretty much start up a new batch right away. The disadvantages are mostly going to be on the “user” end, and for the very demanding advanced user. For the prior, it’s drum loading – you must load it right and make SURE it is turning freely after you start the roast. As for the later, the pre-programmed limitations might seem confining, as well as lack of temperature read-out and control. On all levels, coffee visibility is an issue, but in less than 5 minutes you can cut open a small window in the chaff catcher that greatly improves visibility of the coffee. All users will have to get used to the “coasting” effect of the roast … in other words you need to stop the roast earlier than your desired target point to allow for the fact that the roast continues on after the burners actually cut out. While I don’t have any particular concerns with the behmor in this regard, I do recommend people to wait until the actual arrival units can be fully tested – I’ll probably pull out 10 roasters and do a bunch of batches over a day or two, to make sure nothing went wrong in final assembly. Let ME be the guinea pig, not you! BTW: the 299 price will include a sampler! Samplers are always good to get used to a new machine.  Our page for the Behmor 1600 is here, and we will have a lot of data available soon that we have collected. – Tom

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new decaf x 3

We have 3 new decaf arrivals today, the full-bodied Brazil Moreninha Formosa WP Decaf, bright and lively Costa Rica Coop Libertad WP Decaf and a bright and balanced cup profile from the Panama Carmen Estate WP Decaf

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Ethiopia Idido Misty Valley is here, and it rocks.

Yes it rocks … not an official cupping term, but what the hey. Yes, the much-anticipated Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP has arrived, and it was worth the wait; excellent fruited notes with berry accents in the light roasts. We have also just received the special lot of Australia Mountain Top Estate XF, which we get in vacuum packed bags to prevent humidity issues in it’s long journey from down under. Great as SO espresso too!.

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