Sweet Maria's Coffee
Our audio recordings about coffee from West Oakland, CA and beyond, mostly from Thompson Owen.

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June 2014
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Thompson talks with Leonardo Henao about breaking the rules on coffee fermentation, and how a focus on microorganisms might alter the conceptual framework of what processing and fermentation are to coffee flavors.

Direct download: Ferment_in_Colombia_with_Leo.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 10:05am PDT
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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.

Direct download: The_Burundi_Coffee_System.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 3:55pm PDT
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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.

Direct download: Processing_Coffee_at_Gitesi_Rwanda.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 1:57pm PDT
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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.

Direct download: schooley_lexicon.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 2:19pm PDT
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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

Direct download: Tasting_and_Coffee_Lexicons.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 3:44pm PDT
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  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
Direct download: Coffee_Rust_Fungus_and_Organic_Production_in_Honduras_MP3.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 3:48pm PDT
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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

Direct download: Local_coffee_price_and_competition_in_Guatemala.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52pm PDT
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Hot Air Popcorn Popper Roasting

On New Year's Day 2014, Tom was out of roasted coffee and decided to solve the problem with his hot air popcorn popper.

Direct download: popper_podcast_from_gb.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 4:56pm PDT
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When in Kenya, and while getting used to the idea of podcasting, Tom recorded some fun conversations.

Direct download: Pity_Needs_a_New_Pair_of_Shoes.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 6:15pm PDT
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The Amharic language in Ethiopia is difficult for any Westerner to grasp. In this podcast, Tom gets some informal lessons from some folks during one of his trips.

Direct download: Ethiopian_Amharic_Pronunciation_NEW.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 6:03pm PDT
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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.

-recorded on Jan. 28th 2014

Direct download: Coffee_Traveling_and_Buying.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 2:16pm PDT
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