Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks: Featuring Hadley

Our staff takes turns sharing their favorite coffees from our current green coffee offering list…

Meet Hadley. Hadley works in Sweet Maria’s warehouse and is part of the reason why our operation runs smoothly and why coffee orders get out the door quickly. He claims his viewpoint on coffee is “novice” but we think his opinions serve his own taste buds. Being able to distinguish nice flavors in different coffees is part of the enjoyment of home roasting…and if you are enjoying coffee, you are doing it right. Here’s Hadley’s picks and notes on why he liked each coffee, all written while waiting in line at the Taco Bell drive thru!

Staff Picks - Hadley
Yoda … uh, no Hadley

I can’t say I have a great sense of taste.

Right now I’m waiting in the Taco Bell drive through line which ironically is next door to a far superior taco truck. To make my proximity even more ironic, the drive through line is so full that it’s boiled out of the parking lot, positioning my car directly in front of said superior taco truck (which has no line).

Anyway, I’ve been asked to pick a selection of coffees and write a brief description of their taste and why I picked them. Mostly due to heartburn, I’ve avoided drinking coffee my whole life until I started working at Sweet Maria’s. So to say the least, my thoughts should be taken as nothing more than a novice, highly caffeinated viewpoint.

Nonetheless, here’s what I think about the following four coffees:

Peru Nuevo Trujillo Marcial Olivera:

Tastes like coffee. I eat a lot of oatmeal topped with brown sugar, so my first instinct is to relate this taste to that of brown sugar. Reading the provided descriptions on the Peru’s label, I note “opaque date sugar sweetness” is listed just above “hints of tree nut”. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a date, much less an opaque one. However, being that dates are brown, as is brown sugar, I’ll say that’s a fair characteristic of this coffee. I don’t know about tree nuts though.

Ethiopia Organic Yirga Cheffe Chelbesa Danche:

I picked this one because it’s recently showed up in practically every order I’ve packed. I might say this is the smoothest coffee I’ve ever had, but I have a pretty unreliable memory. Ten outta ten.

Brazil Dry Process Sítio do Engenho:

This review has greatly illuminated how under developed my sense of taste is. My initial notes for this coffee were “bright like a fruit”. A fruit. I think if given a blind taste test of a variety of fruits I’d be able to distinguish an orange from a strawberry, but that might be the extent of my fruit recognition.

Side note, I have finally reached the Taco Bell menu and ordered a medium Baja Blast. I’ll soon attempt to identify any hints or notes I taste in this unnaturally blue beverage.

Honduras San Vicente Feliciano Sabillon:

This one was sweet, but more chocolate sweet vs the earlier brown sugar sweet. I also pick up an “opaque” peanut flavor. Although, it’s more likely a hint from my earlier peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Staff Picks Sample Set

In conclusion, I’m sure the majority of people reading this review will likely have their own, more mature preferences of coffee taste and will likely scoff at my unseasoned palate. But to me, coffee tastes like coffee. I drink it to ward off the debilitating headaches and to form a sense of accomplishment earlier on in the day. Some may taste more like a fruit, while some hint more in the direction of tree nuts. Take your pick.

Also see:

Sweet Maria’s Supports World Coffee Research

Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks: Featuring Thompson

6 Responses

  1. I just have to know: So did you roll down your window and shout an order to the guy at the vastly superior taco truck instead of holding out for Taco Bell?

    I loved your review. Very honest and not at all snooty like some can be. Hope to hear from you again.

  2. I think you have an excellent potential sideline, Hadley, writing honest reviews of cigars and wine, in particular, which frequently refer to flavors such as “leather” and “earth” and other things sane people normally avoid tasting. BTW, I roasted some of the Brazilian you reviewed last night, and it got to smokiness faster than I expected and stunk the place up beautifully. I tried to place the odd smell — was it dates, perhaps, or breadfruit, or something else? My wife came home and said “caramel,” which makes sense. Some of the sugar in the beans had burned to produce exactly that. I don’t know how it tasted — I mailed it to my parents.

  3. I want to know why you preferred the cardboard tortillas they serve at taco hell to the taco truck which you admitted was better? Actually, anything is better than taco hell.

  4. I am really liking the Ethiopia Chelbesa Danche too! It came as one of the beans in my sampler set (a big thank you to whomever chose the coffees and packed my order!). I have always been convinced that I didn’t like lighter roasts and thought those brighter, acidic notes were why. But maybe I’d just had bad light roasts, because I am really liking this Ethiopian. It has what I would consider to be plenty of brightness, but it is smooth and pleasing to me at the same time. I have also been enjoying light-medium roasted beans from Rwanda and Burundi, and based on my previous assumptions, I’d thought I might not like these as much. So my horizons have already been expanded quite a bit in my first 10 days of messing around with roasting! I still struggle to pick up a lot of the flavor notes other people do, but my experience with cigars and booze back in the day tells me that it will take time to build up a mental database of coffees and what they taste like in relation to each other. Then it becomes a bit easier, I think.

    I enjoyed the reviews and notes on the coffees!

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