Framily - A "Friendly" Onyx Holiday Origin
Seventy-five kilometers beyond Yirgacheffe lies the farm Hambela, a 200-hectare coffee farm that includes a wet mill, dry mill, drying beds, and parchment storage. It’s a fantastic operation that we have had the opportunity to visit multiple times. However, it's not the most pleasant trip. Thirty hours of air travel to get to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from Arkansas and then add a 20-hour car ride through some of the worst “roads” you have ever experienced. That being said, the coffee is definitely worth it.
Hambela is owned by three brothers: Aman, Michael, and Tariku Adinew. The property belonged to their parents but had been abandoned for decades until they invested and reclaimed the old family tradition of coffee farming. The farm is certified organic, and the brothers have a tremendous heart for people and quality coffee. Within Hambela there are multiple coffee cherry drop spots. Buku is our favorite macro-lot from within this system.
This year will be the fifth year we have bought both the washed and natural coffees from this lot, and they taste and cup unbelievably.
HAMBELA & THE ADINEWS:
I met Michael at an SCAA event back in 2013. He was probably the friendliest person I had ever met. We discussed his coffee farm, and I happened to be headed to Ethiopia soon, and so a plan was made. This trip turned out to be incredibly fruitful (pun intended) as we contracted more coffee from a single farm than we ever had at the time. Five years later we are in full swing partnership and are so proud to represent the hard work, history, and quality the Adinews bring to specialty. Michael now lives in the Bay area while his other two brothers reside in Addis Ababa. They have gone on to build a school in Hambela, support more than 400 students, and supplement the salaries of the teachers.
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
~3:40 Drain Time
Our “Friendly” Holiday Origin coffee comes, once again, from Ethiopia. Reminiscent of our other Ethiopian offerings, but with a little more holiday sweetness and cheer. Think warmer and sweeter notes than you’ll usually find with our coffees. Dried plum and berries with lovely earl grey and a pleasant, long cocoa finish. We enjoyed this coffee on the Kalita Wave, and are likely to serve our customers the same. The Kalita brings the fruitiness through the caramelized sugars and leaves us with a nice rich body as well. This coffee wants to brew right. It plays nicely with other brew methods as well. If under-extracted expect it to be slightly tart, woody, and burnt without the long lasting sweetness to balance it out. If over-extracted expect drying cocoa and bitter tea to overwhelm the pleasant fruity notes.
ESPRESSO - Modbar EP
Brew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars,
Pressure Profile: T0: 4s, T1: 4s, T2: 42s, T3-6: 0s
19.5g in : ~47g out @ ~25s
Berries and lemon zest with cocoa, that’s what you get with this espresso! This coffee is pretty strong, so we liked 19.5g in vs a traditional 20g to give us a little more approachable brew. As strong as it is, it didn’t carry through milk very well. Even a single cappuccino seemed to drown out the cocoa and lemon, leaving a slight berries and cream flavor that was tasty, but lacking in the complexity we experienced with the espresso. If over-extracted you’ll get a watery brew that loses acidity. If under-extracted the coffee was tart and thick without a pleasant aftertaste.
Ethiopia Guji Hambela Buku
This is a Relationship Coffee from our friends at METAD. We have now traveled to and purchased from METAD in Ethiopia for the last five years. We have an incredible amount of respect for their operation and the quality of their coffee. We bought this lot for $4.60 per pound and purchased fifty 69-kilo bags. We cupped this coffee at an 89. Royal Coffee on the west coast brought the coffee into the states along with all our other METAD coffees. Overall we purchased nine micro-lots and over 200 bags of coffee from METAD and the Adinews.
Watch this great video about the work that METAD does. You might see some Onyx people in it. ;)
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.08/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.