Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks: Featuring Patrick

Meet Patrick. He works in our warehouse and makes sure our green coffee and merchandise goes to where it needs to go. Like many of the staff at Sweet Maria’s, Patrick loves great coffee and has an interesting background story that brought him to his current position with us.

How did you become interested in coffee?

Originally from Alabama I did not know what ‘good’
coffee was and in fact didn’t drink coffee at all. I lived in the Bay
Area from 2011-2013 and in that time discovered craft coffee while
hanging out with the manager of Blue Bottle (PRE NESTLE) in the Ferry
Building before hours. She would often hand me multiple cups of coffee
and ask me what flavors were found. I don’t know if she ever used my
descriptions but it was a very sweet experience that forever changed
my perspective on coffee, especially after I had my first Ethiopian
Dry Process.

Life brought me back to Alabama to which I was quickly reminded how
dire the coffee situation is there and was forced to find a solution
for myself. I remembered hearing about Sweet Maria’s and looked them
up. Soon I was roasting in my oven and enjoying amazing coffee. I had
the honor and responsibility to share it with my roommates, since it
would be their first time trying craft coffee.

That event rippled out into my family, friends, neighbors, even
passerby’s… I was suddenly selling roasted coffee to almost everyone
I knew and it was almost exclusively Dry Process. Apparently, I just
couldn’t stop pushing the good stuff and gave some to a
local doughnut shop which prompted the owner to offer a position. He
said, “If I buy a roaster, would you roast coffee for us?” Totally
bewildered and grateful, I accepted
the offer and found over time that I thoroughly enjoyed the roasting
process even more than the drink itself.

Life brought me back to the Bay Area in 2018 and one of the first
places I visited was Sweet Maria’s. I left with a coffee plant and a
position on the team haha! By now I have been roasting on and off for
6 years and working with green beans at Sweet Maria’s for 2 years. Out
of all these experiences and varieties nothing catches my attention
like an Ethiopian Dry Process.

Why are all your picks dry processed coffees?

I chose all Dry Process because the flavor potential can be so expansive and wild based on where I came from with the basic ‘coffee’ flavor, just coffee and nothing special. I’ll enjoy just about anything but I’m always on the hunt for the funky flavors that Dry Process has to offer, especially blueberry. I lost count of how many minds were blown in Alabama when I handed them a cup of black coffee that tasted like blueberries. Dry Process is incredibly popular and Ethiopian Organic’s typically do not stay on the shelf for long.

Ethiopia Dry Process Hambela Goro – Roasted to full city, it tastes like chocolate covered berries! Heavy stone fruit notes. A very good Dry Process.

Ethiopia Organic Dry Process Sidamo Bookkisa – This is literally flying off the shelf right now. At full city it is lightly fruited,
particularly berry but surprisingly delicate for a Dry Process. Honestly it almost seems like it is Washed! Highly recommend this exceptional Dry Process.

Ethiopia Organic Dry Process Guji Birbisa – A full city roast gives off a bright cup with milk chocolate covered cherries and cola at the end!

Get all of these coffees in our Staff Picks Sample Set

10 Responses

  1. I already have 5 months supply of green beans, but if I could get a coupon I would buy these 3 dry roasted Ethiopia recommendations. I get your emails, but haven’t seen any coupons. Liked the staff coffee story.

    1. Hi Fred. Keep an eye out coupon codes starting next week. We’ll be sharing them in our emailer. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Peter – yes for us its a great way to feature coffees through the lens of what people are roasting and drinking here. It gives everyone on staff a voice too. A win-win for us…

  2. This is the first time I looked up Staff Picks. Sad I didn’t do it earlier. I love the background bios. I am marooned in Alabama, have been for many moons, Patrick’s write-up resonated with me. I will follow his suggestion on the Ethiopian Dry Process.

  3. Patrick’s list is what I’ve been looking for…another connoisseur of the dry process blueberry. An ongoing list of his personal favourites would be greatly appreciated.

  4. Wonderful story. I suspect at some point I may begin selling fresh roasted coffee here in Queens, NY.

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