Got a general coffee question? We have a Sweet Maria's Coffee Forum, which we hope will be useful for answering common (and not-so-common!) questions.Post questions there or to search to see if your question has already been answered.
I have also compiled a FAQ here to address the most commmon questions we receive.
Q: Where is my order? How do I track it?
A: You ought to have received the UPS or USPS (depending on what shipping method you selected) tracking directly by email once your order has shipped. Sometimes there are glitches though - if there was a typo in the address or if a spam filter stopped the message before you got it. So the other way to get that number is to log into your account in the shopping cart and find the order. That system is not perfect - so if there is a problem email us.
Q: My favorite coffee is out of stock - how do I pick a replaement?
A: I wrote a separate FAQ about How to Choose Coffees that I hope is useful. Also, it is helpful to keep in mind the Annual Coffee Production Timeline. That is only a rough guide - but it helps outline the seasons that coffees from various origins are available.
Q: How Do I Start Roasting? What Roaster Should I Choose?
A: To start roasting, you can either buy a small roaster or try roasting with some alternative methods that do not require purchasing a roaster. I wrote a specific FAQ Choosing a Home Roaster and think it goes over all the options.
Q: Can I pick up my order at your warehouse? Do you have a store and if so what are your hours?
A: Yes you can pick up a web order at our warehouse - we do not have a store but you can walk in and order during limited hours . More information is on this page.
What is the best way to store green and/or roasted coffee?
A: I have more information about Green Coffee Storage on this page. In general, green coffee will keep one year. You can store it in the ziplock bag for about a month, but longer than that use just a fabric or paper bag since it allows better air movement (condensation can happen inside a plastic bag). The refrigerator is too moist for green beans and the freezer too dry. Click here for more on Roasted Coffee Storage. Also, please check out our Sweet Maria's Forum where there is a thread on this topic here
Q: How do I grow a coffee plant at home? Do you sell seeds?
A: Tom has grown a number of coffee plants - there is information on this page and this. There is a lot of information on growing coffee at the Coffee Research site. The best way to grow a coffee plant is to use a seed that is still in the coffee cherry. We do not sell whole cherry - but there are some farms in Hawaii that do - you ought to be able to find them in a Google search.
Q: I am starting a coffee shop. Can you advise me on what roaster to buy? Do you sell wholesale amounts of coffee?
A: I always think that Tom and I are not the best persons to give advice about opening a cafe since when we had a cafe in Columbus OH, if we had just the cafe and not the mail order business, we would have gone out of business long ago! The Specialty Coffee Association of America is a good resource for folks in general - as there are lots of contacts for different vendors you will need. We do sell some wholesale coffee through our business to business website called Coffee Shrub, check there for more information.
Q: Is all the coffee on your site unroasted?
A: Sweet Maria's does sell some roasted coffee - and roasted espresso too.
Q: How do I clean my brewer/espresso machine/roaster/grinder?
A: We sell a number of cleaning products that are good for drip brewers, espresso machines, french presses, thermos bottles, coffee grinders, etc. For removeable parts on roasters like a glass roast chamber (on the Fresh Roast models, Hearthware i-Roast, or Nesco machines) or a drum (on the Behmor, Gene Cafe, or Hottop) can be best cleaned of coffee oils by soaking in a degreasing solution and scrubbing with a brush or scrubby pad.
Q: I ordered the wrong thing; can I return it? How?
A: We accept returns for credit back to a CC card on any unused items packed in the original box, as it was sent. If an item is defective - we give a full cash credit for shipping (both outbound and any return shipping incurred). If the item is not defective and is returned in less than as-new condition - say if the box is missing or it is heavily used - then we would give store credit based upon condition. More information and a pdf of a return form in on the Returns Page .
Q: I need parts for my home roaster - how do I contact the vendor?
A: I have a handy list of Vendor Contact Information with notes about what you get from that vendor in terms of warranty support, spare parts etc.
There is A LOT of coffee information available on our Coffee Library page ... including copies of the articles from our past newsletters: Tiny Joy Click here for more information about subscribing and unsubscribing to the Home Roast Mail List and be sure to check the Sweet Maria's Forum for discussion on various home roasting topics by home roasters like yourself!
If you don't see the answer to your question above, email us directly using the form below.