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Colombia La Palma Lactic Gesha - SOLD OUT


"La Palma y El Tucán is perhaps best known for their consistently high performing coffees (most recently winning the World Barista Championships) or for their innovative processing methods. While both of these claims are undoubtedly true and laudable, I would argue their most impressive feat is their constant pursuit of equilibrium. Leading up to this past year’s United States Brewer’s Cup Championship, I had the opportunity to visit La Palma to both cup coffees and experience their process first hand. While there, not only did I find this coffee with which I went on to compete and place third, but I also learned about Felipe Sardi’s passion for a homeostatic relationship between every element and life form on his farm. From his tedious attention to and tracking of the mineral content of the soil in every part of the farm to his obsession over natural responses to issues, every decision Felipe makes has the end goal of a natural equilibrium in mind. For instance, when he discovered larvae infesting his coffee plants, instead of using unnatural pesticides, he strategically placed bees around the farm to take care of the problem. When he noticed certain elements were lower in concentration in the soil than he would’ve liked, he decided to build a lake and stock it with ducks, allowing them to freely roam and defecate, replenishing the minerals through fecal matter. Felipe believes a system in harmony is a productive system- and, well, his coffees speak for themselves. I’m excited you all have the opportunity to taste the first coffee I’ve personally sourced at origin. I hope it jumps off the table for you the same way it did for me."

- Lance Hedrick, West Coast Wholesale & 3rd Place US Brewers Cup Champion



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 is to make pass after pass, day after day, to choose only the best cherries. La Palma’s small wet mill is designed to showcase how fermentation can encourage coffees to show flavors you could only dream. Their dedication to quality is rivaled by their desire to change the future of production in Colombia - to create new ways for producers to approach farming, processing, marketing. This, in turn, could create incredible change for generational coffee producers in Colombia and many more to come.

Jon, co-owner of Onyx and coffee buyer, first met Felipe and Elisa when sourcing in Colombia in 2013. This first meeting turned into an article for Fresh Cup Magazine. Onyx was one of the first coffee roasters to buy coffee from La Palma. Since then they have become more than partners in coffee, but have genuinely become friends. Felipe and Elisa's dedication to their craft is truly inspiring. It is clear that they care deeply about the future of coffee production in Colombia. Everything they do is based on creating jobs for people in their communities, offering an opportunity to neighboring producers, and encouraging coffee as a viable, sustainable way of life.



Lactic acid washed coffee is a change in the style of fermentation during the washing process of coffee. Let’s walk through it briefly. Coffee cherries move through a pulper which squeeze the cherries until the two beans (seeds) come out, and the removed fruit is separated. The two beans are left, covered in mucilage, think the slimy stuff on the pit of a peach. To remove mucilage for the last hundred years, farmers soak the coffee in water or sometimes without but they let the coffee ferment, and naturally occurring bacteria eats/removes the mucilage. Flavor is created in coffee during its fermentation.

What La Palma has discovered is that by controlling the bacteria during this process flavor and its intensity can also be controlled. Instead of using the standard tiled tub for fermentation, La Palma uses an anaerobic chamber (no oxygen) and keeps the water temperature and pH level controlled so that the bacteria that produces the lactic acid can thrive. Not only does this create wild tropical cup profiles but also an incredible tactile experience.



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 - Hario V60
20g Coffee : 320g Water 201°F 
~3:35 Drain Time

Water: Use Third Wave Water or water between 90-120ppm.

Grind size: A little coarser than table salt; or, coarse enough to let the bed dry out between each pour.

  • Baratza Encore: Size 8
  • EK43: At the 9 o'clock position

Before brewing, understand this coffee is extremely soluble and will not brew predictively like any other coffee.

  • Preheat paper filter with 300g of water. Let cool to room temp before brewing.

  • Bloom - Pour 40g

    • Pouring pattern: Poured evenly over bed, starting in the center and slowly circling to the edge, without hitting the filter.


      • @45s - Pour 100g
        • Pouring pattern: Starting in the center and doing 3 concentric circles outward. All 100g should be dispensed in exactly 3 circles, so adjust the flow rate accordingly.
        • Bed temperature: Roughly 185-187°F


          • @1:30 - Pour 60g
            • Pouring pattern: Starting in the center and doing 3 circles. Again, consider the flow rate.
            • Bed temperature: Roughly 183-185°F


              • @2:15 - Pour 60g
                • Pouring pattern: Starting in the center and doing 3 circles. Again, consider the flow rate.
                • Bed Temperature: Roughly 182-184°F


              • @3:00 - Pour 60g
                • Pouring pattern: Starting in the center and doing 3 circles. Pour this one slowly, agitating as little as possible, starting in the center and slowly spiraling outward. Move the spout as close as possible to the surface of the bed to reduce the agitation of the bed as much as possible. We are wanting to focus the extraction on heat and contact time, negating as much agitation as possible. If you have an AeroPress screen, or better yet, a Melodrip, try reducing the 100g pour earlier to 80g and split this final pour into two 40g pours separated by 45 seconds. This will reduce agitation even more, and you will be able to elongate contact time, really making the tactile experience heighten.
                • Bed Temperature: Roughly 180-182°F

              • Drain by 3:35


              We want to emphasize agitation and deep particle extraction earlier prior to the final pulse(s). By the end, we want to slow down the extraction to negate any over-extraction. If followed, this recipe will yield an extremely high TDS (around 1.6-65), giving a massive body and deep fruit sweetness.


              Colombia La Palma Lactic Gesha

              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 five years now. This year we purchased eight lots of their Heroes Series nano-lots from their Estate & Varietals collection. We bought one 25-kilo at $51.72 per pound, and we cupped this coffee at a 90. We imported this coffee ourselves.


              - The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.04/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 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.


              12 oz

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