Sweet Maria's Weblog

Sinful Science at The Chabot Space Center

Usually Sweet Maria's coffee roasting demonstrations take place at DIY festivals, classrooms and foodie events so when we were invited to come to a planetarium/science center to participate in an event called Sinful Science, we were very curious as to what was in store. There was actully nothing sinful about this event. It was quite the opposite.

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2013 Home Barista "Home Roasters" Competition

That's a lottalotta Gaturiri AB - a NICE buncha coffees.

 

This year the folks at Home Barista (www.home-barista.com) held their annual home roasters challenge. It’s a friendly competition that invites message board members to submit their roasts of both espresso and brewed coffees to a panel of judges who then pick the top coffees and provide feedback on all of the roasts. It’s a friendly competition and a great way for home roasters to have their craft evaluated. Needless to say, we once again graciously accepted the invitation to judge the brewed coffee portion, and going off of the quality of last year’s roasts, were excited to cup this year’s entries.

 

One major difference in the brewing part this year was the decision to limit the entrants to one coffee option. Last year there were a few different coffees for them to choose from, regionally and processing-wise. One benefit of this for the roaster is the chance to roast a coffee that they are already familiar with. But for judging, a variety of coffees makes deciphering roast quality more difficult. So this year all contestants roasted our Kenya Nyeri Gaturiri AB, keeping the focus on roast differences, instead of varietal and processing.

 

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Help Wanted! DIY Holidays For Our 2014 Calendar

We need help. We are working on our 2014 Dogs of Coffee calendar and writer's block has set in. In the past, we have spiced up our calendars with our very own witty, funny, snarky holidays,scheduled reminders and events such as: 

  • Fair-Enough Trade Day
  • Leap Day Eve
  • Your Lucky Day
  • Cupping Lecture: How Much Lingleberry is Too Much Lingleberry?
  • Take Your Barista To Work Day
  • Photography Series: How to Take Super Macro Pictures of Coffee Cherry. 8pm

 

This time around, we need your help. Please send us your suggestions for holidays, events, etc that you feel the coffee world really needs before Nov. 1st and we include as many as possible. Tweet them to us, send them to our Facebook or email them to 2014coffeedogs@gmail.com (yes, it's a real email address). A free calendar will be sent to the first 20 people that submit holidays that make the cut. Thanks! We should have the calendar done before Thanksgiving.

A Trio of Additions From Ethiopia and Rwanda

Ethiopia FTO - Layo Teraga is juicy with floral peach, ripe citrus notes of orange, pomello, pineapple, mango, lychee and well integrated acidity.

Ethiopia Gedeo Yirga Cheffe is loaded with tangerine, honeydew melon, and limeade in a refreshing cup.

Rwanda Mutovu Coop with apple-like fruited brightness, sweet spice, praline, maple, and weighty mouthfeel.

Talkin' Dirty (Brewers)

We’ve been revisiting the importance of keeping your brewing equipment clean.  The residues and oils that naturally build up can taint your coffee and if they’re left unchecked for too long can ruin your brewing equipment.  A regular equipment cleaning is inexpensive and a necessary part of the process of brewing great coffee.  Mineral buildup can cause electric coffee makers to brew at a lower temperature, out of the recommended 195-205° range.  We sell a few types of cleaners so we decided to do tests, with before and after shots, of brewing equipment.  All the tests soaked in the cleaner for a few hours, some more than others depending on how dirty they were!  

 

The project started because one of our employees took home some Urnex...