Sweet Maria's Weblog

New Coffees, New T-shirts!

We're adding 5 very different coffees today, some very interesting new offerings and some old favorites. First up is the oft-requested and in-shop favorite Guatemala Finca San José Ocaña. This is a classic Bourbon-like wet process coffee with chocolate, concord grape, and spice. We also are adding an unusual dry-process Moka offering: Hawaii Ka'anapali Estate DP Maui Moka. Look for maple syrup, honey, oily body. We have roast suggestions in the full review. Next is a rare find from Indonesia: Sulawesi Wet-Process Toarco Peaberry, different from a wet-hulled Toarco, with a sweeter and cleaner profile and brightness. Another new Kenya to add: Kenya Nyeri AA -Kagumo Coop, a sweet, floral, bright, yet balanced coffee vac-packed at origin for freshness. And finally, it's Brazil Dry-Process Mogiana, a thick-bodied mild fruited coffee we've loved in the past, check out the full review for this and the others. We made new t-shirts! A new Logo T-shirt and a revised version of the Brave the Smoke t-shirt (the last one was from over 9 years ago, so if you have one of those - you are an old-timer! -Maria

Roast Coffee Pairing #17: Kenya v. Kenya

Why do we offer so many coffees from the same origin? Well, we thought we would illustrate the differences between lots from the same country, same crop year, same processing, to show how different one coffee can be from the next when you are dealing with the specific lots the way we are. With generic, blended Kenya AA or AB coffees, there is probably more similarity than difference. But with our farm or co-op specific lots, there are marked differences. First up we have the Kenya Kirinyaga AA -Gakuyu-ini Factory, this was roasted to a City roast level to ensure the delicate citrus notes are to the fore.  Who wants candy?  A mere hour after roasting this roast is cupping amazingly sweet, so refined and balanced.  Roast times were a brief 14 minutes for each 20 pound batch with final thermoprobe temperatures of 420 degrees.  As a contrast, the second coffee we roasted is the Kenya Kirinyaga -Karinga Peaberry with a more rounded cup profile with a nice helping of jammy sweetness.  Again this 20 pound batch (slightly on the small side for or 12K Probat) was roasted for 14 minutes with final thermoprobe temperature of 420 degrees.  Each week I am attempting to match the roast level of the two different coffees unless the pairing calls for specific roast profiles.  We want you to taste the amazing origin characteristics on display in these fantastic lots straight from the “factories” in Kenya.

dripper vs. clever coffee dripper vs. french press.

another ugly-yet-informative video... behold! ...and there is another one too!

New arrivals - Ethiopia Org DP Guji Sidamo, Panama Carmen 1900meters, Panama Carmen "Siete Dias de Bellota"

Finally! We have a new Ethiopia Sidamo Dry Process to offer: Ethiopia Organic Dry Process Guji Sidamo, fruited and spicy, nice balance of flavors and can take a dark roast. And we're adding two excellent coffees from Panama Carmen Estate First it's Panama Carmen Estate 1900 Meters, a new high in both flavor and altitude level for this great varietal. Look for a rounded mouthfeel and some sweet caramel tones. Secondly, it's Panama Carmen "Siete Dias de Bellota" a versatile dry-process offering that also makes a nice SO espresso!

Compak K3 Elite and K3 Touch

After a few months of testing various mills (honestly, we started about the time of the SCAA conference and just finished a week ago), we have found an espresso mill we really like - the Compak K3 Elite and K3 Touch. The Elite is the version with a doser, the Touch is the same grinder in doser-less form. In practice, we tend to prefer the doserless grinders for their ease of operation and the potential to be used as a dual-purpose espresso and brewed coffee grinder, but the doser model has substantially fewer clumps, and may be a better choice for dedicated espresso users. Both Compak mills are priced at an attractive level – a step up from the Rocky, but still substantially cheaper than the Mazzer Mini. We think the Compak mills offer a great value for the money, and are really pleased with the results we are getting in the cup. It is well known that a fantastic espresso machine is nothing but overpriced eye-candy for your kitchen counter without a serious espresso mill to back it up. Some recommend budgeting more for the grinder than the actual espresso machine! With the Compak, we think you can get results similar to a Mazzer or a Macap and save a bit to spend elsewhere.