Tom’s Home Roasting Diatribe
It seems like a good time to mull over the “state of the union” …that being the community of home The application of heat to green coffee seeds (beans) to create palatable material for brewing a great cup!: Coffee roasting is a chemical process induced by heat, by... ...more enthusiasts. Changes in our favorite hobby have been swift, and largely dictated (for better or worse) by the appearance of new home-roasting appliances on the market. Results have been a reasonable amount of growth, but not enough to label this a fad …thankfully!
While painful to admit, modern home roasting doesn’t really share much with the 19th century activity; we do this for reasons of quality and in search of the best possible cup —they did it because there was no pre-roasted coffee available. By studying the 19th c. apparatus, it would be nearly impossible to avoid Patches of discolored burn marks on the coffee bean, due to a high-heat roast environment or other roast error.: Scorching refers to a roast error that can be... ...more the beans, and controlling the Degree of Roast simply means the roast level of a coffee, how dark it has been roasted.: Degree of Roast simply means the roast level of a coffee,... ...more through prompt cooling (the removal of the coffee from most 19th c. roasters was difficult, so people tended to cool the roaster with the coffee in it).
It seems that as soon as hot air electric popcorn poppers appeared in the ’70s, people figured out they could roast coffee in them. I stumbled onto this by chance much later, in 1989 when I realized the Scirocco roaster I used for testing samples before roasting them in a commercial Gothot was very similar to a popcorn popper.
The legendary Scirocco is long-gone, and the inexpensive, underpowered Melitta roaster from 1992 made a quick exit amidst patent-infringement lawsuits and poor performance.
Ken David’s book Home Coffee Roasting revitalized much interest. He produced it in anticipation of a home coffee roasting craze ·and admitted in a conversation last year he wasn’t sure there would ever be such a fad, and he wanted the book to be used as an introduction to roasting in general, for amateur and professional).
He surveyed the various types of roasting available, all conforming to either the conductive/convective type (stovetop cranking popcorn poppers) or the fluid-bed Sivetz type (air popcorn poppers, electric air roasters).
Since then, home roasting has received more press mainly as a result of appliance manufacturers needing to promote their roasting devices. Freshroast, Hearthware, SwissMar and West Bend have all entered this market in hopes of producing the next bread machine. Without question, each and every roaster has its pluses and pitfalls. Its not like buying a toaster oven; roasting is much more complicated, the variables are extreme, and the design that can Suggests a harmony and proportion of qualities, and implies mildness since no one quality dominates.: Balance is both an obvious and slippery taste term. It implies a harmony... ...more customization with ease of use seems elusive. Roast smoke is a major barrier that no roaster can address. And the notion of a huge home roasting fad that will return great profits for lower-cost, widely-available machines is no longer assured.
How do I address this? The idea is to have a web page loaded with honest information about the benefits and shortcomings of each process, so you can choose the roast process that is right for you …or maybe that home roasting isn’t right at all! I have never believed home roasting is for everyone. But the reward of that remarkable cup of coffee awaits for those willing to invest modest time and effort.
The roaster is simply the means to attain that great cup …and every single process can get you there …perhaps with the exception of open-pan roasting, which I have never been able to master.
The other key is top quality coffee. I believe our selection is the best, because it is chosen exclusively through blind-cupping each and every coffee listed against hundreds of broker’s and importer’s samples I request. I have no allegiance besides cup quality, and consumers must understand that no name or brand, not even at the Estate-level, assures the top cup form crop to crop, year to year. Blind Cupping is a method of tasting coffee by steeping grounds in separate cups for discrete amounts of ground coffee, to reveal good flavors and defects to their fullest.... ...more is the only way!
Am I disappointed home roasting is not a huge fad? No! I am thrilled! I would like to see home roasting continue as a low-key, sustainable hobby that keeps the emphasis on quality …no growth. Sweet Maria’s has no pressures to sell large production-runs of appliances, no interest in competing with quality local commercial roasters, no desire to expand beyond our means. Around here they call me “the reluctant retailer”, and I admit a certain fascination with an era of simple small-business that had integity, not avarice.
This attitude has it’s positives and negatives. It can be a pain when a certain coffee description you need is not yet posted to the web page, our less-than-cutting-edge order system, or when the home roast digest isn’t working and I cant figure out how to fix it, etc. …but consider the alternative is a slick corporate web site with no information and a typical sales pitch with the sole goal of maximum income. I hope you understand … –Tom
SCAA Conference is April in S.F.
As always, I’ll be roaming the halls and conference rooms of the year 2000 SCAA (Specialty coffee was a term devised to mean higher levels of green coffee quality than average "industrial coffee" or "commercial coffee". At this point, the term is of... ...more Association of America) Conference in San Francisco this April 14-17th. The SCAA is the hub of the coffee world, with more focus on the top 5% of the world coffee production that truly qualifies as specialty. It is fitting to hold it in San Francisco because, despite claims to the contrary, the Bay Area is the true center of specialty coffee in the US. If you are interested in attending the conference, it is not cheap, but well worth it. There are discounted rates for admission to the trade floor show on Monday. More information can be found on the SCAA web site at www.scaa.org .
Sweet Maria’s Green coffee refers to the processed seed of the coffee tree fruit. Coffee is a flowering shrub that produces fruit. The seeds of the fruit are processed, roasted,... ...more Offerings on 3/13/00
Coffee is a crop; it comes and goes! Our web page always has the latest list of offerings: www.sweetmarias.com
***Central American*** 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Costa Rican Tarrazu LaMinita $7.30 $13.87 $31.76
Costa Rican La Pastora Tarrazu $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Guat. Grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, etc.: Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms... ...more Atitlan -Songbird $5.65 $10.74 $24.58
Guat. Organic/FairTrd.-El Quiche $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Guatemalan coffee is considered a top quality coffee producer in Central America. Due to our proximity to Guatemala, some of the nicest coffees from this origin come to... ...more Oriente -Tres Marias $4.75 $9.03 $20.66
Mexican Oaxaca Pluma -Fino Rojas $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Mexican Organic Pluma -Loxicha $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Nicaraguan SHG Gavilan A "coffee estate" is used to imply a farm that has its own processing facility, a wet-mill. In Spanish this is called an Hacienda. A Finca (farm) does... ...more $4.60 $8.74 $20.01
Nicaraguan SHG La Illusion $4.75 $9.03 $20.66
Panama coffee ranges from medium quality lower altitude farms to those at 1600 - 1800 meters centered in the area of Boquete in the Chirqui district near the... ...more Lerida Estate 99/00 $4.90 $9.31 $21.32
Salvador Organic Los Naranjos $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
***South American*** 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Brazil is a coffee giant . As Frank Sinatra sang, "they grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil".: Brazil is a coffee giant . As Frank Sinatra... ...more -Berrador Estate Acaiá $4.45 $8.46 $19.36
Brazil Cerrado-Monte Carmelo $4.40 $8.36 $19.14
Brazil Cerrado-Oberon 17/18 $4.70 $8.93 $20.45
Brazil Serra Negra 17/18 $4.55 $8.65 $19.79
Colombian Ibague Nevado A Colombian coffee grade referring to screen size of 17-18 screen. In the traditional bulk Arabica business, Supremo was the top grade Colombia, with Excelso one step below... ...more $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Colombian Narino Supremo $4.90 $9.31 $21.32
Colombian Organic Cauca $5.30 $10.07 $23.06
Colombian Reserva Del Patron $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Peruvian coffees have Central American brightness but in a South American coffee flavor package overall. The good organic lots do have more of a "rustic" coffee character.: Organic... ...more SHG Organic -Cuzco $4.95 $9.41 $21.53
***African, Arabian*** 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Kivu is the general name for East Congo (Kinshasa), covering a very broad geographical area, and the lake of the same name that divides them. It borders on... ...more Kivu $4.50 $8.55 $19.58
Ethiopian Djimmah Gr 5 $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
Ethiopian Harar Gr5 Horse $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Ethiopian Sidamo Gr.5 99/00 $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Gr2 $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Kenya is the East African powerhouse of the coffee world. Both in the cup, and the way they run their trade, everything is topnotch.: Kenya is the East... ...more AB Main Crop 98/99 $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Tanzanian A peaberry is a green coffee "bean" that has a rounded form: Coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of a flowering tree - each fruit having... ...more 99/00 $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Yemen has a coffee culture like no other place, and perhaps some of what we enjoy in this cup is due to their old style of trade...: Technically,... ...more The Yemeni type of coffee, both in terms of the family of cultivars planted there, and the general trade name.: Mokha Yemeni type of coffee, both in terms... ...more Ismaili $7.80 $14.82 $33.93
Yemen Mokha Mattari Al-Haj $7.00 $13.30 $30.45
Yemen Mokha Raimi 99/00 $6.90 $13.11 $30.02
Yemen Mokha Sana’ani -Saihi $6.90 $13.11 $30.02
From the country formerly known as upper Rhodesia in a country now named for the Zambezi River, Zambian coffees range from Kenya-like brightness to subtle, balanced coffee with... ...more AA Lilyvale Estate $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Zimbabwe, formerly known as lower Rhodesia until independence in 1980, has produced great coffee since production was introduced in the 1960s. Like Zambian coffees, these coffees are often... ...more AAA Pinnacle $5.60 $10.64 $24.36
***Indonesian, Indian*** 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Indian Monsooned Malabar $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Indian -Pearl Mountain Estate $4.90 $9.31 $21.32
There are several types of Abyssinia, but they are not from Ethiopia but rather Indonesia. Abyssinia 3 = AB3. PJS Cramer, a Dutch plant researcher, introduced this variety in 1928,... ...more Aged Old Brown $6.20 $11.78 $26.97
Java Gvt. Estate -Kayumas $5.10 $9.69 $22.19
Myanmar Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the taxonomic species name of the genus responsible for around 75% of the worlds commercial coffee crop.: Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the... ...more -Rubyland $3.50 $6.65 $15.23
Papua New Guinea (PNG) occupies the eastern half of the island it shares with the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, part of Indonesia. The two primary areas for... ...more A Org/Shade $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Papua New Guinea Mile High A $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Papua New Guinea Purosa AA $5.60 $10.64 $24.36
Sulawesi coffees are low-acid with great body and that deep, brooding cup profile akin to Sumatra. The coffee is sometimes known as Celebes, which was the Dutch colonial... ...more Toraja Gr 1 JP Prep $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Sulawesi Rantapao (Monsooned) $6.10 $11.59 $26.54
Indonesians are available as a unique wet-hulled or dry-hulled (washed) coffees. Giling Basah is the name for the wet-hulling process in Bahasa language, and will have more body... ...more A trade name used for wet-hulled Sumatra coffees. It is an area and a culture group as well (spelled Mandailing often) but there is not as much coffee... ...more Gr1 DP $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Sumatra Organic Gayo is ethnic group from the area of Aceh Sumatra around Lake Takengon. They use the name Gayo Coffee to market their production. The Acehnese are a different... ...more Mtn.Gr1 $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Sumatra Organic Gayoland.Gr1 $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Sumatra Blue Lintong Gr1 $5.30 $10.07 $23.06
Timor-Leste (East Timor) is a tiny island between Australia and Sulawesi, annexed by Indonesia and liberated in a referendum several years ago. Small scale coffee farming was jump-started... ...more Grade 1 -Aifu $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
***Islands, Blends, …*** 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Dominican -Montana Verde Estate $4.80 $9.12 $20.88
French Chicory was a popular coffee substitute and economizer for 2 centuries, back when coffee was more prized, and pure coffee was a luxury. : Chicory was a popular... ...more -Roasted $6.00 $11.40 $26.10
The Kona district on the big island of Hawaii produces the best coffee from this state - clean, sweet and mild. : Ah, Hawaii... what a nice place.... ...more Kona- Greenwell XtraFancy $15.20 $28.88 $66.12
Isle of Saint Helena $21.20 $40.28 $92.22
SM’s Moka Kadir Blend $5.80 $11.02 $25.23
SM’s A small coffee beverage, about 20 ml, prepared on an espresso machine where pressurized hot water extracted through compressed coffee.: In its most stripped-down, basic form, this is... ...more Monkey Blend $5.00 $9.50 $21.75
Sweet Maria’s Fr.RoastBlend $5.50 $10.45 $23.93
Malabar Gold Espresso Blend $6.00 $11.40 $26.10
***Decafs*** 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Brazil Santos SWP means Swiss Water Process is a patented water filtration decaf method, not a chemical solvent method. The plant is in Vancouver, Canada. ...more Decaf $5.40 $10.26 $23.49
Colombian Natural Decaf $5.20 $9.88 $22.62
Ethiopian Sidamo Co2 Decaf $6.20 $11.78 $26.97
IndonesianOrg.KomodoBlend SWP D $6.20 $11.78 $26.97
MexicanEsmeralda Natural D $4.70 $8.93 $20.45
Papua New Guinea Org SWP D $6.00 $11.40 $26.10
Sumatra Mandheling C02 Decaf $6.20 $11.78 $26.97
Sumatra Org.GayoMtn SWP Decaf $6.30 $11.97 $27.41
***Premium Robustas*** 1 lb 2 lb 5 lb
Indian Kaapi Royale Ateng is a common name for Catimor coffees widely planted in Sumatra and other Indonesia isles.: Ateng, with several subtypes, is a common name for Catimor coffees widely... ...more $5.15 $9.79 $22.40
Indian Monsooned Robusta usually refers to Coffea Robusta, responsible for roughly 25% of the world's commercial coffee. Taxonomy of Robusta is debated: some sources use “Robusta” to refer to any... ...more AA $5.30 $10.07 $23.06
PapuaNewGuinea Washed Robusta $3.90 $7.41 $16.97
Sweet Maria’s Coffee Roastery
9 E. 2nd Ave. * Columbus Ohio 43201
ph/fx:614 294 1816 * orders:888.876 5917