Is Sweet Maria's selling past-its-prime coffee?

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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EvanOz85
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#1: Post by EvanOz85 »

Was just browsing through Sweet Maria's latest arrivals, and was going to purchase some Ethiopia Organic Gera Genji Challa when I noticed its a July 2023 arrival. That's 7 months ago that it arrived in the states, and who knows how many months since it was harvested. I notice they're selling a LOT of 7ish month old Ethiopians and other origins as well. How is this a thing, and wouldn't this stuff be well past it's prime?

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yakster
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#2: Post by yakster »

There's already a thread that has discussed this topic at length.

Sweet Maria's Arrival Date
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EvanOz85 (original poster)
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#3: Post by EvanOz85 (original poster) »

yakster wrote:There's already a thread that has discussed this topic at length.
I saw it, but I didn't see much about how the "old" coffee actually tasted or how they were storing it. Just mostly discussion of their business model and such.

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Sal
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#4: Post by Sal »

My last purchased green coffee from Sweet Maria's was Aged Sumatra Danao Toba 2011 Vintage... purchased in Jan. 2017. Yeah, it was 6 years old when I purchased it... Ang guess what, I still have a few pounds of them stored for special occasions. Yep, it is now at least 13 years old since the harvest.
I am a home-roaster, not a home-barista...

rmongiovi
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#5: Post by rmongiovi »

Honestly, I'm more annoyed that they have the nerve to call them "latest arrivals" when they're clearly not.
It seems to me that violates the whole "truth in advertising" thing. I guess the real truth is "read the fine print."

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EvanOz85 (original poster)
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#6: Post by EvanOz85 (original poster) replying to rmongiovi »

I agree 100%.

Milligan
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#7: Post by Milligan »

They list the date for transparency. Are they supposed to dump it in a dumpster after X months or sell it to folks who can see how old it is? Some may not care if it is going in a dark espresso roast or something similar. Royal Coffee notes at the top of a coffee listing if the coffee is older than 8 months landed and marks them down significantly.

The thing I'd be concerned with are the flavor notes. They are likely way out of date and were likely determined when they received the greens but never updated them as they aged.

Wendelboe mentioned in one of his roastery tours that they keep greens sealed in vacuum bags at slightly below room temps. They are lucky to have a warehouse in an area that stays relatively cool without HVAC (free freezing during the winter!). They transition the greens to the roastery a few days before to let them acclimate before roasting. As long as the greens are stored properly then they can last awhile.

The worst offender for me was CBC. I received clearly baggy greens from them before that weren't listed as very old.

Calling old greens new arrivals sounds like an oversight and should be reported IMO.

rmongiovi
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#8: Post by rmongiovi »

I don't have an issue with them selling older coffee. The issue is that they categorize the beans as latest coffee.

*If* you switch to the Specs tab they list the actual arrival date.

I'd expect most people only read the Overview and possibly the Farm Notes tabs until they stumble on the fact that Sweet Maria's definition of "latest" isn't what most people mean by that word.

It's disingenuous at best and a bald-faced lie at worst.

Don't get me wrong. Sweet Maria's is my normal source for greens. But this really isn't a good look for them. I believe they have been questioned about it. They don't seem to have any intention to change.

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hankua
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#9: Post by hankua »

Isn't this still current crop coffee?

https://library.sweetmarias.com/ ... es/

Ethiopia is in a bind right now, with container shipping thru the Red Sea almost completely shut down.

https://www.thereporterethiopia.com/38829/

rmongiovi
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#10: Post by rmongiovi »

hankua wrote:Isn't this still current crop coffee?
It's not an issue of current crop. If a coffee arrived last July, and wasn't in last week's "Latest Coffee" but is in this week's, then there's nothing latest about it except showing up in the list. In truth it should have been in July's list.