Sweet Maria's Weblog

Sorting Coffee in Yirga Cheffe, & other Ethiopia short videos

I uploaded many short videos from my December Ethiopia excursion to youtube recently. Rather than put them together as a longer piece, it seemed nice to leave them as simple, short clips. This is at Michile Union Mill (a Union is a cooperative) and the women are sorting the parchment coffee before it is hulled and the green bean extracted. Here's our general youtube link. And here is a link to the complete Ethiopia photo travelog. -Tom

All shades of red, yellow and green. Shanta Golba Union, Ethiopia

A pretty picture, but horrible selection of coffee cherry. I saw a lot of this in my recent trip to southern Ethiopia. I have a selection of pictures on flickr, and the whole photo set to the SM site -Tom

New arrivals- Kenya Kiambu Nyaga PB, Sumatra FTO Aceh Arinagata, Rwanda Gkongoro Nyarusiza, Papua New Guinea Kimel PB

http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/KenyaKiambuNyagaPeaberry2009.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/SumatraFTOAcehArinagata2009.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/RwandaGkongoroNyarusiza2009.jpghttp://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.analysis.images/PapuaNewGuineaKimelPeaberryDec2009.jpg Four new coffees to end 2009 ! Up first is the Kenya Kiambu Nyaga Peaberry with ripe fruit tastes and a citric accent. Kirinyaga fans should take note. Next up is a new arrival of Sumatra FTO Aceh Arinagata, a favorite in past months for those who like a slightly cleaner Sumatra prep. Look for spice tastes and a marked low acidity. We're also adding Rwanda Gkongoro Nyarusiza, a well-balanced cup with fruit tones and a tea-like aftertaste. Lastly, we finally have the long-awaited Papua New Guinea Kimel Peaberry in stock. This is a bright Indonesian cup; clean, and well-rounded. Look for apple cider and floral tastes. It's the best PNG we've seen in over a year! Check out the detailed cupping reviews for all of these coffees!

Roast Coffee Pairing #26: African Coffee for the Holidays

With this pairing we are matching up the Ethiopia Moplaco with one of our special Kenya lots, the Tambaya. The Ethiopia Moplaco is a remarkable aromatic coffee with complex estery high notes. The cup has a soft, full mouthfeel, and ample sweetness. It's a surprisingly silky body for a Yirga Cheffe, which can sometimes be a little thin. Apricot and peach notes emerge, sweet stone fruits, along with the honey and floral notes found in the aromatics. The Kenya Tambaya is outstandingly bright, yet balanced. There are pink grapefruit citrus notes, jasmine tea floral flavors, and a light brown sugar sweetness. As it cools, toasted almond essence comes out, peach and apricot stone fruits, Earl Grey tea in the finish. While it has a bracing finish, it is milder overall in acidity than some of our other lots, and complex in it's estery floral and fruit characteristics as well. Roasted to City+:  Final temperature of 422 degrees, and roast times around 15 minutes.

Kenya - Samuel Kabuye, just 76 years at Karagoto mill

Another great trip to Kenya, to see the amazing system from the small cooperative farmer, to the factory (what they call a coffee mill), to the dry mill and preparing coffee for export. The entire Kenya photo travelog is here. There is no other coffee origin with a system like this, including the Nairobi Coffee Auction that markets small lots based on cup quality, where the best coffees get the best price. Add to that the recent reforms that guarantee 80% of the sale price minus costs gets into the hands of the farmer, and you have a fantastic system to help buyers discover the best qualities. Again, Kenya is a place I just can't take my finger off the shutter, and nothing gets me going like photos of ripe coffee cherry. We came to see the harvest and take photographs, and that we did. It was just my 2nd trip to this place, and the first for my travel pal, little Jeremy Tooker of 4 barrel coffee. I think we sorted out some details, visited a ton of factories, saw a lot of harvest and a lot of cherry being sorted (one of many small details that makes for such high quality in Kenya coffees). Some nice images are buried in here, and a few just get by. There are some mediocre ones that are from my GPS device, and have accurate geotags. Thanks for looking! -Tom