STORY

snowbird noun
snow•bird
1) a northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.
2) a widespread and variable junco with gray or brown upper parts and a white belly.

Southern Weather has a sibling. You know that person who shows up to family gatherings around the holidays wearing floral shirts buttoned only mid-way up their torso while sporting a deep-set sunglass tan? This blend is that person. Tropical Weather will transport you...

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Tropical Weather

Tropical Weather is a seasonal blend that celebrates the coffees from one of our favorite coffee-producing countries, Ethiopia. We used a washed Bombe and a natural Bombe, and the result was indeed better than the sum of its parts.

If you miss the long days of summer and are a little sluggish this time of year, then Tropical Weather is your cup of sunshine. With a floral aroma, notes of mango and pineapple, along with peach sweet tea, you'll be leaving the house wearing shorts.

Component 1: Ethiopia Bensa Bombe Washed

Component 2: Ethiopia Bensa Natural

Origin: Ethiopia

Region: Bensa, Sidama

Washing Station: Abore Washing Station

Elevation: 1900 meters

Variety: Mikicho, Setami, Heirloom

Cup: Mango Nectar, Pineapple, Peach Sweet Tea, Floral Honey

Size:

12 oz 5 lbs
$ 20 .50
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STORY

snowbird noun
snow•bird
1) a northerner who moves to a warmer southern state in the winter.
2) a widespread and variable junco with gray or brown upper parts and a white belly.

Southern Weather has a sibling. You know that person who shows up to family gatherings around the holidays wearing floral shirts buttoned only mid-way up their torso while sporting a deep-set sunglass tan? This blend is that person. Tropical Weather will transport you from the chilly Polar Vortex to a balmier destination for a lot less than that all-inclusive resort ticket you’ve been eying. A 50/50 blend of Ethiopia Bombe washed and natural processed microlots, this coffee bursts with notes of stone fruit, and finishes with a tropical fruit note so pleasant you can almost hear the ocean's waves.

 

 

BOMBE RELATIONSHIP by Catalyst Trade

The producers of Bombe live high in the lush and lovely Bombe mountain valley. They are part of a member organization consisting of 667 producers in various parts of the mountain range, which also include producers from Bombe and Shantawene. We’ve worked with this group since before it was officially founded (more on that below). The last two years, these producers chose to process their coffees through the Bombe Washing Station to our specifications. Like the other coffees from this site, the Bombe coffees are always stand outs on our cupping tables. It is dense coffee, with heavy concentrations of the smaller screen sizes* (the majority of the coffee screen sizes at 14 and 15), just a touch larger than the average screen sizes found in the Shantawene and Keramo lots, which also reflects a slightly larger concentration of the Mikicho variety than the other coffees have. Mikicho is easily identified by its larger cherries with wavy leaves, the seeds appearing elongated and canoe-shaped. No doubt, this is a distant relative to the Gesha variety, and the prominent cup characteristics that stand out in all Bombe lots are lush, tropical fruit tones and delicate florals.

 

Prior to the 2017/18 harvest, this producing group delivered coffee cherries to a different washing station nearby, called Shantawene washing station, where we first encountered the coffees and purchased them as mixed lots. Up until the 2017/2018 harvest, all coffees from Bombe, Keramo and Shantawene villages were processed together and sold under the name of Shantawene. We were noticing different cup dynamics from the cherries that came from different areas, and eventually began to isolate coffees by village. This led to the move to Bombe site washing station and getting even more isolation in the lots. For the past couple seasons, all producers we work with from Bombe, Keramo and Shantawene all deliver cherries to the more centralized Bombe site Abore Washing Station.

 

SCREEN SIZE

We have been purchased screen size separations from Catalyst since they began. Since coffee is an organic product, the seeds of the cherries tend to have a pretty wide variance in size (and shape), and a natural part of coffee production is separating coffee into screen sizes. Mills will separate the coffee to a size 15/16 screen for exporting, and others are either sold as a different grade or sold off for consumption outside of the specialty market. It is common practice to separate and market screen sizes as grades, rather than only by size. Alongside Catalyst's other strict quality standards and practices, we see screen separations nearly as separate coffees; these separations will have a wholly different taste profile.

 

SCREEN SIZE ISOLATION by Catalyst Trade

Though it is very common in other countries, we don't know anyone else in Ethiopia who isolates screen sizes. To do so, we must be very careful, or we will lose an enormous amount of coffee. Zele works with the export warehouse staff to calibrate the flow of coffee and ensure each size is clearly separate. The decision of whether or not to isolate screen sizes is also quite labor-intensive: we hand-screen- sort and then cup each screen size several times to determine the different qualities and characteristics. In general, smaller screen sizes tend to be more floral and herbal, while larger screen sizes tend to be more fruit-heavy and juicy.

 

SUGGESTED USE

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).

 

FILTER – Hario V60
16g Coffee : 250g Water 210°F
~2:40 Drain Time

•  50g Bloom
•  @45s Pour to 150g
•  @1:30 Pour to 250g
~2:40 Drain Time

Tropical Weather is a cup that makes you want to relax. Super sweet and tropical, this blend was built so that we can remember what it's like on summer days. It is a blend of two different Ethiopian coffees, so expect a slightly longer drain time than your average blend. We loved the V60 for this blend because it highlighted the mango and pineapple fruit notes in addition to bringing out a tropical sweet tea flavor. If this coffee drains too quickly, under-extracts, it tastes tart and salty. If this coffee drains too long, over-extracts, it becomes drying and hides the tropical fruit flavors with bitterness.


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
20g in : ~45g out @ ~30s

True to its name, Tropical Weather is a hurricane of tropical fruit flavors! We loved this larger dose and slightly longer brew time to pull out tons of sweetness to amplify the mango and pineapple notes. As you sip, it begins to merge into a shot of tropical fruit punch! This coffee is great as a straight espresso, chuggable even. With tons of fruity sweetness, this is even great in small to larger milk drinks. If this shot pulls too quickly, under-extracts, expect a thin texture and sour flavor. If this shot pulls too long, over-extracts, you’ll taste mango skins and black tea leaves.

 

TRANSPARENCY

Ethiopia Bensa Bombe Washed

This is a Relationship Coffee from our friends at Catalyst Trade. In January of this year, Jon and I (Dakota) were awake for about 36 hours while flying from Arkansas to Addis Ababa. We grabbed a taxi and went straight to the hotel, where Michael had set up a cupping of all the fresh crop offerings they had. We purchased a whole lot of tasty coffee that day, and this lot was on that table. We ended up purchasing fifty-two 35-kilo bags of the Bombe washed coffee for $4.75/lb. We cupped the washed lot at an 87 on the SCA scoresheet. 

 

 

- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $0.96/lb when we purchased this coffee.

- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.

 


Ethiopia Bensa Bombe Natural

This is a Relationship Coffee from our friends at Catalyst Trade. In January of this year, Jon and I (Dakota) were awake for about 36 hours while flying from Arkansas to Addis Ababa. We grabbed a taxi and went straight to the hotel, where Michael had set up a cupping of all the fresh crop offerings they had. We purchased a whole lot of tasty coffee that day, and this lot was on that table. We ended up purchasing forty of the Bombe Natural for $4.90. We cupped it at an 87.75 on the SCA scoresheet. 

 

- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $0.96/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. 

- Jon

 

 

RELATIONSHIP COFFEE

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 of 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.

 

GOALS

  • 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.

Pairs Well With