Sweet Maria's Coffee
Tom's recordings about coffee from regions abroad and at home in California's SF Bay Area.
info_outline Kafa in the Morning, Ethiopia 01/08/2019
Kafa in the Morning, Ethiopia Okay, this is a "podcast" with zero edits, just a voice recording basically. It's a December early morning in the origin of coffee origins, which is Kafa, Ethiopia, near the town of Bonga. I talk slow as molasses about various experiences and thoughts from the last couple weeks in Ethiopia. Maybe this is super boring. It's not like I am really into these monologues, but when I am jetlagged and inspired (odd combination), my resistance to rambling on is particularly low.
info_outline Talking With Jonas About Aillio and The Bullet R1 Roaster 09/10/2018
Talking With Jonas About Aillio and The Bullet R1 Roaster The inventor or the Bullet R1 coffee roaster, Jonas Lillie visited Sweet Maria's for our Bullet meet up event. He was also in town to show Tom and Julio some details about the internals of these awesome machines. One day, we hit the record button during a conversation/repair session in hopes of it turning into an informative podcast episode and Youtube video.
info_outline Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 2 07/23/2018
Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 2 Part 2 of 2 - Thompson and Alistair Sequeira talk about coffee and lotsa other stuff.
info_outline Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1 07/16/2018
Burundi Conversation with Alistair Sequeira - Part 1 Part 1 of talk about the coffee supply chain among other topics
info_outline Kenya Coffee PART2: Growing, Trading and Marketing 04/03/2018
Kenya Coffee PART2: Growing, Trading and Marketing Tom chats with Kenya coffee experts about the Kenyan coffee trade (Part 2 of 2)
info_outline Kenya Coffee PART 1: Growing, Trading and Marketing 04/03/2018
Kenya Coffee PART 1: Growing, Trading and Marketing Tom chats with Kenya coffee experts about the Kenyan coffee trade (Part 1 of 2)
info_outline Coffee and Microorganisms: Los Palomos Colombia 09/06/2017
Coffee and Microorganisms: Los Palomos Colombia Here is the audio from a video that Tom shot on a trip to Colombia. "This is a long form talk with Leo and Jenni Henao at the farm in Urrao Antioquia, Colombia. Maybe of interest to farmers and gardeners more than coffee. Leo and I are friends and I'm trying to get him to laugh in this video. But the topic and his use of micro-organisms in composting is very interesting!" -Tom CLICK HERE to watch the video.
info_outline Indonesian Coffee with Coffee Trader, David Shewmaker 08/28/2017
Indonesian Coffee with Coffee Trader, David Shewmaker An informative conversation with Daniel Shewmaker of MTC coffee traders, who sources coffee in Indonesia. He also grew up in Sulawesi and speaks Bahasa! While in Timor and Flores we were having good conversations about Indonesia coffee processing and quality, and the way it relates (or doesn't) to current coffee trade trends. -Tom
info_outline A conversation with John Karuru - Kenyan Agronomist 07/08/2016
A conversation with John Karuru - Kenyan Agronomist John Karuru is a Kenyan agronomist who works in Rwanda, and a person of wide-ranging knowledge. If you want to know how to escape a charging hippo, John's your man. In fact our conversation veers away from coffee quickly, but John's stories about growing up in East Africa are so entertaining. Where do they smoke coffee leaves? John knows. Hope you enjoy this one ... -Thompson
info_outline Kenya Coffee with Mette-Marie Hansen 02/03/2016
Kenya Coffee with Mette-Marie Hansen During his trip to Nairobi in Dec. of 2015, Tom had this casual conversation with Mette-Marie "Mia" Hansen about the confusing Kenyan coffee world and what it's like being a woman in this financial end of the coffee trade. Mia works for C. Dorman Coffee Exporters as a buyer and trader that also buys coffee from Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopa.
info_outline Coffee Cultivation in Colombia PART 2 11/12/2015
Coffee Cultivation in Colombia PART 2 PART 2. This isn't really a podcast. It's a recorded Skype conversation. The quality is pretty low. But if you are dying to know details of the issues facing coffee farmers in Colombia, there's some nuggets of wisdom in here (if you can hear them over the car alarm in the background, ha ha). Leonardo Henao occupies a unique position to discuss Colombian coffee. He has training in agronomy and business, works with many small farmers around the country to source and export their coffee, is a confident cupper and roaster, and now is planting a farm in the Urrao area of Antioquia with unique (and technically forbidden) varieties of coffee like Moka, old Caturra, Gesha and Bourbon. The first part deals with cultivation temperatures for arabica in a warming climate, while the second part is a discussion of coffee varieties like Caturra and Castillo. For most, this is dull stuff. Not for me, and maybe not for you.
info_outline Coffee Cultivation in Colombia PART 1 11/12/2015
Coffee Cultivation in Colombia PART 1 PART 1. This isn't really a podcast. It's a recorded Skype conversation. The quality is pretty low. But if you are dying to know details of the issues facing coffee farmers in Colombia, there's some nuggets of wisdom in here (if you can hear them over the car alarm in the background, ha ha). Leonardo Henao occupies a unique position to discuss Colombian coffee. He has training in agronomy and business, works with many small farmers around the country to source and export their coffee, is a confident cupper and roaster, and now is planting a farm in the Urrao area of Antioquia with unique (and technically forbidden) varieties of coffee like Moka, old Caturra, Gesha and Bourbon. The first part deals with cultivation temperatures for arabica in a warming climate, while the second part is a discussion of coffee varieties like Caturra and Castillo. For most, this is dull stuff. Not for me, and maybe not for you. -Tom
info_outline Morning Sounds from my Coffee Travels 08/04/2015
Morning Sounds from my Coffee Travels For many years I have recorded the ambient sounds I awake to while traveling in coffee-producing countries. Without many podcast ideas lately, and not really wanting to hear myself talk much, I thought these might be interesting to hear as ambient sound. But I found I had to add a voice-over track to explain where I was, and what was happening at the time. Oh well, here it is...
info_outline The Burundi Coffee System 07/16/2014
The Burundi Coffee System Tom describes the subjects of this podcast as "obscure details" but it's actually pretty interesting. We hope you enjoy his reflections on Burundi's coffee industry, production systems, colonial history, co-ops and other organizations.
info_outline Processing Coffee at Gitesi Rwanda 07/03/2014
Processing Coffee at Gitesi Rwanda During a trip to Rwanda, Tom documented his visit to the Gitesi processing station. This is where we get a lot of our Rwandan coffee from. The son of the mill's owner answers a lot of questions about the drying and processing of the coffee that is produced there. He also talks a bit about their future plans to expand and produce a greater quantity of coffee.
info_outline Cupping and Talking About The Taste Lexicon of Coffee 05/16/2014
Cupping and Talking About The Taste Lexicon of Coffee Tom and Chris Schooley cup coffee in Chris's kitchen and talk about the information that Tom brought back from his trip to Kansas State University where he met with a group of sensory analysis professionals. Please excuse the slurping/spitting noises that all coffee cuppers make.. The kids playing in the next room got a little loud at times too.
info_outline Tasting and Coffee Lexicons 05/05/2014
Tasting and Coffee Lexicons We describe coffee as tasting like so many other things, fruits, sugars, caramels, candies, spices ... but the core coffee flavors are much more challenging to elucidate. I have come up with a term "coffee identity" akin to the basic taste identifying markers from other food and beverage flavor lexicons, and this podcast touches on the way we seek to focus and describe base coffee notes. There are so many tangets I could go off on here, and doubtless future podcasts on specific aspects of this material. -Tom
info_outline Coffee Rust Fungus and Organic Production in Honduras 03/24/2014
Coffee Rust Fungus and Organic Production in Honduras I made this recording in January this year, and thought I would share it as a new podcast because it addresses the effect of Roya (Coffee Leaf Rust) and the current crop. It's not a new problem, but is proportionally more important because it is so widespread now in Central America. It affects the smaller farmer more, as they have less resources to fight it, and less agronomical knowledge. And it has a huge affect on organic coffee techniques, since they don't allow the use of the fungicides needed to reduce the presence of the fungal spores. I realized after editing this that I left some parts in Spanish, and largely my rather iffy Spanish to boot. But I think many will understand those parts of the conversation anyway. Thanks for listening! -Tom
info_outline Local Coffee Price and Competition 03/14/2014
Local Coffee Price and Competition For some this podcast may seem esoteric, but I wanted to take on ideas about sourcing coffee and the rather simplistic ideas, overt and implied, in the way "direct trade" coffee is marketed by coffee roasters. There isn't one approach to working with farmers and buying quality coffee, even within one country, let alone in systems as varied as Ethiopia and Guatemala. I don't pretend to have all the answers, to understand the global financial commodities market, or the intricacies of the local market, but you can see that there is much more to a successful relationship than tossing money at coffee farmers. The more I am "active" in coffee buying, the more complicated things can be. Maybe the chickens that disrupt the podcast know more than me ... Thompson
info_outline Coffee Buying and Travel 02/20/2014
Coffee Buying and Travel Our first podcast takes place as Tom grinds and brews a cup of coffee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He clears up a few misconceptions that people have about what happens after he steps off airplanes in origin countries. Learn about what goes into purchasing the coffee that ends up in your home roaster.