HomeRoast Digest


Topic: a note from guatemala (3 msgs / 119 lines)
1) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Hi all - i have been traveling so much that i am virtually absent 
from the homeroast list! however, I have good internet access here in 
Antigua, Guatemala, so i thought i would file a report to the 
homeroast news bureau. The El Salvador cup of excellence competition 
ended yesterday, and of course i have a full spread sheet with all my 
scoring (I do this for my own purposes so I can see how I ranked my 
favorite coffees as they passed through the various rounds). I 
haven't uploaded the spreadsheet as an html document yet, and I am 
really not so sure this is very interesting or useful to anyone but 
me ... but I suppose it shows you the process. In that regard, I have 
tried to make a whole "cupping competition video", something I will 
piece together from footage i shot at Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua 
cupping events. And I am going to take my time editing it and try to 
make it fairly comprehensive. This isnt like the Gene Caffe vidoe ... 
I actually bought a 3 CCD video camera to make this look a bit better 
than the other video.
I guess a question people might want to ask is "how are the coffees 
this year?" Its a trick question because making an overall statement 
about the quality of a certain crop from a certain country means you 
are not only looking at top coffees, but cupping the pooled lots and 
the non-competition coffees. The fact is, even in a year where there 
are quality problems, where there was unseasonable weather, etc, 
there is ALWAYS going to be good lots of coffee, and they are going 
to be found in the competitions. I can say for sure that the final 
table in Panama, the top 8 coffees, were all INCREDIBLE! And take 
note that the Finca Carmen 1800 Meter lot, the EXACT same lot we are 
selling (Carlos literally pulled 5 bags from the sweet marias lot and 
entered it in the competition), won the 3rd position. The auction lot 
will cost A LOT more than what we are selling now, and I bet we are 
getting low as I write this. We WILL be getting non-auction lot La 
Esmeralda Gesha in a month or so too, which will also be a "deal" 
compared to the auction lot of the same coffee. I can't discuss the 
coffees we are going after in the auctions, but we will have a broad 
array of auction lots this year. Anyway Honduras: Honduras always has 
some great coffees and some "problem" coffees. Honduras is so 
incredibly under-rated - good Honduran coffees surpass so many 
high-profile Central coffees, Tarrazu, Antigua, etc., and the number 
one coffee in the Honduras CoE kinda shocked everyone in the coffee 
community there: it was a Pacamara. If you check out my pictures of 
the trip (in our Coffee Library section) you will see photos of the 
farm. A lot of great Honduran coffee comes from the borders, from the 
areas near El Salvador, near Guatemala ... but the winning coffee was 
smack dab from the middle of Honduras. Nicaragua was an interesting 
jury, with George Howell, the founder of Cup of Excellence and of the 
Coffee Connection (and now Terroir coffee) taking a place on the 
jury. Interesting dynamics there. I think we might have been too hard 
on the coffees, scored them a bit lower than we should have. But 
great coffees were found and the top 20 are solid top tier coffees. 
El Salvador finals was where I scored some of my highest scores ever: 
a Pacamara I gave 98 points (thats using the CoE form, which is 
higher scoring than my own form). There were 5 lots in the top 10 I 
thought were AMAZING coffees. Instead of flying to Guat from El Salv 
I jumped in a rented van with Duane from Stumptown (Geoff from 
Intelligentsia was supposed to join us but we couldn't find hime!) 
and drove to Antigua, just 2.5 hours. We will go to Guat City fof the 
start of the much anticipated Guatemala Cup of Excellence on Monday 
Am. This was probably the hardest jury to get on this year, and 
everyone has very high expectaions. I have to say that I have some 
inside sources on the national pre-selection jury that said fewer 
samples than anticipated were submitted and cup quality on some was 
iffy and they were bounced out. But, as I said with the other 
origins, there are always excellent coffees that get fleshed out in 
the competition process, and I know the lots that go to auction are 
going to be very special. I just suspect that the top 10 in Salvador 
may have been the best on the circuit this year. Well, thats about 
it, and I will return in a week ... we should be uploading new lots 
in about 10-12 days (no not these auction coffees, that takes about 
6-8 weeks to do all the milling, exporting, shipping ...). Poor maria 
has had to hold down the fort alone for many, many weeks this year 
while I am out here cupping my brains out. So be kind to her ... its 
not easy.
Tom
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com

2) From: Woody DeCasere
Thanks for the report Tom cant wait for the new coffee's to come out. Sound=
s
like you are having a great time hopefully you are getting to enjoy the
local culture as well.
Woody
On 5/27/06, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee 

3) From: Gary Townsend
Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee wrote:
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The fact is, even in a year where there are quality problems, where there
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All I can say is...Wow !!!
I think I might be doubling my order...skipping my normal monthly 15#
'spouse imposed' allotment for June and doubling up on my July order....if I
can hold out that long....
-- 
Albert Einstein - "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent
one


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