December Green Coffee Outlook: Holiday Coffees & Looking Ahead To 2024

Stay up to date on coffee we have coming down the pipeline and our latest green coffee outlook and arrivals schedule.

The end of the year is an exciting time for coffee, and I’m not just talking about holiday blends (the Polar Expresso blend is as exciting as they come!). The fourth quarter is when we have the broadest range of origin representation, with incredible selection from most countries we source from. It’s also when we start making our projections for the new year, before the first buying seasons of 2024.

A full offer list can be a bit of a double-edged sword: while it’s exciting to be presented with so many options, it can also be a little overwhelming. Which of the 11 Ethiopia’s currently on the website should you buy? How does the latest Colombian cofee we launched compare to the rest? While we do have tools to make these comparisons on the site, we thought we’d first weigh in with some of our top green coffee picks for the holidays, and then get into a little bit about what you can expect coming down the pike in the first part of 2024.


Ripe red coffee cherries spill from a woven mylar bag at the Chinga cooperative in Nyeri, Kenya.
Ripe red coffee cherries spill from a woven mylar bag at the Chinga cooperative in Nyeri, Kenya.

African coffees brighten up the holidays

It’s no secret that African coffees often deliver some of the most complex cup flavors. Sometimes processing is at play (the “dry process” method in particular is responsible for a lot of fruit), but it’s also factors like cultivar types, high altitude, and unique microclimates that are behind the high acidity and interesting flavors that earn African coffees some of our highest scores.

Kenyan and Ethiopian coffees are perhaps the most widely recognized African coffee origins, and both regularly find “grand cru” placement at cafés. But they hardly represent the breadth of incredible coffees coming from other African coffee producing countries, and we consider it our duty to sing the praises of some of the underrepresented origins you’ll see here. The 100% Bourbon coffees from Rwanda and Burundi offer competition-level sweetness, and Tanzania has been a consistent origin to look to for bright, complex flavor profiles.

Here are six recommendations for holiday coffees from Africa that are sure to wow those family members who think all coffee tastes the same:

Ethiopia Kayon Guji Genet (SM / Shrub): This coffee has delicate flavors, and perfumed floral notes. But it’s also syrupy sweet, even when roasted light. Subtle fruits also grace the cup, and acidity is crisp, and elegant. Should be kept to a light roast.

Ethiopia Dry Process Sidama Shantawene (SM / Shrub): Great example of the fruit flavors that come with the dry process method. Overt fruity notes, berry jam, juicy stone fruits, natural wines, and even a little floral. An incredibly complex cup!

Kenya Nyeri Chinga AB (SM / Shrub): An in-house favorite, Chinga is sweet from start to finish, with bright fruit notes of citrus and pomegranate seeds, and flecks of cinnamon and clove spices that impact the cup aroma. Shows well at a fairly wide roast range.

Rwanda Rubavu Rwinyoni (SM / Shrub): Caramely-sweet at its core, Rubavu shows accents of black tea and baking spice, along with a subtle dimension of fruit. You can develop a lot of chocolate roast flavors in the middle roast range too, making this an excellent dual-use coffee (espresso + brew).

Burundi Rwiri Yagikawa (SM / Shrub): Sweet notes of raw sugar open up to hints of all-spice, and tea-like accents of chamomile and buckwheat tea. Nice bright lemon note when roasted light, that’s traded for low-toned chocolates at Full City. Amazing espresso too!

Tanzania Mbozi Ilomba AB (SM / Shrub): This is our sleeper “light and bright” coffee, that shows Kenya-like acidity, with notes of grapefruit, and tannic teas. It also surprised me as espresso, though perhaps too fruity for some.


Parchment-covered green coffee dries inside a "solar dryer" made of wood and tarpaulin. Michicoy, Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
Parchment-covered green coffee dries inside a “solar dryer” made of wood and tarpaulin. Michicoy, Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

Latin American coffees cover crowd-pleasing, to complex

With 10 origins currently in stock, our Latin American origin list is about as diverse as it ever gets, and the range of flavors covers a lot of ground. No painting with a broad brush here, as Latin America is a go-to for both unique tasting microlots from small producers, like you’ll see from Colombia and Guatemala, as well as sources such as Brazil and Nicaragua, where we find lower acid, deep tones, and balanced flavors.

All of our recommendations below have a chocolatey side that can be unlocked by roasting to Full City or darker, pairing well with cream should your guests be so inclined. But even at that roast level, each has their own distinct set of flavor characteristics that are most apparent when taken black. Both the Colombia and Guatemala have a moderate level of acidity, Nicaragua a little less, and Brazil shows the lowest acidic intensity.

Colombia Inzá Rio Páez (SM / Shrub): This small-producer lot is blended with honey sweetness in mind, but offers up aromatic top notes when roasted light, and rich dark chocolates, with fruited hints at Full City and beyond. A great example of the quality coming from the Inzá region.

Brazil Honey Process Pedra Branca (SM / Shrub): Brazil’s are known for low tones and mild acidity, characteristics that function really well in milk drinks and espress. Pedra Branca ticks off those boxes, and is a great crowd-pleasing coffee when roasted to Full City.

Guatemala Xinabajul Los Chuchitos (SM / Shrub): A perfect coffee for after a holiday mean, well-balanced, and sweet. Middle roasts shine a light on creamy caramel and candied nut, with body bittersweet cocoa behind it.

Nicaragua Acopio Suyatal (SM / Shrub): One of our more versatile coffees that seems to show well no matter the roast level. We picked out flavor profiles of chocolate croissant and cinnamon-laced cocoa at City+/Full City, and with just enough acidity to give the cup some backbone. Excellent espresso option!


Pak Aulia shows some of the Timor hybrid coffee common to Aceh, called TimTim here and in other growing areas. There are multiple types of Timor Hybrid cultivar.
Pak Aulia shows some of the Timor hybrid coffee common to Aceh, called TimTim here and in other growing areas. There are multiple types of Timor Hybrid cultivar.

Coffees with singular flavors

The rustic, earth-toned flavor profiles of many Indonesian coffees can be quite polarizing. You’re either staunchly against them, or a rabid fan! If you’re the latter, read on. Sumatra Giling Basah Aceh Bebesen Aulia (SM / Shrub) is from our most recent Indonesian container arrival, and in addition to the syrupy, woodsy profiles, offers hints of fruit and spice. Yemen Mokha Matari (SM / Shrub) is also an earthy cup, with incredibly inky cocoa flavors, rustic spice and fruit notes. Both scored above 88 points!

From the fruit and floral side of the flavor wheel, we have our annual Sweet Maria’s Polar Expresso Holiday Blend (SM / Shrub), and this year’s lot is outstanding. It’s a velvety-textured, bittersweet espresso, and the dry process African components really bring the fruits. And finally, I have to mention Guatemala Acatenango Gesha Lot 2 (Sweet Maria’s only). If you’re a fan of perfumed florals and light roasted coffee, this coffee should be on your short list! As I write this, we only have a couple hundred pounds left in stock.


A coffee shrub that's been painted white and decorated with colorful bows for Christmas. Inzá, Colombia.
A coffee shrub that’s been painted white and decorated with colorful bows for Christmas. Inzá, Colombia.

Ending 2023 on a high note & what to expect in 2024

The end of the year always feels like it signifies the end of a coffee cycle in some ways, even though there is no “end” to our work, and harvest happen at different times during the year. But it’s when our sourcing work winds down, and our energy is focused on pushing the coffees we have, and what’s still coming in, to our website. Our work shifts again in January as buying comes back into focus, travel starts back up, and the cycle starts once again.

Even as we wind down the year, we still have a lot of new coffee in the wings that will continue to be rolled out on a weekly basis. The only planned exception to this rule will be the weeks of December 25th, and January 1st, where we will either take the weeks off from adding coffees, or limit the number of lots due to the short weeks.

Before the end of the year, you can expect new lots from some of our most popular origins like Ethiopia, Guatemala, Colombia, Sumatra, Honduras, Brazil, and Peru, some having just arrived in the last two weeks. We are also expecting new arrivals from Flores, Sulawesi, Java, Papua New Guinea, Timor, and another box from Colombia in January 2024. Bottom line, there’s plenty of fresh coffee to keep pace with new weekly additions well into 1st quarter of 2024. See where things stand at the moment with our coffee launch schedule below.


Upcoming Coffees December & January

Below is a list of upcoming green coffees currently on the schedule to be added to our website for December and January. This list is still being updated:

December Outlook:

CoffeeBags
Brazil Dry Process Fazenda Rio Brilhante50
Burundi Mwaro Magamba20
Colombia Inzá Rio Páez45
Colombia Nariño Vereda Buesaco24
Ethiopia Dry Process Sidama Shantawene170
Ethiopia Organic Agaro Duromina80
Ethiopia Yebuna Terara SWP Decaf92
Costa Rica Dry Process Hacienda Sonora50
Guatemala Xinabajul Los Chuchitos72
Honduras Honey Process Comunidad Cabañas26
Java Sunda Wet Hulled Tambak Ruyung50
Kenya Thika Karatu AB40
Mexico Tzotzil San Cristobal50
Nicaragual El Buey Pink Bourbon40
Peru Chirinos Cleyder Altamirano37
Peru San Francisco Yapaz SWP Decaf69
Sumatra Honey Process Kerinci Pendekar20
Sweet Marias Cordillera Central SWP Decaf68
Yemen Al Qafr Hawari100

January Outlook (so far):

CoffeeBags
Burundi Honey Process Nyamasheke Station50
Colombia Inzá Las Estrellas11
Colombia Honey Aponte Hugo Agreda14
Costa Rica Yellow Honey La Union40
El Salvador Finca Miravalles H120
Guatemala Finca Rosma Maragogype5
Guatemala Proyecto Xinabajul Axel Villatoro20
Honduras Los Andes Doña Teodosa Parainema5
Java Sunda Ribang Gayo20
Kenya Thika Karatu Peaberry16
Nicaragua Maracaturra Los Medios20
Sumatra Anaerobic Kerinci Coop10
Sweet Maria's Coffee Shrub Coffee Sourcerer
Sweet Maria’s Coffee Shrub Coffee Sourcerer

Incoming coffees currently on the water: December onward

Please keep in mind that the coffees on the Upcoming Coffee Outlook schedule with a location status of “In Transit” are still a bit of a wild card, and the month we have them listed under is based on the current shipping ETA, and subject to interruptions out of our control. Thanks for your patience!

African Incoming Coffees

CoffeeBagsETA
Burundi Kayanza Gahahe40ETA Feb
Burundi Kayanza Gakenke40ETA Feb
Burundi Kayanza Kibingo Station40ETA Feb
Burundi Kayanza Nemba40ETA Feb
Buruni Honey Process Masha40ETA Feb
Burundi Dry Process Kibingo60ETA Feb
Burundi Dry Process Gahahe60ETA Feb
Burundi Dry Process Agahore24ETA Feb
Burundi Kiganda Murambi10ETA Feb
Burundi Dry Process Kiganda Murambi25ETA Feb
Rwanda Rulindo Tumba80ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Kivu Kageyo40ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Nyamasheke Gitwe54ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Karongi Gitesi40ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Nyamasheke Mutovu45ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Kivu Kageyo Peaberry30ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Dry Process Kageyo8ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Honey Process Gitwe20ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Rubavu Rwinyoni40ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Ngororero40ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Nyamashek Nyaco40ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Nyamashek Kanyege50ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Dry Process Nyamyumba26ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Honey Process Kibirizi50ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Dry Process Mashesha26ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Dry Process Nyamiyaga16ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Dry Process Nyakabingo32ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Gitwe Peaberry30ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Kivu Kageyo Lot 225ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Dry Process Gitwe21ETA Jan / Feb
Rwanda Rusizi Mushaka50ETA Jan / Feb
Tanzania Mbozi Ilomba AA50ETA Feb
Tanzania Dry Process Acacia Hills AB22ETA Feb
Tanzania Honey Process Acacia Hills AB16ETA Feb
Tanzania Mbozi Kanji Lalji Farm50ETA Feb
Yemen Mokha Matari100ETA Mar
Yemen Bani Haraz100ETA Mar
Yemen Al Qafr Hawari100ETA Mar
Yemen Mokha Saanani100ETA Mar
Yemen Mokha Peaberry50ETA Mar

Indonesia & SE Asia & Oceania Incoming Coffees

CoffeesBagsETA
Timor Leste Honey Process Daurfusu20ETA Jan
Timor Leste Dry Process Daurfusu20ETA Jan
Timor Leste Hatletegeo30ETA Jan
Timor Leste Sabelu25ETA Jan
Timor Leste Manulo25ETA Jan
Flores Wet Hulled Bajawa Wawo Wae47ETA Jan
Sulawesi Kahayya Village15ETA Jan
Java Sunda Iyan55ETA Jan
Java Sunda Cirambai40ETA Jan
Java Sunda Anaerobic Honey15ETA Jan
Sulawesi Dry Process Topidi8ETA Jan
Flores Bajawa Anaerobic Honey25ETA Jan
Flores Albertus & Reti20ETA Jan
Java Sunda Wet Hulled Dani30ETA Jan
India Monsoon Malabar200ETA Jan
Papua New Guinea Morita30ETA Feb
Papua New Guinea Tairora30ETA Feb
Papua New Guinea Honey Process Baroida30ETA Feb
Papua New Guinea Dry Process Baroida30ETA Feb

South America Incoming Coffees

CoffeesBagsETA
Brazil Jose da Conceicao52ETA Jan
Brazil Matheus de Oleivera Pereira21ETA Jan
Brazil Amarildo Jose Borges39ETA Jan
Brazil Flávio Caixeta Nunes49ETA Jan
Brazil Marcio Martins Ferreira48ETA Jan
Brazil Luis Otavio Turati32ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Flavio Nuñez49ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Marco Antonio30ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Wilderson Avelar21ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Agenito de Oliveira20ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Alex Sandro62ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Weber Washington62ETA Jan
Brazil Bahia Viviana Aparecida60ETA Jan
Colombia Frutas del Cauca35ETA Feb
Colombia Inzá Vereda San Antonio19ETA Feb
Colombia Inzá La Chorrera26ETA Feb
Colombia Inzá Veredas Vecinas43ETA Feb
Colombia Inzá Cresta El Hato27ETA Feb
Colombia Tolima China Alta17ETA Feb
Colombia Nariño Vereda Veracruz9ETA Feb
Colombia Nariño Vereda Buesaco5ETA Feb
Colombia San Antonio Doña Rosa5ETA Feb
Colombia Inzá Vereda Pedregal16ETA Feb
Colombia Inzá Las Estrellas9ETA Feb
Colombia Inzá Río Páez16ETA Feb
Colombia Buesaco EA Decaf58ETA Feb
Brazil Dry Process Carlos & Dani64ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Martas30ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Lote Marcio28ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Pulp Natural Laura Beto78ETA Jan
Brazil Pulp Natural Wania Maria60ETA Jan
Brazil Yellow Honey Carlos Henrque60ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Sertao Yellow Bourbon70ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Santa Ines70ETA Jan
Brazil Pulp Natural Santa Ines55ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Pedra Branca60ETA Jan
Brazil Dry Process Fazenda Sertao70ETA Jan
Peru Women’s Producers Group 140ETA Jan
Peru El Diamante Doña Luz50ETA Jan
Peru Nuevo Trujillo Marcial Olivera40ETA Jan
Peru Productores Del Diamante40ETA Jan
Peru Women’s Producers Group 230ETA Jan
Peru Huabal San Antonio25ETA Jan
Peru Huabal Edilberto Torres25ETA Jan
Peru Dry Process Alto Pirias27ETA Jan
Peru Huabal Perlamayo30ETA Jan
Peru Cajamarca San Ignacio20ETA Jan
Peru Jaen Alianza Mika31ETA Jan

Central American Incoming Coffees

CoffeesBagsETA
Honduras Las Flores Edwin Ever Parainema11ETA Jan
Honduras Finca Zancudal Pacas11ETA Jan
Honduras Santa Barbara Doña Maria Parainema11ETA Jan
Honduras San Luis Carlos Umberto Pacas10ETA Jan
Honduras Honey Process Carlos Umberto14ETA Jan
Honduras El Sauce Esteban Chávez Parainema11ETA Jan

20 Responses

  1. Don’t see any Colombia Rio Chiquito on the list (unless I missed it). Back in September you indicated that it was on its way, and tasted quite nice. Any updates? Thanks!

    1. Good eye! You did not miss it. We have a single farmer lot from Angel Ariza in Rio Chiquito that I hope to list in January. The “upcoming” list for January coffees in this post should double by Jan 1!

      -Dan

  2. This is a great report! Really great outlook for 2024. I can’t wait. Thank you Tom and all the crew
    at SM’s. And Happy, safe and warm Holidays to you all….

    Mike
    Washougal WA.

    1. Hey Mike, glad you find it useful! The January Outlook will be more of a harvest report that covers Africa and Central America, so look out for that. Thank you for the kind words, Mike. Happy holidays to you too from Seattle and Oakland!

      -Dan

  3. Always looking forward too all incoming coffees . Been roasting for 6 years & Sweet Maria’s continues to provide high quality and the cleanest coffees money can buy along with farm info / origin/tasting notes at all roast levels so one can make a good decision on a purchase. Thank You All @ Sweet Maria’s and Tom for his dedicated service in sourcing coffee around the world.

    1. Wow, thanks for those kind words Nathan! Glad you’ve been pleased with our selection and quality. We buy coffees that we think are special, and it’s validating to get this kind of feedback.

      Cheers,
      Dan

    1. Glad it’s helpful! Right now we have a really interesting Aged Lintong, not sure if you saw that. We also have a coffee from Sigumpar village, which is on the eastern side of Lake Toba. This is a coffee we tend to buy annually, and is a great example of some of the higher quality wet hulled coffees we’re seeing from Sumatra. Hoping to list that coffee Jan/Feb, but not on the schedule yet. All of our Aceh coffees are very nice too!

      Hope that helps.

      Dan

  4. I really appreciate this heads up information and, as previously noted, the transparency. I’ve been away from my Turbo StirCrazy roaster for 6-7 years and, back in the day, was always wondering, “Should I buy now or wait to see what might be offered next?” Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the comment Tom. Glad you find the info useful. And oh man, a Turbo Stircrazy. Like a countertop UFO!

      Cheers,
      Dan

  5. This information is great for planning! I am a home roaster, and Sweet Maria’s has been my go to coffee importer for some time. I appreciate the incoming forecast. Can you provide this information year round, perhaps as a link from your home page? I am an Ethiopian fan and am thankful for you providing such an information-laden site, and for supporting home roasters.

    1. Hey Joe, we try to post these every other month, and our next one should go up first week Jan. That edition will be focused around harvest updates in Central America and Africa, as well as provide an updated list of coffees to expect over the first 2 months of 2024.

      No promises, but a permanent link from the homepage is something we’ll discuss. There is a link in the menu all the way to the right, “Incoming Coffee”. That should take you to the most recent update.

      Thanks!

  6. I am curious if you are expecting a lot coming from the Yirga Cheffe region in Ethiopia. This is hands down my biggest seller and I am always looking for the best cup coming from here. Any suggestions which farms to look for?

    1. Hi Beth! Not sure if you saw the Yirga Cheffe currently on the site from Halo Beriti, but it has been tasting fantastic! That’s the last coffee from a station located in Yirga Cheffe proper. Yirga Cheffe is probably the most widely known coffee region in Ethiopia, which explains its popularity. So much so that coffees from neighboring areas are often marketed as “Yirga Cheffe” by proximity. It’s also most likely that farmers from Yirga Cheffe deliver to sites just across the border in Guji, and Sidama. Examples of this currently on the site are Hambela Benti Nenka, which is less than 25 miles from Yirga Cheffe, or one of the Sidama coffees to the southeast, like Dry Process Shantawene.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Dan

  7. Been a fan for over 20 years .
    Love how you continue to improve every aspect of your business.
    I’ve always loved good coffee and with your help have increased the quality of my coffee. I continue to have new and exciting experiences which I share w friends and family.
    Thank you so much for your love of the bean!!

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