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

Categories

general
coffee

Syndication


Archives


Keyword Search



June 2023
S M T W T F S
     
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

July
May
March
January

June

October
July

November
October
August

July
January

September
July
April

September
August

July
February

November
August

November
July
May
March
February

This recording is a 28 minute unedited recording of a morning in Moshi, Tanzania May 25 2023. It’s the kind of “waking up” recordings I often do when traveling, both as personal note taking, but sometimes the material I turn into podcasts. This time, I thought I would also upload it to youtube, with images and video clips. So on youtube there’s some added visual information, but it’s not synced to the recording. Images and vocal do not match. But of course they are all from the same trip to Tanzania. Here is the You tube link to hear / view this with images.

Direct download: Tanzania__Moshi_Morning.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 12:09pm PDT

This is the second part of of a podcast recording, focusing on tourism coffee and coffee marketing. I read from the article Tourism: Globalization and the Commodification of Culture about Disneyfication, and McDonaldization, read a text from a Starbucks bag about coffee travel adventures through an Indiana Jones / colonial adventurer lens, listen to Dangerous Grounds tv show promo reel that infuses coffee travel with xenophobia, and connect it to the current way roasters talk about coffee buying more as a social mission than something they do so they have a product to sell. The latest approach includes incredible claims like “Kevin [coffee buyer] discovered that small scale poor farmers produced some of the most complex and incredible coffees in the world, yet they had no experience of what was happening to their work thousands of miles away or its tremendous value and appreciation by specialty coffee drinkers.” Poor coffee farmers! Here comes Kevin to save you!

So what’s the answer? I don’t have one but it would hurt to kick it down a notch, and just try to learn when you travel. Would it?

Direct download: Tourism-Travel-Coffee_Part_2.m4a
Category:coffee -- posted at: 7:20pm PDT

I've been a little obsessed lately with reading about tourism and travel narritives, and seeing how these line up with my work as a coffee buyer. What I find is that ideas that interest me in coffee are not really discussed in the coffee trade, and I am not sure who is interested in these things. Trigger warning: if the term "culture studies" or "the other" set you off, don't listen to this podcast. (joke, but not really I guess). This first episode doesnt really get into things much. Hopefully you can listen to part 2 as well.  -T

Direct download: Tourism-Travel-Coffee_Part_1.m4a
Category:coffee -- posted at: 6:43pm PDT

It’s been nearly 4 years since visiting Kenya, and I am excited to be back. When I travel for coffee I tend to make audio recordings over morning coffee, and sometimes I edit these into podcasts later. Kenya trips that focus on cupping can be intense. It’s a marathon of tasting, and very intense coffee at that. I talk a bit about the approach I think Kenya requires in terms of coffee sourcing, and later about the grades of Kenya coffee outside of specialty types. Traveling often leads me to thoughts about the history of coffee production and trade, and with Kenya the specific history of colonialism here. And I end with a song! A 45 single I found in a stack near Nairobi by Fadhili William & The Black Shadows, Hakuna Mwingine. And that’s a summary of this 30 minute podcast recorded mostly in Kenya, in February 2023.

Direct download: Kenya_Coffee_Cupping_Trip-Sweet-Marias-Podcast.m4a
Category:coffee -- posted at: 4:31pm PDT

It’s Sunday morning in Shakiso town but it’s not peaceful and quiet by any definition. I am talking about coffee in the area, but I’m competing against the decibels of the Orthodox church and their loudspeaker. I am not sure if this is very “listenable”.

It sounds ok to me, but I am used to these morning prayers and just tune them out. It might not be so easy in a recording. Anyway, it’s here for you to listen to … or not! 

Direct download: Ethiopia_5_-_Shakiso_-_Sunday_Morning_Coffee_and_Prayers.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 11:00am PDT

I am in the larger town of Jimma, I think the euphoria of returning to the dirt roads of Ethiopia wore off a bit. It was probably all the dust. Feeling a bit drained, but still happy to be back in Ethiopia, I reflect a bit on coffee travel. I have always had a problematic relationship with using coffee travel to sell coffee, to create marketing material. But in the end I feel coffee can be a pretty straightforward product, and that’s not bad at all. I was going to skip including this one honestly, but decided to keep it in the end.

Direct download: Ethiopia-2-Jimma-Coffee-Marketing.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 7:28pm PDT

I am in Agaro town in the Western coffee region near Jimma and Limmu. It feels like I am 70% in Ethiopia and 30% still back in Oakland. Despite jet lag, I talk about what I have learned so far about the competition for coffee cherry, and how the cooperatives are at a disadvantage when well-funded exporters open up coffee stations in the area. It’s not all bad. Coffee farmers are selling cherry at high prices, which helps offset local inflation. I also added on some thoughts about Covid in Ethiopia and some interesting comments I heard from my Ethiopian. 

This is part 1 of a series of recordings I made over morning coffee nearly every day on my December trip. They aren't perfect. They are monologues. They are a little embarrassing. But there are some good raw ideas in here, perhaps. I have 8-9 episodes if I can bear to post them all! It's a bit much.

Direct download: Ethiopia-1-Agaro-Coops-Vs-Private-Exporters.mp3
Category:coffee -- posted at: 5:38pm PDT

1