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

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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.

Direct download: CoffeeAndMicroorganisms_LosPalomosColombiaYoutube.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am PDT
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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. 

Direct download: Kenya_Coffee_with_Mette-Marie_Hansen.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm PDT
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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.

Direct download: 02_Coffee_Cultivation_Colombia_Part_2.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:02pm PDT
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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

Direct download: 01_Coffee_Cultivation_Colombia_Part_1.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm PDT
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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...

-Tom

Direct download: Morning_Sounds_from_my_Coffee_Travels.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm 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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