Sweet Maria’s Kenya Kirinyaga-Thimu Peaberry

SweetMariasLogoI blazed these peaberries to a awesome Full City roast amid a glorious storm of flying chaff, floating and drifting off my second story balcony and all over my neighbor’s porch and parked cars.

It’s a bit of a mess.  But good coffee is worth it.

And this is good coffee, though I’m not as impressed with it as I have been with others I’ve gotten from Sweet Maria’s.

The good:  Nice and fresh (of course!) and featuring a natural rustic sweetness.  Rich and tasty.

The bad:  The winey-berry notes are awfully subtle, to the point where after the first blush of flavor this coffee comes off as bland.  No complexity and no character.  My guess is that this bean would best be used in blending, to tone down another coffee, rather than be used as a single-bean brew.

A good thing to remember if you’re into blending.  Which I’m not.  I just want to grind, brew, and drink it. 

Oh, and roast it occasionally.

Sweet Maria’s Brazil Coromandel-Fazenda Sao Joao

SweetMariasLogo"Coromandel-Fazenda Sao Joao?"

I dare you to say that three times, fast.

Yet another home roast, I cooked these up to what they call a "full city" or very dark brown, but not black.  Once again, my $7 eBay air popper turned coffee-roaster did a great job, producing yet another brew that is so good it’s blowing the bell curve for the rest of my non-home-roasted reviews.

Home roasting is the way to go, people.  Seriously.  Buying green beans is much cheaper, they keep for a long long time without you having to worry about them going stale.  It takes less than 15 minutes to roast enough to last you a week.  It tastes better than you can possibly imagine — assuming you’ve never had uber-fresh roasted coffee before.

If you just can’t be bothered with the zen task of home roasting, then I highly recommend you buy from a micro-roaster such as some of the ones I’ve featured here.

Sermon over.  I’m climbing down from the fresh-coffee-smelling podium.

I kind of blew the ending, didn’t I?  I already stated this coffee is awesome.  Well, let me also say that it has a strong, full body without being overwhelming, a very rich taste, with overtones of walnut and dark chocolate.  There’s a good, active zing without being overly acidic.  The aftertaste fades to a warm, comfy wood-smoke glow, leaving you with a sense of peace and well-being.

Or at least it does me, because I’ve got enough to last me a while and I’m so happy I do!  This, my friends, is a bona fide groovy brew.