Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks: Featuring Julio

Apr. 6, 2020

Meet Julio. It would be an understatement to say that he does a lot of things around here. On an average day, you can find him running our cupping lab, managing warehouse projects and working on Bullet roasters. He’s real handy with a Probat L12 too, so if you have been purchasing roasted coffee from us over the past few years, Julio probably roasted it. It’s also an understatement to say that Julio knows good coffee so check out what coffees he’s selected for this month’s Staff Picks.

Name: Julio Nungaray

Position: Cupping Lab Manager, Facilities Manager, Tom’s Assistant, Head Roaster, Aillio Bullet Technician and many other things.

Coffee Approach: I have been a part of Sweet Maria’s team since 2015. This my first coffee job, but coffee has always been a very important part of my daily life. If you asked me 10 years ago what coffees I liked, I would say an ashy espresso or a very dark roast drip with sugar and cream. Then I encountered black coffee without sugar or cream for the first time in Sweet Maria’s employee break room (you will never find sugar or cream there).

Since trying specialty coffee for the first time at Sweet Maria’s, I have developed an unbelievable love for this amazing drink. I consider myself a very lucky person to be working next to Tom in the Lab. I am able to see, roast, and cup all our coffees from offers, pre-shipments to arrivals. I have developed a preference for clean, tea-like and floral coffees.

Fun Fact: I have an 8-year-old son that loves the beach. Sometimes he acts like an old dude, asking to stay in a 5-star hotel for his birthday and he just wanted to watch movies and order room service (I think he watched home alone too many times).


My Picks:

Burundi Kayanza Gahahe: My second favorite origin from Africa. To me, Burundi’s coffees offer the best tea-like experience. I roasted this coffee to City on a Bullet. I am a fan of light roasts and this coffee shines at City with sweet, clean, and that bright lemon spritz at the end, but do not hesitate to stretch it a little bit more after the first crack, maybe to a City + if you like a little more body and chocolate. It will hold its brightness.

Colombia Inza Las Estrellas: Coffees from Inza are never a disappointment, especially this lot that we have received for  years in a row. Again, I did a light roast to bring out those tea-like flavors that I am obsessed with and this one has my favorite spice, “clove”, along with panela sweetness and bitter notes of golden apple. Delicious. If you let it roll a little more you will not be disappointed since those dark fruited notes will start to show up.

Ethiopia Limu Musa Aba Lulesa: I left the best for last. Ethiopia is my favorite origin, especially Ethiopias from the Limu region. The cup is so clean and bright at City roast. I did a City roast on a Bullet, let it roll just over 2 minutes past first crack and got the perfect amount of citrus flavors plus those peach and apricot notes that I love tasting in Limu coffees.


Hey Aillio Bullet users! Here’s the roast profiles.