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Colombia Gabriel Velez Gesha


“One of the most knowledgeable agronomists and farm administrators you can possibly find in Colombia.” - Pedro Echavarría, our friend at Pergamino Coffee, speaking about Gabriel Velez, owner of Finca La Cereza. Don Gabriel is the General Administrator for Cafe de Santa Barbara, as well as a farmer himself. As a “coffee man through and through,” Gabriel has been aiding in facilitating and exporting Antioquia's best coffees. He has a keen focus on agronomy, helping him grow many varieties at La Cereza. Not only does he work with the Echavarría family closely, but his farm also is next to the Santa Barbara farms that make up their estate. La Cereza, like the Santa Barbara estates, has access to an incredible mix of conditions that make this area ideal for growing coffee. Altitudes soaring up to two thousand meters above sea level, combined with unique microclimates and volcanic soil are almost perfect for coffee cultivation. La Cereza cultivates the Gesha variety, and through the meticulous selective picking and processing, they create a super clean and tropical flavor profile. After cupping an offer during our last visit to Pedro in the great city of Medellín, we picked up the whole lot from La Cereza, with hopes to see it again next season.



Originally from Ethiopia, Gesha gained notoriety in Costa Rica and Panama in the early years of specialty coffee. This variety is globally recognized (and celebrated) for its distant floral fragrance and aroma, tea-like characteristics, and delicate fruit flavors. This globally famous coffee variety has made its way from Costa Rica and Panama to the high altitudes of Colombia, where it has flourished. Gesha has dominated the competition scene over the past few years, skyrocketing its popularity and availability across the globe. The high prices it fetches have driven farmers to plant it on the highest part of their farms, honing in on what makes the Gesha variety so great. When processed as a washed coffee, the Gesha variety exudes an extremely clear cup, with florals on the aroma and tropical fruit notes bursting throughout.


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

This is a super approachable coffee, both in flavor and price point. We are excited about this Gesha varietal offering from Colombia and hope to see much more. Our café Kalita recipe is our go-to for this coffee, generating sweet and floral mango, tea, and tangerine with a smooth and silky texture. If this coffee drains too quickly, under-extracts, it tastes like pineapple and mango but lacks sweetness and texture. If this coffee drains too long, over-extracts, it still tastes tropical, but has a tart orange quality and drying finish that wasn’t as pleasant as a balanced brew.

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
19g in : 44g out @ 25s

This Gesha wants to be good. It was very easy to dial-in, taking only small adjustments to get it just right. We thought of bright tangerine or orange and fresh pineapple with floral jasmine tea throughout. This was also nice in a cortado, though we lost the floral character in larger drinks like lattes. If this coffee pulls too quickly, under-extracts, it tastes like tart young pineapple but wasn’t bad or salty. If this coffee pulls too long, over-extracts, it was still tropical, but also some fruit skin, lime, and black tea.


Colombia Gabriel Velez Gesha

This is a Relationship Coffee from our friends at Pergamino Coffee. We purchased six, 70-kilo bags at $8.48 per pound, cupping it 87 points on the SCAA scoresheet on arrival. This coffee was contracted from a PSS approval at the lab in Medellin. Royal New York brought in this coffee, as well as a few others for us from Pergamino.


- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.05/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 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 upfront 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.

12 oz

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