Archive of Sweet Maria’s Travelogues Pre-2010

We have migrated our Library content into a new format – served by WordPress – but find that we still want to reference the old travelogue photo sets that did not make it over.  We find there is something special about the format of the old pages(especially if you like wallpaper!)  so we have decided not to migrate them – but instead to post links to the html pages.  These will not have updated headers and footers to allow you to navigate further into the site, so you will have use your browser’s BACK button. (Sort of old school I know.)  Here is the list:

Travelogues: Our Coffee Trade, Farm & Cupping Trips


Some photos from from a short trip I took to Costa Rica in January 2010.


A trip to Africa in late November early December 2009 included UgandaEthiopia and Kenya.

A trip to a cupping competition Taza Dorada in Ecuador in late October 2009 included a few days in Colombia to check out the sources of our micro-lots.

Some thoughts and photos from my trip to Peru in September 2009 are here.

Oh look, it’s the 2009 SCAA Roaster’s Guild Retreat Review. It’s all about the Gangs!

Ben and Maria met me in Costa Rica for a Central America Family Coffee get-together, and then we all went to the Best of Panama competition in Boquete (May 2009).

During and after the 2009 El Salvador Cup of Excellence, I visited some of our important coffee sources, such as Aida Batlle’s Kilimanjaro farm, and Vickie Dalton’s Finca Matalapa. Here’s some photos of my El Salvador Travels.

El Salvador Cup of Excellence 2009 photos. Woo!

SCAA 2009 Atlanta. A Grumpy Commentary

Tom’s trip reports from the trip he made in late March 2009 to PanamaCosta Rica and Nicaragua are just posted. The trips were short – but action packed! Lots of good information about what we can expect in terms of coffees from the new crop in these countries. And of course, lots of fun photos.– Maria

I’m not finished yet. I keep generating material from this recent Africa trip. I was writing some actual commentary. Here is a link to the Kenya Travelogue, and here you can find commentary from Ethiopia (2009)-Tom


Tom took a trip to Sumatra and Sulawesi in November 2008; it was a looonnng trip that seemed all too short. I divided the pictures into

    • North Sumatra, including Lintong and the Lake Toba area.
    • The Aceh District of Sumatra (actually north of North Sumatra!) which includes Takengon and the areas aroundLake Tawar.
    • …. and then Sulawesi and Tana Toraja, an amazing, mystical place, where I handily whacked my head crawling through a tunnel in a Toraja traditional burial cave. It still hurts. –Tom

Tom returned from a Cupping Competition in Peru September 2008 with a handful of pictures, and some thoughts on why Peru coffee isn’t as respected as it could be …

The shennanigans of the Costa Rica Micro-Millers visit to Sweet Maria’s September 2008.

I have 2 new photosets for recent trips to Ethiopia’s Harar region, and from the first-ever Rwanda Cup of Excellence Competition 2008. You can also view both of these on our Coffee Image Gallery site.

Many may not know about the problems internal to the SCAA Roaster’s Guild, but it came to a head at the 2008 Roaster’s Guild Retreat due to gangs from Mille Lac. Read more …

I had a very interesting Colombia trip to Huila, Cauca and Narino districts in late May 2008 but have been delayed getting the pictures together. You can also see it on the beta images site.

I did a lot of cupping in Guatemala City looking for special lots, and then some quick trips to farms in the nearby states. Check out my Guatemala Travelogue. What, another Guatemala trip a few weeks later, with the family (Maria, Ben, my Mom, Myself), and yet another Guatemala Picturelog for 2008.

I can’t go to the Tolima area of Colombia where our Las Florestales is from … there’s too much FARC Guerilla activity in the area! But our coffee sourcer for this lot, Genevieve was able to go (2008).

A whirlwind tour of Costa Rica Micro Mills in mid February 2008!.

January 2008: India … another example of gross camera addiction. I took 1350 images, and narrowed it down to 302 for my India Travelogue. There’s also a brief essay….


Here’s a travelogue of my trip to Ethiopia in November 2007 to cup at many exporters in Addis Ababa, and get ready for the new crop coffees.

It took a week to sort through them all, but here is my little travelogue for Yemen in November 2007, just 350 photos or so. You can view it here, or on our new beta site Image Gallery. It’s one of the most intriguing coffee origins, and one of the best trips I have taken.

A short but sweet cupping trip to the Dota, Tarrazu and Naranjo regions of Costa Rica.

Since we are finally offering Daterra Yellow Bourbon, I have made a page to describe Daterra Farms, including a snippet of my travelogue and photos of their amazing coffee processing system.

A real short trip to Motozintla, Mexico, “land of the squirrels,” way south in Chiapas state at the border with Guatemala.

Here’s my totally uninformative picture book of the 2007 Roasters Guild Retreat and a matching, very curmudgeonly comments about the 2007 SCAA Conference in Long Beach.


Peru, what an amazing place, what a screwy place in terms of coffee. If I seem too harsh, 395 photos in a travelog (and a video to boot) should show the enthusiasm I also have for Peru, there are 7 pages of thumbnail images, and I hope you find some of it, if not most of it, interesting: Peru Coffee Tour 2006

Travelog for Guatemala Cup of Excellence and other Guatemala travels 2006

Travelogue for El Salvador  Cup of Excellence 2006

I posted new travelogs for my recent trips, with all my coffee competition cupping scores and the final results. First off was the 2006 Best of Panama competition, then off to to Honduras Cup of Excellence 2006 in San Pedro Sula, and finally the 2006 Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition in Granada, Nicaragua (a beautiful colonial town). I hope you can tolerate some tongue-in-cheek commentary, with a smattering of useful observations. Lots of pictures, and some of them actually have something to do with coffee! -Tom 


Back from the Brasil Cafe do Cerrado 2005 event , but off to Bolivia Cup of Excellence (hurricane permitting)[hurricane was not permitting – here are the Bolivia 2005 winners though]. I had time to parse 800 photos and ended up with about 150 that I just had to share. Why do I do this? I don’t know. And be warned that a lot of it is not about coffee, strictly speaking. -Tom

Since we are finally offering Daterra Yellow Bourbon, I have made a page to describe Daterra Farms, including a snippet of my travelogue and photos of their amazing coffee processing system.

January harvest trip to Nicaragua and El Salvador and a whole mess o’ pictures, as usual. Check out the Nicaragua – El Salvador Travelogue.

I have finished the travelog for my Colombia Trip, (three pages!) which includes the 2005 Cup of Excellence competition winners. It’s a different format than before, more and I put a lot of work into it. I hope you get something out of it.

And there is a special feature: What does a coffee cupping room sound like? Well, I made a little stereo recording while walking around the room at the 2005 Colombia CoE, “Sounds of Cupping Coffee”.


I am back from Kona and the2004 Kona Cupping Competition and made a travelogue of the event … which feels a bit incomplete. Even with a limited time there, it makes a big impression and there is no way to convey it in a few photos. -Tom…

I have finished my rather extensive travelogue from Brazil 2004 Cerrado Competition and Coffee Tour. Maria thinks I am nuts. I spent 3 days trimming down my 600 pictures to a mere 179, and writing the descriptions for each. There is just so much I learn on each new trip, so these web pages are as much for myself as you everyone else.

I finally finished a complete journal and slide show for my trip as a judge at the 2004 El Salvador Cup of Excellence Competition. It includes a visit to the ProCafe Experimental Coffee Farm with lots of Cultivar Pictures!

I also did a “slide show” of pictures from the Nicaragua Cup of Excellence coffee competition, 2004 . It took me a long time to get the pages together and so I am sorry it lacks detail. But there are some nice images…

I created a sort of quick and temporary page of images from last week’s Costa Rica trip (2004). Here is a page about La Candelilla farm.  Seems sort of promo-y, can’t remember where it is from!

My review of El Salvador 2004 Cup of Excellence.  I did not attend the 2004 Honduras Cup of Excellence as a judge, but I did evaluate the coffees at the group cupping. Here’s a run down.

And here is a group of photos from cupping the 2004 Best of Panama coffees at Royal Coffee in Emeryville.  Here’s  a page on Panama Jaramillo estate from that time.


There’s a new pictorial of my 2003 trip to the Bolivia Coffee Competition in 2 sections Page 1 and Page 2, and you can download a  short Bolivia Movie too!.

I have made a “slide show” of my trip to the 2003 Best of Panama cupping competition.

My Honduras Cupping Trip 2003: Part One is the competition and tour of the Northern coffee lands. Part Two is the tour of the Southern coffee lands near the capital of Tegucigalpa.

I have a lot of information and pictures from a tour of Nicaragua this year, including judging in the Cup of Excellence competition. …

I had a couple comments and pictures from the 2003 SCAA Conference in Boston.


A new page from my trip to the Panama Cupping Competition in early April 2002 is done!

Tom’s 2001 SCAA Convention Report …bitter, very bitter.

I have finally completed a lengthy pictorial page on my Trip to the Guatemala Highlands, April 2001.