Honduras Miguel Enamorado
Santa Barbara, Honduras, is a fascinating coffee-growing region. It is home to many Cup of Excellence winners, the famous San Vicente Exporters, as well as microclimates unlike any other coffee-producing country. We visited our friend Benjamin Paz at San Vicente for the first time this year and were blown away by his hospitality and the quality of the coffees. Each time a producer drops off coffee at the mill, it's logged as an independent 'day lot.' That lot is then roasted and cupped so they can assign sensory information to the lot. We spent three days cupping at San Vicente, each sample only represented by a day lot code, making the cupping anonymous. Each day lot logged by Miguel was distinct from other coffees on the table with its grapefruit-like acidity and complex sweetness. Finca Los Robles is mixed with old growth Pacas trees, as well as bourbon, creating a diverse mix of varieties. Over the past few years, Miguel has been expanding his farm, and we hope to see more of his coffees in the future.
WASHED PROCESSED COFFEES
Processing in coffee refers to the conversion of the raw coffee cherry into green coffee, a finished product for roasters to manipulate. Washed coffee can also be known as “wet processed.” It refers to the removal of the fruit that covers the beans (seeds) before they are laid to dry. To do this coffee cherries are then squeezed through a screen called a pulper. The fruit/skin travels down one shoot, while the coffee beans go into a large tank. The seeds at this point still are covered in a sticky, mucilage-like substance, think the stringy fruit left on a peach pit.
From here the coffee goes through a 24-hour fermentation. This step is a delicate time in processing where bacteria is eating and converting the mucilage and changing the flavor of the coffee. If this fermentation happens for too long and the coffee becomes vinegary, too little and you end up drying coffee with mucilage semi-intact. The coffee is washed several times to remove any remaining mucilage that is left.
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
~3:15 Drain Time
This is one of our favorite coffees right now. It is bright and citric like a Kenyan coffee but has a unique apple flavor. When brewed as a Kalita, it is sweet and well balanced. Look out for this coffee draining a little fast; you’ll need to grind a little bit finer than normal. If this coffee drains too quickly, under-extracts, it tastes very sour and lacks sweetness. If it drains too slowly, over-extracts, it tastes like pithy grapefruit and apple skins.
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
19g in : ~45g out @ ~26s
This espresso has an enjoyable texture. Heavy and syrupy with lots of brown sugar sweetness, pink grapefruit, and red apple. It's well-balanced espresso that carries through milk very well, from cortados to larger lattes. If this shot pulls too quickly, under-extracts, it'll taste very strong and sour. When this shot pulls too slowly, over-extracts, it was okay, with notes of dry red apple and grapefruit.
Honduras Miguel Enamorado
This is a Relationship Coffee from our friend Benjamin Paz at San Vicente. It is a micro lot built from two day lot deliveries made by Miguel. We purchased five 69-kilo bags of this coffee for $5.25/lb and we cupped it at an 87. We paid $5.25 ex-warehouse to Collaborative, of which San Vicente takes $0.76 per pound for milling and export services. The farm gate price for this coffee was $3.74.
• The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.02/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.
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.