Colombia El Obraje Natural Gesha *PRE-ORDER ONLY
Pablo Guerrero produced this beautiful Gesha lot from his farm in Tangua located in the Nariño Department in Colombia. Pablo originally farmed wheat, then fruit after the market forced him to change crops. Farming fruit turned out not to be a great venture either. During this time Pablo remembered that growing up his father had a few coffee trees growing in Nariño. He figured that if a few trees could grow then perhaps, he should give it a go. He then produced coffee for the commodity market for many years before a coffee buyer came to his farm and had him taste his own coffee. He was encouraged to implement standard quality control measures, selective picking and meticulous attention to detail during processing, to produce higher quality specialty coffee. Over the course of a decade, he went from producing commodity coffee to producing some of the highest quality coffees in Nariño.
Pablo desires to help his region to understand how to grow high-quality specialty coffee and get it into the international market. Tangua itself is experiencing what much of Colombia is socially. Young people are not interested in continuing the cyclical patterns of poverty and debt that have characterized coffee production, and they are leaving their communities to find work in cities or in construction. This often does not have a positive outcome, tending to leave them in similar cycles but without the support of their communities. All across Nariño aging specialty producers are working to help elevate their communities by working to educate younger generations on the potential that specialty has to create viable incomes. Pablo hopes that El Obraje can become a reference point for people growing Specialty coffee in Nariño.
COMPETITION SERIES - BARISTA CHAMPIONSHIP:
This coffee is the third release in our series of competition coffees that we used at the US Coffee Championships this year. Andrea, co-owner of Onyx and all around fantastic person/boss/mother/etc., choose the El Obraje Natural Gesha and with it, she won 5th place in the Barista Championship. The Barista Championship requires that the competitor make four espressos, four milk-based espresso drinks (think cappuccino), and four espresso-based signature drinks (like a cocktail but without the alcohol) all while speaking to the judges with a theme of their choosing. Andrea picked the El Obraje Gesha out of an extremely impressive set of competition coffees that we cupped. She prepared for this competition while running Onyx, being pregnant, and being a mother and wife. We’re incredibly proud of Andrea and all of her accomplishments. And also incredibly proud to say we work for her.
ANDREA ALLEN'S COMPETITION COFFEE:
"I chose this coffee for my competition season this year based on its performance on the cupping table. And also because of its representation of producers working to build long-lasting agricultural legacies throughout Colombia. First of all, on the cupping table, this coffee is beautiful- its notes of peach, cocoa, and floral honey combined with its round, juicy mouthfeel and long lasting finish made it the perfect coffee to showcase. My focus for competition this year was legacy and how Specialty can work to create an economic community that lasts beyond this generation and into the next. Pablo was a particularly inspiring individual to me. He had multiple failing agricultural attempts. He showed a great aptitude to adapt and learn, to embrace new methods of doing things. So often I feel that people are set in their ways and unwilling to change anything. Pablo went from producing commodity coffee to becoming one of the premier producers in Nariño by being open to feedback and applying what he was learning to what he was doing. He also feels deep concern for the community in Tangua which has little economic opportunities. He hopes that his farm can be a model for his community and that perhaps a younger generation in Nariño will find success with Specialty and be able to have better lives. For me, this coffee served as a beautiful representation of how we should all be working in our professional careers- to produce great products and to work to positively affect those around us."
ANDREA'S SUGGESTED USE:
"This coffee is awesome as espresso or as a pour over. For espresso, I recommend using an EK43 grinder for its ease of dial-in and its ability to maintain a grind setting over time. With a coffee as precious as this, you don’t want to waste anything dialing in. I preferred 19.8 grams of coffee into the grinder, yielding around 19.4 grams into my portafilter. I use the newest version of the OCD distributor (OCD V2 WBC Edition) three times and tamp lightly with a VST tamper. For my output, I looked for a moderate drop around 7 seconds, extracting around 37 grams out total in about 22 seconds. With delicate style competition coffees, I find that a coarser grind and a quicker extraction help showcase fruits, florals, and acidities while keeping out many bitter elements. I found this coffee to be relatively consistent as it aged and found its best tasting espresso around three weeks off-roast.
This coffee also tastes amazing on pour over. As I am merely a casual coffee brewer, I used our standard Kalita Wave recipe for this coffee: 24 grams of coffee, 400 grams of water, finish pouring at 2:30, and drain time at 3:30. I really enjoyed drinking this coffee as a pour over. It was warm, comfortable, and friendly, all while showing off beautiful ripe nectarine, lemon acidity, slight cocoa and floral honey."
Colombia El Obraje Natural Gesha
This is a Relationship Coffee from our friends at Ally Coffee. We paid $28 per pound and bought five 35 kilo vacuum boxes. We cupped this coffee at a 90.5. Our friend and former employee Dean has become an importer for Ally, who normally specializes in Brazils but has moved into Colombia as well.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.21/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.