Sweet Maria's Weblog

Just in Time for the Weekend...Four New Coffees

Sumatra Lake Toba -Samosir Island is bold with caramelized sugars, bittersweet chocolate and mixed melon undertones.

Colombia Alipio Zuniga Microlot has juicy craisin, green apple, honey and raw pine nut notes with a sugary cocoa finish.

Brazil Dry Process - Fazenda Monte Verde is juicy as well, with tart acidity, berry notes and a weighty mouthfeel.

Tanzania Peaberry - Malala Coop is a fruit basket with lots of berries, pineapple, grape and citrus with notes of raw honey and burnt caramel.


A Pair of Great Bolivia Additions

 Bolivia Organic Bolinda with black cherry flavors, simple syrup sweetness and juicy mouthfeel.

Bolivia Organic La Paz has light caramel sweetness, bittering notes of dutch cocoa, great SO espresso.

New Coffee Gear From This Year's SCAA Show

This year's SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) event/trade show took place two weekends ago in Boston so it was very chilling to hear of the marathon bombings just a day after being there. The tradeshow floor can be overwhelming if you aren't prepared for the thousands of square feet of specialty coffee madness. Luckily, I'm really obsessed with gadgets, devices, products, etc. Here's a few photos I shot of noteable new products spotted while sorting through the endless booths selling syrups, cup sleeves, pods, and smoothie mixes.

One of our favorite drum roaster companies, HotTop, has been working on a touch screen controlled roaster with a 1 kg capacity. I think the folks that stay up late roasting multiple batches with their 1lb drum roasters will be excited. At the time of the show, there were no predictions as to when it will be available or how much it will cost. Hopefully it won't be too expensive.


Two Wonderful New Additions

Ecuador Zamora has raisin, prune and date flavors with rock candy and burnt sugar in this super sweet cup, juicy body, versatile at various roast levels.

Kenya Nyeri AA Gatomboya is loaded with fruit: red grapefruit, pomelo, Meyer lemon, candied orange peel finish, amazing SO espresso with citrus and chocolate.

Dan's first origin trip to Guatemala


I had the good fortune of going on my first “origin” trip last month with Tom and Aleco in Guatemala.  I was of course very excited to learn that I would be joining them on a tour of some of the farms we are working with this year.  The three of us have put in tons of hours roasting and cupping Guatemalan farm samples the last few months, so I was really looking forward to finally be able to put faces to many of the farmer’s names I’ve become so familiar with.  


a beautiful view from above


We visited some pretty large and amazing farms during our trip, but my favorite days were spent driving through areas that were nothing less than hard to reach.  It goes without saying that Guatemala is a beautiful and lush country, and I had the pleasure of traveling along some particularly dramatic landscapes.  Small farms perched up on the mountainside with very little road to keep your tires afloat, and the majority of space being air-filled gaps between drastically chiselled cliffs built up over time by massive tectonic activity.  That’s my kind of “drama”.


Traversing the mountainside switchbacks in a four-wheel drive, at times it was a dizzying ride for me.  Needless to say, we were afforded tremendous vistas at 6000 feet above sea level, and the farms on the other side seemed like a patchwork of various shades of green and brown squaring off on the mountain.  Once up close, it becomes clear that these demarcations of color are crops plotted along the mountain terraces that many...