Costa Rica Tres Milagros
In 2010, Nelsyn Hernandez moved from Honduras to Tres Rios, Costa Rica, to breathe new life into Tres Milagros. Nelsyn took over the two plots of Tobosí and Higuito. The shaded plot of Tobosí is just a few meters away from the sunny Higuito, but each has a distinct microclimate. Over the nine years that Nelsyn has been at the helm, all aspects of the farm have been improved. Trees had to be replanted, and a more integrated viewpoint was taken on hiring employees while sweeping changes were made in agricultural management. In 2013 Camilo Merizalde was brought on to improve the processing methods of Tres Milagros. Camilo is well known in Colombia and was looking for more challenges and opportunities abroad, which led him to Tres Milagros. Nelsyn had set his sights on improving all methods of the farm, and processing followed his agricultural improvements. Nelsyn and Camilo worked closely together to ensure that this harvest would be of the highest quality, and the future looks good as they are building a new wet mill for the 2019/2020 harvest.
RED HONEY PROCESS
This coffee was processed with the Red Honey technique. They harvest coffee cherries with a sugar content of 22-25 degrees Brix, then wash the cherries with clean water, and then they are soaked for six hours before being de-pulped. Care is taken at de-pulp to leave as much of the mucilage on as possible for drying. The parchment is dried on raised beds, during which fans circulate air. The “red” in red honey appears during the drying stage: all the sticky mucilage continues to ferment as well as dry, turning a deep red and even black color throughout the drying stage. The coffee reaches stability at 18-20 days when it reaches 11% moisture content and is ready for rest and dry milling.
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 : 400g Water 205°F
~3:30 Drain Time
An especially bright, but approachable coffee, we enjoyed this Costa Rica with the Kalita Wave. The Wave preserved the bright and sweet lime and apple notes, with balancing it with brown sugar fig and bubblegum. Also great as an immersion brew like a French press, AeroPress, or Clever Dripper, we found conical methods to be a little too bright in comparison. If this coffee drains a little too fast, under-extracts, it tastes very tart and salty. If it drains too slowly, over-extracts, it is pithy and tart, with an unpleasant bitterness and chalkiness on the finish.
ESPRESSO – Modbar EP
Brew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars
Pressure Profile: 0 sec to 4 sec - line pressure, from 4 sec till done - 9 bars
18.5g in : ~40g out @ ~28s
There is a lot of flavor here, key lime pie and apple are bright and sweet in this espresso. Careful, you’ll notice the short dose and longer time are necessary to get enough sweetness and balance to this coffee. There is a large transition in flavor from black espresso vs added milk. It is more like candied lemon and almond in milk, but carries nicely. If this coffee pulls too quickly, under-extracts, it tastes very tart and overwhelming. If this coffee pulls too slowly, over-extracts, it is still tart, but also takes on a medicinal characteristic that covered up the pleasant sweetness.
Costa Rica Tres Milagros
This coffee came by way of our former employee and friend Dean at Ally Coffee. Dean visits our roastery from time to time to bring coffee offerings and truly has a heart for quality and the industry. We have worked with Ally Coffee for four years now, mainly in Colombia. This coffee reached our cupping table as a spot offering, and we immediately bought it all. We purchased ten 69-kilo bags and paid $5.50 per pound. We cupped this lot as an 87.25. This is the first time we have offered a coffee from Tres Rios. Click below on the hyperlinks to read about who partnered on this coffee.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.06/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 upfront 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.