Colombia La Palma Efrain Barrera
Efrain is a third-generation coffee producer. He inherited part of the farm from his mother and then bought the rest out. Efrain lives on his seven-hectare farm with his wife. After three generations of farming, the line will be broken after Efrain. Having faced the many challenges of coffee production, their three children decided not to continue the line of producing coffee. This happens all too often, which makes us wonder who will farm coffee down the line… In the meantime, La Palma partners with La Mision by providing compost, agronomical support, and a picking squad who show up at peak times to pick perfect cherries. All of that is processed down the road at La Palma Y El Tucán’s immaculate processing facility.
Time, temperature, pH, and Brix all play into this unique processing method. A common misconception is that this method is processed using the addition of lactobacillus, a yeast strain, or by the addition of Lactic acid. The real process is a nuanced limited oxygen pre-fermentation in a sealed tank, allowing the bacteria and yeast to consume the mucilage within the cherry, producing lactic acid and therefore changing the final cup profile. After the fermentation, this coffee is depulped and dried on raised parabolic beds where dry heat is pumped in to aid the drying process during the cold and humid nights.
LA PALMA Y EL TUCÁN
La Palma y El Tucán. The name has become synonymous with high-quality competition-grade coffees, but for our green buyer, it means another thing: home. Dakota spent three months living in one of the nine cabins built on the grounds of La Palma Y El Tucán, working alongside the team there to facilitate a coffee experience unlike any other for guests visiting the farm. During his time there, he experienced their dedication to quality and the constant innovation taking place in all aspects of the farm. The guidance and teaching from each of La Palma's staff members were integral to leading Dakota to the Onyx team, who has had a relationship with La Palma y El Tucán since early 2013.
In both Jon and Dakota's combined tasting experience of La Palma's coffees, this coffee is more complex and nuanced than what they have previously experienced. This particular coffee exceeded the ceiling of what we thought was possible in naturally processed coffees. Felipe and Elisa started La Palma y El Tucán with the vision to produce small, perfect quantities of some of the world's favorite coffee varieties. The farm has a unique layout with each variety planted in an artful way that encourages exceptional production and is also beautiful. The coffee is picked as it ripens by a team of women whose job it is to choose only the best cherries, making pass after pass, day after day. La Palma's farming practices and their wet mill is designed to showcase how fermentation can encourage coffees to create flavors you could only dream of.
In the last few years, they've started a project called Neighbors & Crops, a program which consists of buying coffee from the surrounding farms and processing it in their state of the art mill. By teaching agronomy, cherry selection, and giving organic fertilizer to neighbors, they have lifted both the quality of life and quality of coffee in their region. This coffee is the product of that partnership.
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 – COMING SOON...
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
Colombia La Palma Efrain Barrera
This is a Relationship Coffee from our friends at Felipe and Elisa from La Palma y El Tucán. We have been working with them for six years now. This year we purchased six lots from their Neighbors & Crops program. We bought ten 35-kilo bags at $7.12 per pound and cupped this at an 87. We also worked with Ally Coffee to bring in in all of La Palma Y El Tucán’s coffees stateside.
- 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 bought 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.