Inmaculada Rare Varieties - SOLD OUT
We traveled to Cali, Colombia based on a rumor of Inmaculada after tasting just a single cup of their famed Eugenoides variety. Within Inmaculada’s farms, we discovered the rarest and most exotic coffee varieties we’ve seen in production.
In 2010 the Holguin family began their coffee journey in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. They have a long history of producing both palm oil trees and sugar cane in Nariño. They started with 5.12 hectares*, and nine years later they hold 50 hectares that is divided up into four farms, all of which have a unique climate. Inmaculada Coffee Farms is divided up into El Jardin, Las Nubes, Monserrat, and Inmaculada Concepcion. Inmaculada’s focus on growing exotic varieties and processing them to highlight their terroir is inspiring. Their goal is to “produce the most extraordinary coffees possible, regardless of risk or costs.” Most of the varieties they grow are incredibly low yielding and difficult to grow, proving their commitment to their goal. Within the grounds of their Inmaculada Concepcion farm, there is an old Catholic school that has been turned into their dry mill and cupping lab, complete with a Ferris wheel style drying bed on the roof. After cupping in their classroom-converted-to cupping lab, we zeroed in on four varieties that highlight what Inmaculada is accomplishing with all their hard work.
Gesha - This variety will feel the most familiar in the set. Originally from Ethiopia, Gesha gained notoriety in Costa Rica and Panama in the early years of specialty coffee. This variety is globally recognized (and celebrated) for its distant floral fragrance and aroma, tea-like characteristics, and delicate fruit flavors. Gesha has dominated the competition scene over the past few years, skyrocketing its popularity and availability across the globe.
Laurina - Known also as ‘Bourbon Pointu,’ this variety is a mutation of the more familiar Bourbon. The trees are Christmas tree shaped, with dense leaves and a small yield of cherries. Hailing from Reunion Island, this coffee all but died out due to a fungus called Hemeleia Vastarix. For over half a century this variety ceased to exist. Recently steps have been taken to revive this distinct variety. The taste profile is unique due to the naturally-low caffeine content it contains.
Sudan Rume - Known for its hardy resistance to the coffee cherry disease, Sudan Rume is often used as a breeding variety. Originally it was discovered in Sudan in the mountains of Marsabit. Another mutation with Bourbon, it's low-yielding and bursting with tropical fruit flavors. This coffee took the win with Sasa Sestic in the 2015 World Barista Championship.
*A hectare is a unit of measure widely used in coffee-producing regions. 1 hectare is about 2.4 acres.
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
22g Coffee : 300g Water 200°F
The first pour should be light, enough to saturate all the coffee. Each consecutive pour should be medium, evenly touching all the coffee in a spiral. The coffee bed should be dry at the beginning of each pour, and if your coffee bed is still covered in water by the next pour, your grind needs to be coarser. If your coffee bed is dry well before the next pour, your grind needs to be finer. Happy Brewing!
- Start with 50g pour
- @0:30s pour 70g, total water=120g
- @1:15 pour 60g, total water=180g
- @2:00 pour 60g, total water=240g
- @2:45 pour 60g, total water=300g
Laurina is a varietal that is naturally lower in caffeine, about 75% less than regular coffee. What you also may not know is that caffeine tastes bitter. Much of what we associate as a bitter aftertaste in coffee is due to the caffeine content! As such, this coffee is extremely smooth to drink, and before you know it, the entire cup is gone. We liked this Kalita recipe because it brought out both brightness and body while allowing the sugar-filled coffee to do its own thing. This created a unique and balanced cup. We loved the notes of Kefir lime and cane sugar, with a rich brown butter flavor, and a gentle floral malt whiskey finish. This coffee wants to be under-extracted. If you think of the numbers, we sought only a 17%-18% extraction with this coffee. So, if your drain is too fast, under-extracted, you’ll notice an almost stevia-like sweetness with lime zest and not much else in addition to being fairly weak. If your drain is too slow, over-extracted, a malty cereal flavor and chalky texture will overpower the cup by masking the other fun flavors.
FILTER – Kalita Wave
25g Coffee : 400g Water 205°F
~3:15 Drain Time
This special coffee is the same that won the 2015 World Barista Championship. Known for its tropical fruit and floral flavors, we enjoyed this on Kalita behind our bar. Our standard recipe, with a slightly faster drain time, yielded a cup that pops with pineapple and white flowers! We liked the Kalita for this coffee because the body with the pineapple note made it taste and feel like pineapple juice! Careful of under-extracting this coffee. If it drains too fast, it'll taste very underripe okra with bell pepper acidity. If the coffee drains too slow, it had a noticeably dry aftertaste but was still pretty good.
FILTER – Hario V60
20g Coffee : 300g Water 205°F
~3:30 Drain Time
FILTER – Kalita Wave
25g Coffee : 400g Water @ 205°F
Pour - 2:00
~3:30 Drain Time
This Gesha is delicious. It's almost as if the sweetness in the other Inmacculada coffees carries through to this clean, natural Gesha. Look for mango, yogurt tartness, floral orange, jasmine, and a long honeylike sweetness. We liked two recipes for this coffee. The V60 uses less coffee (hurray) and brings out more brightness and florals, while the Kalita recipe we used on bar and brings out more tropical sweetness and body. In many ways the quintessential Gesha coffee and yet in many ways so unique! This coffee wants to brew right! For our V60 recipe grind about the same as you would for a Chemex. For our Kalita recipe, we recommend your standard grind setting. Look out for a too fast drain time, under-extraction yields a tart cup, and over-extraction produces a very floral, but less sweet cup.
Inmaculada Rare Varieties
These are Relationship Coffees from Inmaculada Coffee Farms. We contracted with Inmaculada, wiring the money directly and ended up purchasing four lots. We cupped the Laurina at an 87.75, the Sudan Rume and at an 87, the Gesha at an 89. We purchased the Laurina and the Sudan Rume at $20/lb and $22/lb for the Gesha.. We purchased 53 pounds of each of the varieties, except for the Gesha, of which we bought 150 pounds. These lots were air freighted, and Inmaculada was kind enough to split the cost of freight with us.
- 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.
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 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.