Colombia José Botina
José Leonardo Botina is 60 years old and was the only one within his family that wanted to continue with the coffee tradition started by their grandfather. La Primavera is a small farm but runs like clockwork, well managed and produces some of the most exciting coffee in the Buesaco Municipality. Don José placed 1st in the local Nariño competition held by our exporting friends Pergamino from Antioquia. His farm has an estimated 5,000 coffee trees which comprise of Caturra and Colombia varieties. José's coffee has an incredible sweetness, and we credit this to his processing method. His coffee is a traditional washed method, but he ferments the coffee for 36 hours to remove mucilage, which is quite a bit longer than most in his area. He can ferment this long and retain a clean cup because of the temperature of his water and microclimate of the farm stalling bacteria growth.
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.
WASHED PROCESSED COFFEES:
Processing in coffee refers to the conversion of the raw coffee cherry into green coffee, a finished product for roasters to manipulate. Washed coffee can also be known as “wet processed.” It refers to the removal of the fruit that covers the beans (seeds) before they are laid to dry. To do this coffee cherries are then squeezed through a screen called a pulper. The fruit/skin travels down one shoot, while the coffee beans go into a large tank. The seeds at this point still are covered in a sticky, mucilage-like substance, think the stringy fruit left on a peach pit.
From here the coffee goes through a 36-hour fermentation. This step is a delicate time in processing where bacteria is eating and converting the mucilage and changing the flavor of the coffee. If this fermentation happens for too long and the coffee becomes vinegary, too little and you end up drying coffee with mucilage semi-intact. The coffee is finally set out to dry on raised beds, allowing airflow and even drying among all the beans. All of these steps have to be subtly altered depending on temperature, time of the harvest, rainfall and other factors.
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).
Recipes are coming soon...The coffee needs more time to rest before doing our testing.
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
Colombia José Botina
This is a Relationship Coffee that we've been working on with our friend Pedro at Pergamino. It is our first time buying José Botina’s farm, La Primavera. We paid $3.75/lb for this coffee green, and we cupped it as an 86.75. We also added a $.20 pay premium for quality. In total, we bought four 70-kilo GrainPro bags as this was a tiny micro-lot. We paid Royal NY to help us bring in the coffee to the US.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.20/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.