Welcome the the wayback window of Sweet Maria’s green coffee bean reviews! From 2001-2 ?
This is how we used to publish our review archives, and just for the heck of it, we like to keep our old stuff online … you know, the dustbin of history and all that. Likely none of the links work or the images show up. But old web sites are like other old things: stuff breaks. So here it is, our Coffee Review Archive:
|Mexican Natural Decaf, Cepco Co-op|
|Country:||Mexico||Grade:||HG||Region:||Putla – Mixteca||Mark:||CEPCO|
|Processing:||Wet-processed||Crop:||00/01||Appearance:||0 d/300gr, 16-18 Screen||Varietal:|
|Dry Fragrance:||82||Notes: This new lot of Mexican Natural Decaf originates with a slightly higher quality coffee than the Esmeralda decaf. Cepco is the Mexican farmer cooperative that produces some of our best Mexican coffees, like the excellent San Augustin Loxicha coffee. This coffees has a very distinct, attractive aroma while it roasts and the cup is mild and has a very pleasant nuttiness. It has medium body and a light aftertaste. Because it is nutty and mild, its great as a crowd-pleasing straight roast or as a base for a decaf blend, either for drip coffee or espresso. Cup quality rates a tad better than Esmeralda but it is very much “cut from the same cloth” and I think the difference between them is more academic in terms of character. But I like the fact this is a co-op coffee, is the same price as Esmeralda, decaffeinated in the same place (Cafiver) and it benefits the farmers to a greater degree. Check out our article on decaffeination. …or some information from Cafiver in Mexico.|
|Flavor- Depth:||84||Roast: This coffee has a very wide lattitude …roast you your preference: City, Full City, Vienna or French|
|Score:||82.5||Compare to: Mild, balanced Mexican Oaxaca coffees|
Country: Mexico Grade: HG Altura Region: Oaxaca Pluma, San Pablo Mark: Becafisa Processing: Washed Crop: 2001 Appearance: 1 d/300gr17/18 scr Varietal: Typica82/82 Notes: The San Pablo sold under the Becafisa Tres Flechas (trans. Three Arrows) mark is a really great Mexican coffee for straight roasts, blending, and espresso blend base (for a sweet, clean espresso). This coffee is a beautiful bluish green in color, hinting at freshness, good picking / preparation, and a good moisture content. Ukers All About Coffee talks about fine Mexican coffees with a beautiful jade color and a white stripe down the center. This always confused me, and I thought it was another Ukers anachronysm, but this coffee DOES have a distinct stripe of very white chaff. It is a really great cup and as a lark we conducted a bling cupping with 3 Jamaica Blue Mountain samples and the Tres Flechas. This was a totally blind cupping with Jovan and I: we both picked the Mexican as the best cup! Nice chocolate notes, spice, and for a Mexican quite a lot of brightness …acidity. With the right roast, it rocks. BTW San Pablo is a town, Tres Flechas is an exporter’s mark.84828384 Roast: City to Full City …dont burn this stuff! A tad into 2nd OK. Or its great as a blend base in Continental or French roast degrees of roast.82.8 Compare to: good Mexican, very good Mexican!
Misc. & Blends
Nicaragua SHG Matagalpa -Selva Negra Estate
Notes: Matagalpas are known for their excellent depth and pungent flavors. Selva Negra is one of the most respected Estates from the region, both for their environmentally sustainable farming methods and for the excellent cup. Like any Estate-level coffees, the coffee does vary from year to year and this is the best Selva Negra I have had for the past 2 seasons. It has excellent chocolate flavor, that has hints of aromatic wood to it, and spiceyness. The acidity is in balance with the other flavors and reveals itself as the cup cools. Multiple coexistent flavors like this are the benchmark of good complexity, flavors that alternate as you try to get a sense of them. Its what every cupper appreciates; an interesting sensory problem! And its what makes the Selva Negra great… This coffee is Shade Grown on one of the most beautiful coffee estates in Nicaragua, where coffee trees are interplanted with native forest. I have met the farm owner and have deep respect for the Selva Negra operation… this is ecologically aware coffee farming without the eco-certification, but with all the good sense.
Country: Nicaragua Grade: SHG Region: Matagalpa Mark: Selva Negra Estate Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 17/18 scr Varietal: Typica Wet Aroma: 86 Brightness- Liveliness: 85 Body- Movement: 85 Flavor- Depth: 87 Roast: City, Full City OK too but this coffee has fully developed its body at a real medium roast and you loose some complexity if you let it enter 2nd crack. Finish- Conclusion: 85 Score: 85.7 Compare to: Particular Colombians such as Tolima district, and other great Matagalpa region Nicaraguas: flavorful, complex, clean coffees…
Panama Finca Hartmann “Songbird” Country: Panama Grade: SHB Region: Volcan Baru, Chirqui Mark: Hartmann Farm Processing: Wet process, sun-dried Crop: 02 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16-17 Screen Varietal: Typica, Caturra Dry Fragrance (1-5) 3.0 Notes: This coffee from the Northeast mountain state of Chirqui has a beautiful dark green-blue appearance (fresh, new crop), with a delicate light-bodied cup that will win over your friends and relatives to the merits of home roasting. Very pleasant clean sweet taste with a unique cedar aromatic woodiness in the finish. This hints that this is Sr. Hartmann’s special lot of coffee that he dries in a special wooden Bodega next to the patios on the farm. The humidity and native hardwoods give the coffee a characteristic flavor -very subtle but unmistakable. It’s not a super complex coffee overall, just real fine and delicate. To get a full sense of this acidity, taste it hot and taste it cool too. In fact, my first sip of it is always a little disappointing based on the wonderful aromatics you get when grinding it. But a lot of bright coffees are this way. As it cools the bright notes that make it so special are fleshed out, and you will fall in love with this coffee by the time you reach the last sip. The Volcan Chirqui is right at the Costa Rican border so it is not a wonder that the coffee cups like a bright, delicate Costa Rican. For more information on the Hartmann farm, see our review of the 2002 Panama Cupping Competition. The Hartmann land is a model of sustainable farming and bird-friendly, shade grown agriculture with much of the farm preserved as forest … in a bitter irony it does not qualify as certified bird-friendly because of very limited use of nitrogen fertilizer! Wet Aroma (1-5) 4.0 Brightness – Acidity (1-10) 7.0 Flavor – Depth (1-10) 7.0 Body – Movement (1-5) 2.0 Finish – Aftertaste (1-10) 8.0 Cupper’s Correction (1-5) 2.0 Roast: I prefer this at a light City roast to accentuate the moderate acidity and that unique woody note in the aftertaste. add 50 50 Compare to: Light-bodied delicate coffees, similar to Coast Ricans from the southern areas of La Amistad, the Boquete coffees of Panama, and also similar to some of the Chiapas coffees from the south of Mexico. Score (Max. 100) 83.0
Panama SHB Boquete -La Berlina Estate Country: Panama Grade: SHB Region: Boquete Mark: La Berlina Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 2000 Appearance: 0 d/300gr, 16/18scr Varietal: Bourbon, Typica Dry Fragrance: 86 Notes: The great cup from this La Berlina was a surprise. I had cupped it in the past, and while I found it always to be a nice clean cup it was always outdone by such coffees as the Lerida estate coffee from Boquete. But this time Berlina was just outstanding. It has remarkable complexity and depth, easily as good or better than the best lots of Lerida I have had. Panama is basically an under-rated coffee, always playing second fiddle to the big name Costa Ricans and Guatemalands. But when you put this Berlina cup up against many of the Tarrazus from Costa Rica, it rates higher. The coffee is expertly prepared, fairly large bean size for Panama with a mixture of the rounder Bourbon varietal and the longer Typica, both old arabica cultivars. The cup really shimmers: bright citrus passes quickly to spice and chocolate flavors. The aftertastes is brief and thoroughly enjoyable. Just outstanding… Wet Aroma: 88 Brightness- Liveliness: 87 Body- Movement: 84 Flavor- Depth: 88 Roast: City, throught first crack and not yet to second. You will lose some complexity in this coffee in a darker roast, so I would keep it from going into second crack at all. Finish- Conclusion: 87 Score: 87 Compare to: Other high-grown Centrals that have complexity: Guats & Costa Rican Tarrazus.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Organic AA Country: Sumatra Grade: AA Island Region: Papua New Guinea Mark: Organic Certified Processing: Wet-processed Crop: 00/01 Appearance: 1 d/300gr,17/18scr Varietal: Sumatra Wet Aroma: 84 Brightness- Liveliness: 82 Body- Movement: 83 Flavor- Depth: 86
Notes: It has been tough to find a good Papua New Guinea coffee this year. I often think the Organics are superior: they are traditional varietals grown on small farms. Its just a matter of exactly whose small farms they are pooled from, and the overall quality of the crop year. To find a good organic Papua New Guinea there is no method other than cupping every lot you can get your hands on. I went through 5 to find this one. It is the larger AA grade bean size (the Organics tend to be large, I think because they are descended from the Jamaican coffee stock that was used to plant Papua New Guinea originally!) Smallholder farms can be the best IF the co-op that organizes themselves for organic certification maintains high standards and good milling practices. I think that’s the case with this lot here, and while there are a few misshapen seeds in here, the cup quality is excellent: good balance and complexity, that slight gamy/tea-like flavor that distinguishes the good PNG Organics.
Roast: I prefer a Full City roast on the PNG, just to the verge of Second crack, but not entering it.
Finish- Conclusion: 85 Score: 84.0 Compare to: Medium acidity, great balance, good body, interesting midrange flavors.