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Decaf Ethiopia Shantawene - SOLD OUT


Located in the Sidama Zone of Ethiopia, the Shantawene mill has focused in on experimenting with processing and drying, providing room for quality to improve. Each year this mill turns out amazing coffees, of which we purchase several lots. We were super excited when Swiss Water produces this coffee under their small-batch series, giving us a chance not only to highlight the Shantawene mill differently but to also highlight Swiss Water’s process which removes caffeine but the terroir and sweetness of the coffee remains.



“Swiss Water® Process uses the elements of water, temperature, and time to create some of the most intriguing decaf coffee. First, we start with small batches of amazing coffee and green coffee extract. Then we add local water and a dash of loving attention by monitoring time and temperature until the coffee is 99.9% caffeine-free.

Our internally developed Green Coffee Extract (GCE) is introduced to the beans, and caffeine removal begins. Caffeine ventures out on its own, away from the coffee beans into the GCE until the ratio of soluble compounds in the GCE to the compounds in the coffee reach the point of equilibrium. Caffeine and GCE flow continuously through our proprietary carbon filters until all the caffeine is trapped and separated from the GCE. Then the GCE is refreshed so that it can be used again and again to remove more caffeine.”

- Swiss Water



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 Dripper
28g Coffee : 450g Water 205°F
~4:30 Drain Time

Shantawene has been an exceptionally popular origin for us. This decaf offering is no different and plays well with others as a drip coffee. If you are brewing as a batch brew, we recommend the same recipe as your regular pots, but grind a little bit coarser. Expect slower drain times than usual, but not quite as slow as a traditional Ethiopian coffee. We liked this 16oz recipe on the Kalita because it gives us plenty of coffee! If your drain time is too fast, you won't extract enough, and this coffee tastes tart and empty. If your drain time is too slow, you will extract too much, and this coffee tastes slightly medicinal and more diluted that was pleasant.

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
20g in : ~50g out @ ~26s

This is our all natural Swiss Water Decaf coffee, and it’s a banger. If you tasted our regular Shantawene Washed, then you experienced one of our favorite coffees of the year. What you’ll notice is an alternate version. Where the original was very bright and peachy, the decaf is warmer and more like apricot. The original had a crisper sweetness like cream soda and honey, while the decaf is warmer and more viscous like maple syrup. We noticed all of these subtle changes in espresso. Shantawene makes a great and adventurous house espresso that carries well with milk while exhibiting more of its maple syrup characteristic. If this coffee drains too fast it tastes hollow and tart with no long lasting sweetness. If this coffee drains too slow it will taste slightly bitter on the finish, like tea leaves, but wasn’t particularly unpleasant.



Decaf Ethiopia Shantawene

This micro-lot comes by way of the decaffeination company Swiss Water and is apart of their high-end small batch series. This is the first time we have worked with Swiss Water directly. We’ve purchased many of their coffees in the past from importing friends but never directly. From what we gathered they purchased this coffee from an exporter who purchased it from the Shantawene mill in Ethiopia. We don’t have farm gate pricing for this coffee. We bought twenty 60-kilo bags from Swiss Water for $4.84/lb. This coffee cupped really well at an 86.5. We handled the logistics stateside through Unishippers. 


- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.06/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 5 lbs

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