Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks: Featuring Ryan

Feb. 14, 2020

Meet Ryan. She makes sure all the merchandise on our site stock is listed properly and stays in stock (when possible). Her role extends to our wholesale company, Coffee Shrub, where she assists in sales.  She had worked in the coffee industry for over 5 years before working at Sweet Maria’s so we figured she would be the perfect team member to lead off our series of coffee features chosen by our awesome staff.



Name: Ryan

Position: Merchandise Manager/Coffee Shrub Sales

Coffee Approach: I’ve been with Sweet Maria’s since 2017 and working in specialty coffee since 2014. My years as a barista and cafe manager instilled a love of experimentation;  name virtually any brew method, from espresso to vacuum to kegging nitro cold brew and  I’ve tried it. Nowadays, you can find me at home brewing the same coffee five different ways to see what version I like best. I like bright, tangy coffees; for me, fruity and floral is the name of the game, so I often find myself gravitating toward African origins.

Fun Fact: My best friend is a 3-year old pug named Steve McQueen. Steve is the king of cool and will drink my coffee straight out of the mug if left unattended.


My Picks:

Ethiopia Kochore Jet Hama: This is my idea of a dreamboat coffee – if you’ve ever wondered what we mean by a floral coffee, try Jet Hama! You can roast up to Full City, but stick to City/City+ to emphasize the more perfume-y qualities. Fans of gesha will go ga-ga over Jet Hama – this is a coffee I trot out at home to impress company. Check out my post about Jet Hama as cold brew here.

Kenya Othaya Gura AB: Kenya was my first love of specialty coffee and, drinking Othaya Gura, it’s easy to see why. The name of the game with this coffee is F-R-U-I-T, though a different kind of fruitiness than what one might see in a dry process coffee: think complex citrus with a dash of tropical – dare I say pineapple? I roasted to City because I’m a fan of snappy acidity, but you can definitely take Othaya Gura darker without losing its core character

Rwanda Kivu Kageyo: Perfect dual use coffee! Roasted to City, the brewed cup is brimming with warm spice notes and berry tartness that reminds me of homemade cranberry sauce. Still, where Kivu Kageyo really shines is as a single origin espresso. I roasted to Full City and the resulting shot was creamy as can be, bursting with grape jelly and dark chocolate.

Burundi Rwiri Yagikawa Station: I’ve been excitedly anticipating our new Burundi arrivals, and this coffee is what I was waiting for! At City, Yagikawa is so, so sweet – buoyant body, all pink grapefruit balanced out with sugar and spice. Espresso at Full City reminded me of Mexican hot cocoa – thick and chocolate-y with a peppery spiced finish. Delicious!

Ryan takes a coffee break in our Oakland warehouse


If Steve looks sad, it’s only because he knows this Kenya SL-34 plant needs watering!


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