Burundi Nkonge Hill
This is our first Burundi release in three years. And it comes from the same people we used before, our long-standing friends at Long Miles Coffee Project. This honey processed Bourbon was processed at now the famed Heza mill built by Ben & Kristy Carlson in 2014. Heza means “beautiful place” and was the second washing station they built in Burundi. I visited Burundi back in 2014 and was utterly captivated by the people and the coffee. Over the last few years, we, unfortunately, had a few defects in some coffees we purchased and decided not to release them. This is a common occurrence that is rarely talked about in the specialty coffee industry. Last year we missed Burundi's harvest and honestly missed some amazing coffees from Ben and Kristy. This year we really wanted to make sure we found a nice micro-lot to release and couldn’t be more happy with this red honey processed coffee from Nkonge Hill.
Long Miles Coffee Project is a farmer-focused project designed to instill good agricultural practices to coffee producers and increase in wages through quality over quantity growing. LMCP has become synonymous with delicious Burundi coffee, and you won’t find many specialty coffee buyers that haven’t heard the name. Learn more by visiting their website at Long Miles Coffee Project.
We like this coffee on the Aeropress, it brings out the coffee's bright fruit notes while also bringing out a pleasant body. Use 15 grams of coffee to 400 grams of water. Use a standard drip grind. For the bloom pour 60 grams of water and wait until 30 seconds. Pour the rest of the water and add the plunger. At 1:45 into the brew start pressing and finish plunging at 2:30.
Wanna know more about how we brew it? Then visit our brew methods page cause "this is how we brew it" (think Montell Jordan when reading that last part).
Burundi Nkonge Hill
This is a Relationship Coffee. We discussed with Ben from LMCP about purchasing a few of their micro-lots, and this one jumped off the table. Not only is Ben one of my favorite people in the industry (he’s more sarcastic than us…) but he also produces impressive coffee. We cupped this at an 88 and paid $5.39 per pound. We purchased five 60k bags. Our friend Todd Mackey (greatest musician ever and former singer of With Honor) works at Olam Specialty Coffee and brought the coffee stateside for us. This coffee's journey is an excellent example of incredibly kind people working through the entire chain of coffee from grower to seller to exporter and roaster. Coffee is the best industry in the world.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.21/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.
* We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.
Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.
In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.
We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices.
We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards.
We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve.
We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options.
We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount.
We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.
We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee.
We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.