Colombia Armando Popayan
La Cuerda is an 8000 coffee shrub-strong farm that spans over two and a half hectares owned by Armando Popayan. His farm sits around 1800 meters above sea level in the San Lorenzo Municipality of Nariño. As you may have seen, we are buying a lot of micro-lots from Nariño this year. Their harvest was just incredible and at the top of the list was Armando, a producer we fell in love with last year. We mostly buy his Caturra that is washed, then fermented for 16 hours, and put out on raised parabolic beds. Armando is also a member of the FUDAM association which gives us confidence in the milling and logistics of the coffee as well.
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 sheered 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.
This coffee is a beautiful representation of a well-processed Colombian, and we recommend that it should be brewed in a way that highlights sweetness. This coffee is incredibly extractable and user-friendly, I'd recommend brewing this coffee on a Kalita Wave or V60, and if you want to get fancy, try a siphon brewer. Overall, expect to this coffee to brew quickly while still hitting very high extractions! Take it a little coarser on grind size, and brew slow.
For the Kalita Wave, go 25 grams of coffee to 400 grams of water. Grind just a touch coarser than your average pour-over grind setting, and then follow the pouring pattern shown here! This coffee will drain very quickly! You'll be done pouring by 1:40, drain by 2:30.
For the Hario V60, go 20 grams of coffee to 300 grams of water. Grind at least one whole value finer than your average V60 grind setting. Bloom with 45 grams of water. After that, you'll make three separate pours and end with a light stream straight into the center. First, pour to an 80g total. Second, go to 140g. On the third pour hit 200g. Every pour will leave the bed depth higher than the last pour. You'll be done brewing by 2:45!
For a siphon, use 21g of coffee, 300g of water on a medium-fine grind setting. Heat the water until it's all in the top vessel at 200 degrees. Add the coffee and submerge it with a stir stick. Let the coffee steep for 30 seconds and then remove it from the heating element. Stir vigorously for 5 seconds immediately after removing the siphon from heat, and the coffee should drain through for a 1:20 total brew time!
Colombia Armando Popayan
This is a Relationship Coffee from La Cuerda and Armando Popayan. This was exported by our friend Pedro Echavarria of Pergamino Coffee Exporters. We paid $3.35/lb for this coffee green, and we cupped it as an 88. We bought twelve 150 pound bags.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.38/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.