It’s here! Hot off the presses, we just picked up our 2011 Dogs of Coffee calendar! The calendar is back with a whole new crop of dog photos from coffee origins, and this year we have some photos of other critters. The albino water buffalo from Sulawesi is my personal favorite. The calendar is peppered with some holidays the staff here at SM would like to see (or not), such as Take Your Barista to Work Day or City Roast Country Picnic. Fifty percent of the purchase price will go to the following charities: $1.50 to Grounds for Health, and $.50 each to Nica Hope, Coffee Kids, Doctors Without Borders, Animal Aware and APAMAR. Check out the product description for more about these organizations and the good work they do in coffee producing areas. - Maria
Today we are adding Colombia Huila -Finca El Junin, Humberto Diaz , El Salvador Finca La Florida, and Kenya Kirinyaga Karimikui Peaberry. The Colombia Huila – Finca El Junin, Humberto Diaz is an amazing dense-bodied cup with panela and honey sweetness. This a limited microlot… we set the limit to 1lb so everyone can sample this one. Our next addition today is El Salvador Finca La Florida, with soft sweet citrus, creamy body, and bittersweet balance. (Good as SO espresso too!) Lastly we are adding a new Peaberry lot of Kenya Kirinyaga Karimikui. Some will already know to look for complexity in this cup, tropical fruit, and a rustic note. Check the reviews!
Here we have two very clean and bright coffees, the El Salvador Siberia 100% Bourbon, and the Guatemala Huehuetenango La Maravilla. Both were roasted to City+ level with thermoprobe temperatures of 425 and 14 minute roast times. If this were a competition for cleanliness the El Salvador would win, it is very crisp and mild, a perfect “drinking” coffee. The Guatemala is a bit of a different beast, spicy with a caramel note in the cup. So often we get carried away with fruit-bomb Kenyas, and musty Sumatras; these two cups remind me what well balanced, subtle profiles can bring to the table. I could drink either of these coffees every day and be happy. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, after all.
Long time Sweet Maria’s customers know that convenience and legibility are not exactly the thoughts that leap to mind when shopping our website. It is more like a labyrinth, with a gift shop attached. This is something of a blessing and a curse; we do want folks to try home roasting and be as into it as we are, and what gets us excited about roasting and coffee are all the details, but maybe we throw too much information, too many choices, into the mix to start.
It’s probably too late for a personality transplant, so we cooked up the idea to offer “Starter Kits” which group together some things that you could poke around and find yourself, but makes them easier to order. We thought this may be more convenient for folks just getting started roasting, or those who want to give a gift. The good thing is that you aren’t locked into choosing the entire kit, so you can customize it for your needs (and budget). And if the kits don’t appeal to you, if you just want to assemble your own ala cart kit, that is fine too. Check out the new starter kits here. – Maria
Tasty new arrivals: Ethiopia FTO Wet Process Uraga Layo Teraga, Guatemala Bourbon -Finca San Diego Buena Vista, and Costa Rica Helsar Caturra – Macho Arce. The Ethiopia FTO Wet Process Uraga Layo Teraga is great mix of rounded fruit flavors and muted acidity. Look for a flavor shift from graham cracker to cocoa if you roast darker and an almond taste when it cools. The Guatemala Bourbon Buena Vista will be familiar to some. This Acatenango coffee has vanilla and caramel fading into a bittersweet finish. Very interesting at all levels of roast including SO espresso. Lastly we have the Costa Rica Helsar Macho Arce, … a classic central with clean bright orange notes, hazelnut and a smooth body. Check out specific farm notes and flavor reviews at the links above.
Tom is currently traveling in Ethiopia and sent back this photo of a Gene Cafe’ roaster being powered by a car battery.
Unique new additions… in limited supply. Today we added Colombia Tolima -Hernan Arias Microlot and El Salvador Cup of Excellence La Pinera Pacamara. Be sure to check out the farm and cupping notes linked above. The Colombia Tolima Hernan Arias Microlot is a bit more restrained in brightness than recent Tolima offerings. Look for honey-butter, vanilla, yellow apple and a marked sweetness in the cup. Limit is 1lb. The El Salvador CoE La Pinera Pacamara is an exceptional auction lot that we got a small supply of. Look for roasted almonds along with mandarin orange. At darker roasts you’ll also find some cinnamon and chocolate. It has a multi-layered profile so try it at different roasts for the full flavor gamut. Limit is 2lb