Colombia Nariño Friends
This coffee is technically a neighborhood blend of four producer's lots in the Nariño region. While we cupped all these lots and purchased them separately, we felt due to the size and how they seem to compliment each others flavor profiles we would create a fun blend. We imported them all individually and then mixed the green coffee together before roasting. We wanted to acknowledge all of their hard work, so here is a bit of background on each contributor.
Benjamin Paz Mafla
Benjamin Paz Mafla is 45 years old and was Buesaco’s priest for some years before retiring from the church seven years ago. Since then he has formed his family, purchased a small farm and dived head first into coffee production.
His farm El Salado is 6000 trees and over 2 hectares. He washes coffee with a standard disc pulper and ferments it for 36 hours before putting out to dry.
Her farm La Piedra is part of the Inga indigenous community. She has about 5000 trees spanning 1.5 hectares of land. She grows mostly Caturra and Colombia varieties. She honey processed this lot by pulping and putting out the parchment to dry immediately for an incredible 40 days.
Don Albeiro has been an active member of the Inga Community for some time but just recently started growing coffee. He decided to start after seeing several neighbors getting premiums for their coffee and substantially changing their way of life. He processes his honey with a short fermentation, to make it easier to dry without losing the profile that comes from the honey process. He owns about 1.5 hectares of land and grows both Colombia and Caturra varieties.
Luis Omar Rodgriguez
Don Luis Omar Rodriguez is another member of the Rodriguez family, we have purchased from in the past. His experience in coffee has been shorter than his brothers, as he was in the military for almost ten years and only came back to the farm he had inherited six years ago. Don Luis has learned much from his brothers who are now role models for him, as they have been able to acquire higher prices for their coffees. He owns 2 hectares of land named Trilladero and grows 6000 trees of pure Caturra. His coffee is washed with 36 hours of fermentation, and the patio dried.
*Informational help from Pergamino
My last visit to Nariño was great. But I will say, flying to Nariño is straight up crazy. I’m usually coming from Medellín after visiting our friend Pedro Echavarria, owner of Pergamino Coffee Exporters and Pergamino Café. The airstrip to land on is along a 3000 meter-high sheared mountain terrace. When I was boarding the small prop plane, even the locals seemed anxious, and the captain lets us know it may take 2-3 “attempts” to land. After arriving, we began a 3-hour drive through the most breathtaking ravines and mountain ranges I've seen in Colombia.
Once arrived, we met with the head of FUDAM, Roquel, a new association we are working with. I started to hear not only their story but also planning the trip to the farms we were visiting. Roquel is an incredibly kind and driven woman who has spearheaded the quality over quantity push in her area. There are 350 producers within the Association, and together with Pergamino and like-minded roasters, they managed to raise money for new depulpers and African raised-beds for 20% of the association. The depulpers and raised-beds help clean up the processing of coffee. This is a substantial effort that raises the price and quality of coffee in the area. She also leads a pointed focus of helping women producers in the area which now make up 30% of the association. Overall she’s a badass, and we are totally stoked to be working with her.
Wanna know more about how we brew? Then visit our brew methods page cause "this is how we brew it" (think Montell Jordan when reading that last part).
FILTER – Kalita Wave
25g Coffee : 300g Water 205°F
~3:15 Drain Time, add 50g water to the finished cup
By grinding finer and using a bypass (where you make a strong cup and add water to dilute it) recipe we were able to extract more sugars than we usually could and get a unique cup. This coffee tastes like bright, sweet stone fruit with a long-lasting honey sweetness. It’s also pretty straight forward to brew. Start with a traditional 50g bloom, and split the rest of the pours into 2x 125g pours. Once the coffee is drained remove the brewer and add an additional 50g of brew water into your cup or decanter. Then enjoy! This coffee is also great when brewed with traditional brewing methods. When it was over-extracted, we found a very drying cup without much sweetness. When it was under-extracted expect a tart acidity and unpleasant sweetness.
ESPRESSO – Modbar EP
Brew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars,
Pressure Profile: 0s to 4s - line pressure, from 4s on - 9 bars
20g in : ~50g out @ ~24s
We found that this coffee dialed in relatively easy. 20g @ 25s is our standard starting point, and it didn’t take much work to get to tasting great. We liked the 20g dose with this coffee because it brought out the stronger fruit flavors and lots of sweetness. We really enjoyed a double cappuccino with Friends (the coffee AND our own). If it's over-extracted expect a tart acidity and a long-lasting chalky aftertaste. If this is under-extracted, you can expect sour acidity and no lasting sweetness.
Colombia Nariño Friends
We purchased all four of these lots on a trip to Colombia. Dylan, our Barista trainer, was visiting our friend Pedro Echavarria at Pergamino and flagged these for contracting. We paid $3.79 per pound for these, and our friend Camilo at Royal NY imported them into the country for us. We cupped these lots between 86-87 and altogether the lot makes up twenty-one 70-kilo bags.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.03/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 the 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.