Colombia El Obraje Gesha
Hacienda El Obraje is located in Tangua, outside of Nariño Department's main city of Pasto. Owner Pablo Guerrero, a Pasto native, began growing coffee in 2000. Obraje situated in a fertile valley, but the area surrounding Pasto is ordinarily considered too high for coffee but perfect for potatoes. Pablo, who also works as an architect, originally planted the farm with wheat, but imports ruined the domestic market. He then tried growing apples and tree fruit, but post harvest preservation and transport proved too difficult.
When Obraje first started producing coffee, Pablo treated it as though it were wheat, picking and selling everything without any attention to quality. Six years ago he began focusing on fermentation time, washing techniques, and transitioned to producing specialty coffees, with all the required attention to detail. Obraje is planted with Caturra, Gesha, and assorted varieties remaining from the first planted coffee seed stock.
Because Pablo transitioned the farm from apples to coffee, some lots are oddly spaced, because the young coffee was first planted under the apple trees. As the coffee matured, the apple trees were removed, and more coffee was planted, meaning the same plot has interspersed trees of different ages. All fertilizers and disease/weed control is applied from the top of the farm down to avoid hauling heavy inputs uphill, an example of the way Pablo strategically approaches all aspects of farm management. Coffee harvesting, conversely, starts at the lower elevations at the bottom of the farm and works its way up. El Obraje’s small mill includes an oven-style dryer for finishing lots started on the raised beds.
*information provided by Ally Coffee
We suggest pulling this as a beautifully floral, bright espresso or a clean complex filter offering. Both showcase different aspects of the coffee, but are equally delicious! Check out our brewing videos for the recipes we recommend.
Colombia El Obraje Gesha
This coffee comes from our friends Ally Coffee. We paid $24 per pound and bought two 35 kilo vacuum boxes. Our friend and former employee Dean has become an importer for Ally, who typically specializes in Brazils but has moved into Colombia as well. Seeing as we don’t really buy Brazils but contract enormous amounts of Colombia we were excited about this change. This is the second coffee we have purchased from Ally.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.46/lb when we purchased this coffee.
- The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.76/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 have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Terms like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and other certifications have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms applying 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 price. 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.
RELATIONSHIP COFFEE GOALS
- We visited the farm in person and viewed facilities, growing practices, and culture.
- 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 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.
If this seems like bragging or what i see often as another “For profit/Non profit” company, that is not our hope. You should buy our coffee because we have the best coffee and killer artwork (and because you like it). How we buy and source can be interesting or completely inconsequential, but we hope this sheds light on how we operate and what you can expect as we continue to grow. Thank you