Sweet Maria's Weblog

Roasted Coffee: Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Kochore Zonegediyo & Kenya Nyeri Kigwandi AB

October 2, 2014

I'm excited about our African coffees and can't get enough of them at this time of year. I have always been a fan of Nyeri and Yirga Cheffe coffees and it's a pleasure to feature two nice ones at once. 

I have been roasting most of the subscription coffees at a City+ roast lately. It's a balancing act between acidity, sweetness, and body that intrigues me, and City+ is a fine suit for balancing these two coffees! 


Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Kochore Zonegediyo City+

This new Ethiopian coffee was released last week. It's a Yirga Cheffe that is about as classic as Yirga Cheffe gets. You get that distinct jasmine in the dry grind and it explodes as soon as the water hits. It drinks with herbaceous tea notes and a pulp like acidity in the middle pallet. The finish has a juicy lemonade and dried peach sweetness. 


Kenya Nyeri Kigwandi AB City+

City+ is at it's best here. There is a grapefruit-like sweet acidity that's nicely balanced in this cup. The body is large and sits with heft on the lounge from start to finish. A refreshing mild black tea finish peaks up at the end too. 


 -Danny Goot

Questions Anyone?

We really enjoy getting out of the office and doing coffee roasting demonstrations at events like Maker Faire, Makers & Tasters and Eat Real here in the SF Bay Area. It’s a good way to connect with home coffee roasters and our local customers. Here’s some questions that we have been asked more than once. This might be worth forwarding to your friend or family member that has been curious about home roasting.


Where can I buy green coffee?

Hopefully from us. There’s other online green coffee retailers out there that you can try as well...but we hope you like our coffee the best.


How long does green coffee last for?

Commercial coffee suppliers would say that green coffee lasts over a year in storage. We think 6 months is around the time when it begins to degrade in quality.


Why would anyone want to roast their own coffee?


Two New Fantastic African Coffees to Dream About This Weekend

Sept. 26, 2014

Kenya Nyeri Kigwandi AB showing best at City+ to Full City ranges, is layered with citrus notes and caramelizing sugars that dominate the cup. White grapefruit and a bit of bergamot orange provide a complex bittering aspect. Try this Kenya in your espresso machine too!

Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Kochore Zonegediyo is a classic Yirg, with bergamot and jasmine florals, herb tea notes, and a mouth refreshing citric acidity. 

Rhyme or Reason

Sept. 25, 2014

Why You Roast - Marshall Hance

Marshall Hance is a "Get Action" sort of individual; on the go, driven, and endlessly curious. Like many in roasting at home or in shops, Marshall is a tinkerer. Putting things together is a passion, but putting them together for a reason is the true draw. In the case of Mountain Air Roasting in Ashville, NC, that reason is excellence in coffee. Knowing that Marshall comes from a background of building his own roasters and roasting for himself I wanted to know what drove him to do it professionally and if that pursuit had any impact on his love of roasting in the first place.

CS: How did you start roasting coffee?

MH: I started roasting just a few weeks after reading about it when I realized roasting was what I was supposed to be doing instead of turning wrenches at a bicycle shop. That bike shop was actually my first customer, and five years later I still enjoy making deliveries to my friends there.

CS: Do you believe in the idea of the freedom and independence of being a small business owner?

MH: I'm not sure if freedom and independence are a reason to be a small business owner. I'm certain my life was much more free and independent with a "normal" 40hr a week job. While I do feel captain of my own ship, it takes away from other favorite pursuits such as riding bicycles and cooking dinner. Ideally, I would roast about 15 batches a day, 5 days a week. I enjoy getting into the groove but not breaking my back.

CS: What do you like most about roasting?

MH: I think the combination of introverted precision and tastiness of product were the most interesting aspects of roasting to me. The fact that a roasting business is smoothly scalable from roasting for one’s self to roasting thousands of pounds a day was a draw; knowing that I could find where I fit in the market and build a business to compete seemed to offer tremendous opportunity.

CS: What roasting devices or set ups have you used?

MH: At this point in time, the only roasting machines I've used are the ones I've built. They've all been rotating fluid bed hot air roasters, scaling up from 1/2 lb, 2lb, 6lbs, and finally 15lbs batch size. Each step up, the byproducts of roasting were more than I had...

Why we Ran Out of Behmor Roasters...Again.

If you are reading this, you are probably one of the folks that had been patiently waiting to purchase a Behmor 1600 Plus and when you went to our website, we were out of stock. First of all, we would like to apologize. After all the hype, promoting the new features and control panel, it's unfair that many people were left in the dark after waiting for such a long time.

So what happened? For some reason, Behmor was only able to import a limited number of roasters. We were told this in advance but had our fingers crossed that we would receive more. After dividing them up amongst the other Behmor dealers in North America, we were only allocated a very small number of machines. We didn't expect them to sell out as fast as they did.

Who's fault is it?  We are NOT pointing fingers at Behmor. They are an excellent company to work with that stands behind their products. It's in their best interest to export enough machines for their retailers to sell but sometimes there are issues getting enough of them exported. The only positive side to this is that we know Behmor isn't forcing their factory to pump out machines that could be low quality, defective or dangerous.

So, when can I actually get one? Late October. This is what we are being told. Trust us, we really want to get these in the hands of every home roaster that wants one. We think the new features are great and hope that we can ship one out to you soon. Since we are so close to the port that the Behmor Plus machines landed at, we were one of the first retailers to physically sell them...and one of the first to run out. Saying this doesn't make any sense from a business standpoint but you can always buy one from another retailer but act fast since all Behmor dealers in North America are receiving a small quantity to sell.