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Sweet Maria's New Classic Espresso
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ppopp
Senior Member
ppopp
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 305
Location: Boulder, CO
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Macap M4 Doser/Stepless
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: iRoast 2
Posted Thu Aug 13, 2009, 1:16pm
Subject: Sweet Maria's New Classic Espresso
 

I just noticed SM is offering a new espresso blend, not part of their workshop series, but a regular blend.  A replacement for Classic Italian (which I quite liked).  I just placed an order 3 days ago, and won't be ordering again anytime soon, so I'd love to hear what people think of this new blend, in particular compared to Monkey, Classic Italian and Liquid Amber (my current favorite).

And FYI, I wrote them and asked why they weren't getting any CR La Minita in this year.  The response was unsatisfying, and suggested there were still more lots coming in, but didn't say that La Minita was one of them.  I would rather be told that the CRLM beans aren't up to snuff this year and they passed on them.  Either way, it's unfortunate.  Usually one of my favorite beans.

 
Peter

------------------------------------------------------
Know beans, know coffee.  No beans, no coffee.
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BlueMoon
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jan 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Baratza Virtuouso
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Hario v60, Chemex, Clever...
Roaster: UFO/CO
Posted Thu Aug 13, 2009, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: Sweet Maria's New Classic Espresso
 

The following response comes from my analysis -- I am reading between the lines of what Tom has said on his site and in some blog posts.  SM is my favorite vendor, but other than that I have no dog in this issue:

First, let me say that I enjoy La Minita, and I can tell that Tom (owner of SM) respects both the coffee and the proprietor.  But it seems to me that Tom is looking to develop relationships with much smaller growing operations.  If you notice he has introduced "farm gate" programs with growers in an attempt to introduce more transparacy and to have a better feel for the quality of the coffee.  He visits these growers and is in a position to evaluate their growing, harvesting, and processing techniques.  I would also imagine he looks at how the workers are treated.  Costa Rica is becoming more and more "industrialized" and "institutionalized," and I think perhaps some of the "specialness" is being lost.  Going to small growers and buying quality coffee from them is an attempt to encourage best practices and keep specialty coffee in Costa Rica from becoming too uniform.  

As far as missing La Minita, I will let the man speak for himself (from June 08 and August 08):

"I cupped Yunta against LM and others and it while not the same flavor profile, was so much more complex. Thatís one reason you donít see the latter this year. When we are talking MicroLots, itís like pairing a small coffee buyer, and a small coffee producer, both passionately working on different ends of the spectrum but with the same dedication. Itís really the right match for us. Large farms think about the things large businesses anywhere think about, from their product to their employees to their methods to their approach to new ideas. It can be alienating for us, and they donít take our concerns to heart, whereas we now have partners in CR that, when I am brainstorming some wacky experiment (ie RIP coffee and the like) they are as interested and motivated to try it as we areÖ" -Tom

"For me, finding regular lots that COULD be auction winners, that in a competition would be priced exponentially higher, but are offered at much more reasonable prices (that still mean the farmers are paid really well) .. thatís what I we focus onÖ"

Anyway, thanks for providing me a 30 min time waster.  I knew he had addressed this issue on his weblog somewhere.
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Jeebs
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 147
Location: Montana
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Virtuoso, Le'Lit PL53
Vac Pot: Yama
Drip: KMB, CCD
Roaster: Whirly-Pop
Posted Thu Aug 13, 2009, 1:56pm
Subject: Re: Sweet Maria's New Classic Espresso
 

I just ordered a pound to try when I'm not concocting my own blends. Sounds like good stuff.  I was a fan of the Classic Italian, and lately have been enjoying my own versions of it, but this new one sounds like a good replacement.
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ppopp
Senior Member
ppopp
Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 305
Location: Boulder, CO
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Macap M4 Doser/Stepless
Drip: Clever Coffee Dripper
Roaster: iRoast 2
Posted Thu Aug 13, 2009, 3:21pm
Subject: Re: Sweet Maria's New Classic Espresso
 

Blue Moon - Thanks for that.  I can certainly appreciate that point of view.  Still makes me sad, though.  I'll have to try to find it somewhere else, and see if I can notice the decrease in quality.  In the bright side, I will have 2 pounds of Organic La Yunta Estate arriving as part of my order in a day or two.

 
Peter

------------------------------------------------------
Know beans, know coffee.  No beans, no coffee.
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tallyjd
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Mar 2009
Posts: 105
Location: SE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi SI ii
Grinder: Baratza Vario, M4
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Fri Aug 14, 2009, 12:14pm
Subject: Re: Sweet Maria's New Classic Espresso
 

I also ordered 5 pounds.  Should be arriving middle of next week (east coast).  In the meantime I have fallen back in love with Monkey Blend.  Got away from it for a while but roasted just a touch darker than I was before, and it made a world of difference.  I am really looking forward to trying this new blend.  I have ordered enough from SM to know that you read the notes and if it sounds good, just order it because they are always right on target.  Love this vendor.
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