Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks: Featuring Ryan Part II

June 11, 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.  Ryan loves cold coffee – iced coffee, flash brew, cold brew, you name it. This time around, she’s picked some prime options for iced drinks that will keep you cool all summer long. Check out her picks from February 2020 here.


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:

Colombia Machin Rosemberg Martinez: Bring on the funk! Fruit notes in this coffee remind me of sweet cider apples – full immersion cold brew lends the coffee additional body and has a boozy quality that make me eager to experiment. If you’re feeling daring, try brewing this Colombia as a concentrate (the Prismo works perfectly) and mix with a dash of tonic water for a refreshing (virgin) coffee cocktail.

Papua New Guinea Baroida Estate: This PNG is the rare coffee that I prefer brewed cold rather than hot. This coffee has a weighty body, reminiscent of apple juice. I roasted to City+ and brewed using the slow drip method (the Bruer makes this easy). In the resulting brew, some of t he more rustic notes in the coffee faded to the back while bright citrus popped. I find that some acidity adds depth to cold coffee but, if you prefer a darker/mellower roast, this PNG will hold up nicely.

Burundi Kayanza Dusangirijambo Coop: Burundi has always been one of my favorite origins for iced coffee – coffees from Burundi tend to be complex, with baking spice, citrus and a tannic quality that brings to mind an iced black tea with lemon. I tried roasting this coffee a little darker than I typically go, to Full City – the resulting mix of chocolate and stone fruit made my flash brew taste like a cherry Coke.

Ethiopia Limu Musa Aba Lulesa: This Ethiopia is firmly in my roundhouse – beautifully clean, with light floral notes and complex fruit flavors that shift in character from citrus to stone fruit to berry across the roast spectrum. Brew it hot, brew it cold, roast it light, roast it dark – it’s impossible to go wrong with this coffee.

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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