Meet Dan. He cups a lot of coffee and helps decide which of those coffees will end up on Sweet Maria’s and Coffee Shrub’s offerings lists. You may have seen him in many of our Behmor-based Youtube videos.
How did you become interested in coffee?
My interest in coffee started back around the time that I realized coffee could taste very different. This revelation came by way of a small 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 a working definition for espresso: A small stand in my hometown of Seattle, Washington, Espresso Vivace, run by David Schomer. Their espresso was extracted slowly, the baristas intent on “getting it right”, and what a double espresso lacked in volume, it more than made up for in We have a simple scale to rate intensity in our coffee reviews, from Mild to Bold. Low intensity does not mean low quality!: We have a simple scale to rate intensity, from Mild to Bold. of flavor. That I was able to taste this difference was empowering in some way I guess. At the very least, I recognized that coffee could be more than just Bitterness is one of 5 basic tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter and Umami (savory flavors). There are many types of bitterness, hence not one avenue to tracking down its source. Bitterness as a positive quality, that Preparation refers to the dry-milling steps of preparing coffee for export: hulling, grading, classifying, sorting.: Preparation refers to the dry-milling steps of preparing coffee for export: hulling, grading, classifying, sorting. Sorting means using density sorters seemed to impact flavor.
Around that time, a neighbor of mine told me he was roasting coffee in a popcorn popper. I was intrigued that something I had only seen on a large-ish scale could be done in your kitchen, with a popper no less! He told me about Sweet Maria’s, and when I moved to Oakland a few years later, I dropped by the West Oakland warehouse to make my first purchase. It was a pretty profound experience to see such a long list of coffees from more origins than I could count on my two hands, and with flavor descriptions that emphasized difference. I was hooked.
I was a Sweet Maria’s customer and fan first, roasting coffee in my oven, popper, and eventually a Behmor. After about a year of picking up orders at the warehouse I got up the nerve to ask them for a job, and thankfully, they obliged! This gave me greater access to 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, ground and prepared as an infusion.: Coffee and the opportunity to use different types of coffee roasters. That’s when my interest in coffee really exploded.
These days it seems like roasting coffee is mostly something I do for work, rather than a hobby I indulge in. That said, I still find time to fire up my A popular electric drum roaster designed for home use, with variable batch sizes (from 1/4 pound to 1 pound) and a smoke-reduction system. It has been modified and upgraded in refining the base model over the years. 1600 or popcorn popper at least once a month just for fun!
What coffees did you pick and why?
Ethiopia Guji Hambela Dabaye – Depending on the coffee, sometimes roasting very light means sacrificing Sweetness is an important positive quality in fine coffees, and is one of five basic tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Savory (Umami). In coffee, sweetness is a highly desirable quality, and the green bean has. Not the case with Hambela. City roasts have this Vanilla notes in coffee are often related to caramelization notes, as butter and vanilla can be found in flavors and aromatics of roast reactions from reducing of sugars./brown sugar flavor that reminds me of cream soda, and the coffee cools to The co-presence of many aroma and flavor attributes, with multiple layers. A general impression of a coffee, similar to judgments such as "balanced" or "structured" stone fruit and baking spice notes. Also worth noting that if you’re a fan of Wet-processing starts by removing the outer skin of the coffee cherry with a machine called a pulper, then fermenting the remaining fruit (with green bean inside) in water for 8-36 hours. The fermentation breaks down Ethiopian espresso, Hambela is a home run. It has this A mouthfeel description indicating a delicate, light, elegant softness and smoothness. Usually refers to a lighter body than terms such as velvety, or creamy. A general flavor or aroma term reminiscent of chocolate. But what type? Usually described with more specifics.: Chocolate is a broad, general flavor or aroma term reminiscent of chocolate. But what type? There are so/peach flavor combination in the City+ roast is an ideal roast level that occurs roughly between 425 and 435 degrees Fahrenheit in many coffee roasters with a responsive bean probe where First Crack starts in the 395 to 405 degree/Full City roast is what we define as the earliest palatable stage that the roast process can be stopped and result in good quality coffee. City roast occurs roughly between 415 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit in range that’s a real knockout. I didn’t give this coffee an espresso recommendation in the review, mainly because it will be too bright for some. But I love it.
Colombia Caicedo Las Alegrias – The coffees we’re buying from Caicedo and neighboring Urrao are truly something special. You see a lot of Catimor is a broad group of cultivars derived from a Hibrido de Timor (HdT) and Caturra cross, highly productive, sometimes with inferior cup flavor. The main issue is the Robusta content in HdT, although this USDA is (obviously) the United States Department of Agriculture. USDA also had coffee plant breeding programs in the past and one variety they distributed to Indonesia and was widely planted is called USDA (sounds like growing at extremely high altitudes, nearly 2200 meters above sea level in parts of Caicedo. It’s very cold too, which extends the A key part of the wet process of coffee fruit is overnight fermentation, to break down the fruit (mucilage) layer that tenaciously clings to the coffee seed, so it can be washed off. Fermentation must time, and can lead to Can refer to fruited flavor or sometimes mouthfeel. In terms of flavor, which is how we normally use it, pulpy fruit, it tends toward the rustic side of things, distinct from dried fruit or over-ripe fruit flavors in the cup. The best examples are a complex mix of raw sugar sweetness, In some coffee taster’s lexicon, “fruity” means the coffee is tainted with fruit, and “fruited” means a coffee is graced by positive fruit notes. We don't exactly see the difference in terms of these two undertones, and a level of Acidity is a positive flavor attribute in coffee, also referred to as brightness or liveliness. It adds a brilliance to the cup, whereas low acid coffees can seem flat. Acidity can sound unattractive. People may that comes with High Grown, or HG, is a coffee designation that can mean different things in different countries. : High Grown, or HG, is the highest quality Mexican coffee designation but in Nicaragua it means 2nd quality., dense coffee. This lot is made up of coffee from a small handful of farms in Caicedo and is a nice example of a 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 and proportion of qualities, and perhaps a of these flavor characteristics.
El Salvador Santa Ana Pacamara AAA – I’m a sucker for the “odd duck” and always up for a challenge. This coffee ticks off both of these boxes for the same reason – gargantuan bean size! The As the name implies, Pacamara is a large bean cultivar, a cross between Pacas and Maragogype with unique flavor properties. This variant originated in El Salvador in 1958, and has spread to nearby Central American Hibrido de Timor abbreviated HdT is the interspecies hybrid of C. Arabica and C. Canephora (Robusta) that was found in Timor Leste in the 1940s. It has been the bases of plant breeding for disease is a cross of A mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Salvador in 1949: Pacas is a natural mutation of Bourbon cultivar that appeared in El Salvador in 1949. It has good cup character, and is an and Maragoype, and is generally known to have very high cup potential when roasted well. Light roasts are where this coffee shows the most cup complexity. But because of the large bean size this can be tricky to achieve without winding up with a raw center. The safe bet is to go about 15-30 seconds beyond where you would normally pull your batch for a City roast level. If you have manual heat control on your roaster, you can try slowing things down through the drying phase, ramping up heat after the coffee turns yellow. Don’t slow things down too much though, as a baked coffee is a flat coffee. When you get it just right, this coffee’s soooo nice – balanced sweetness, with brilliant citric impressions and A term used to describe coffees with light, tannic, slighly astringent mouthfeel and tea aromatics. We find it in some Rwandan flavor profiles, among others. top notes. Delicious!
We turned Dan’s list into it’s own Green Coffee Sample Set. Check it out!