Monthly Archive for October, 2009

New arrivals – Kenya Nyeri Gichatha-ini, Sumatra Lintong Blue Batak, Costa Rica Don Mayo “La Ponderosa” Bourbon

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Lo and behold, there are three new coffees today. Here they are: Kenya Nyeri AA Gichatha-ini with some plum/chocolate sweetness and could be considered for Single Origin espresso. Sumatra Lintong Blue Batak has been a big favorite in the past with hints of spice, molasses sweetness and versatile at a light to dark roast. Last up is another familiar, Costa Rica Don Mayo “La Ponderosa” Bourbon with nut flavors and a sweetness that varies in light to dark roasts. This is also good as a SO espresso.

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Roast Coffee Pairing #23: Honey Coffees

Honey or “Miel” refers to pulp natural coffees which tend to have more body and less acidity than their wet process equivalents, and can have a cleaner, more uniform quality than full natural dry-process coffees. First we roasted Costa Rica Tarrazu – Montes de Oro to Full City with final thermoprobe temperatures of 433 degrees and roast time of 15:30. Next we roasted Costa Rica “Café Sin Limites” to a City+ level with final thermoprobe temperature of 428 degrees and roast time of 15 minutes. Both of these coffees excel at a wide range of roast levels but I tried to keep them as close as possible for comparison’s sake. In the cup the Montes de Oro has a wonderful buttery sweetness compared with a more complicated brightness in the “Café Sin Limites”. In this instance I think the Oro is a milder version of “Miel” than the Sin Limites, both reveal the effects of this processing technique and how certain flavors can be intensified.

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New arrivals – Ethiopia Organic Guji Sidamo SWP Decaf and Guatemala La Maravilla SWP Decaf

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We’re adding two decafs that were so great caffeinated, we sent them off to be de-caffeinated! Ethiopia Organic Guji Sidamo SWP Decaf and Guatemala La Maravilla SWP Decaf . Note also that Finca La Maravilla is in the Huehuetenango region, and Tom notes a more expanded body in the decaf version of the Guji in the full reviews. Click on through.. Switch to Decaf !?

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Hario Skerton Hand Mill


New to Sweet Maria’s, we now have the Hario Skerton Hand Crank Coffee Mill.  The grind quality is very good, and the mill grinds efficiently, fairly quickly, but not too fast. Like any manual mill, it takes some elbow grease to crank out a grind. But the work out is worth it! It is a conical burr design, so it can do a range of grinds from espresso to a passable French press grind (on the finer side of French press). It has a ceramic, conical burr set. It also makes a handy travel mill since it is so compact. I made a pretty interesting travel mill by combining the top of the Skerton with an aeropress (there’s a video if you follow the above link).By the way, this is not the Skelton or Skeleton … people have a funny way of getting the name wrong on this one. Can’t exactly blame them… -Tom

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New arrivals – Costa Rica “Cafe Sin Limites”, Nicaragua Mama Mina Microlot, Espresso Workshop 8 Waw Bukan Main, Costa Rica R.I.P. 2009

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Happy World Standards Day! We’re adding two new coffees, a workshop espresso, and a parchment coffee today. Check out the full reviews, but here’s the rundown: 1) a new crop from Costa Rica “Cafe Sin Limites” farm with large mouthfeel and cocoa powder. 2) Nicaragua Mama Mina Microlot with mild brightness and mild fruit from this mostly Caturra farm. 3) Espresso Workshop #8 – Waw, Bukan Main! … Just say Bukan? Yes, it’s another workshop espresso blend, this time with an Indonesian basis in blend and name; well-rounded with nice body and a fruited overlay. 4) Costa Rica R.I.P. 2009 … Please read the full review and the linked tutorial. This coffee is semi-processed and must be roasted carefully to attain rustic fruit without scorching the flavor.

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Roast Coffee Pairing #22 – Varietal Influence: Pacamara v. Bourbon

We are revisiting this pairing idea since it is such a fundamental issue in coffee: how much the varietal character of the plant influences the cup flavor. First up we have El Salvador Siberia Estate Pacamara. We roasted this batch to a City+ level to highlight the cultivar flavor profile; this is tricky to do with this type of bean because I needed to stop the roast while 1st crack was still audibly ocurring. This meant final thermoprobe temperature of 420 degrees and roast times of 15 minutes using slightly smaller batch sizes than we normally do. Next we roasted Guatemala Finca San Jose Ocana which was roasted more in the Full City range and is a mighty dense little bean. So final thermoprobe temps were 434 degrees with roast times approaching 16 minutes. As for the cup comparison, the Pacamara has a floral sweetness, while the Bourbon has a maltier sweetness. These two are ideal examples of the variances in flavor due to cultivar.

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RIP Coffee 2009

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The tipping point … and more macro photo images.



The tipping point, originally uploaded by sweetmarias.

Adding more images to our library of macro shots of coffee. Here I photographed coffee flowers, the leaf, leaf buds, some defects in green coffee and roasted coffee, and …what the heck … some bubbles. -Tom

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