Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks: Featuring Abe

Check out what coffees Abe chose and roasted for Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks.

Meet Abraham “Abe” Cornejo. Abe works in the Sweet Maria’s and Coffee Shrub warehouse making sure green coffee is packaged properly for shipment and hopes to one day be a part of our roasting and cupping departments. His childhood interest in animals and nature documentaries led him to his current college major in biology. Abe chose a few green coffees, roasted them and we turned them into this month’s Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks.

Sweet Maria's Staff picks Abe Cornejo

How did you become interested in coffee?

I have been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember. My first coffee memory is the snack that my mother gave me in the afternoon, which was a cup of coffee with sweet bread. I didn’t drink the coffee, I just dipped the bread and left the rest, hahaha. When I started elementary school I drank chocolate milk or a cup of coffee for breakfast. 

My father comes from a town of coffee producers and my Grandfather Emilio began to plant in the town, which is on the border of Guatemala. He used to go every January with my family and it was a washing and drying season. I understood that coffee is very important in Honduras, both culturally and economically. 

When I came to the States 3 years ago, I became a fan of the local coffee shops in the bay area and I noticed the culture and appreciation of producing countries. One of my jobs was being a barista, and now I love working with the green beans at Sweet Maria’s warehouse.

What are your picks and why did you choose them?

Guatemala Xinabajul La Libertad 

This was the first selection on my list because I’m from Central America, and besides, Guatemalan beans stand out for their bittersweet flavor. I like that tone in my morning coffee, as it balances the rest of my coffee. 

Espresso Monkey Blend

This was the first espresso blend coffee that I tried from Sweet’s Maria’s. I am a fan of chocolate and I like a coffee with a strong awareness of it. It is the perfect drink to accompany light desserts.

Nicaragua Acopio Suyatal

I chose this specimen, looking for a taste like nutty or peanut, and was able to taste it in the first sip. I like it for my “afternoon coffee craving”.

Ethiopia Sidama Damo

I was attracted to this Ethiopian coffee by its notes of passion fruit flavor. It has a great flavor, which is enjoyed on its own; the protagonist of your break.  I used a Behmor 1600 to roast all my beans. I follow all the instructions suggested by the manual and The Sweet Maria’s tutorial videos on Youtube

I prefer to roast a 1⁄2 pound at a time, using the “1 pound button”, and when I hear the “first crack” I press the “C button”. Anyway, it is important to follow your visual and smell sense to roast your favorite beans. 

-Abe noted later that he prefers city roast levels because he enjoys the caramel tones achieved at lighter roasts.

Here’s all of Abe’s coffees all in one place: Sweet Maria’s Staff Picks Sample Set

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