Our Kenya Rutuma is sourced from family-owned farms located on the southeastern slopes of the Aberdares mountain ranges in Nyeri County, Kenya. Farmers deliver their harvested cherry to be processed at the Ndaro-Ini Factory (wet mill), which is managed by the Gikanda Farmers Co-operative Society. Cooperative members generally cultivate around 250 coffee trees on half-acre plots intercropped with bananas, grevillea, and macadamia trees.
In the Kenya process, first the cherries are sorted, and underripe/overripe cherries are removed. Once the sorting is finished the coffee is then de-pulped. This is done by squeezing the cherry through a screen and removing the fruit and skin from the bean. The coffee is then left to ferment in white ceramic tiled tanks for 24 hours. Next, the coffee is stirred for a short amount of time and left to ferment for another 24 hours. After two days of dry fermentation, the coffee is washed with fresh water, removing the sticky mucilage attached to the beans that is loosened by bacteria during the fermentation. It’s then soaked in water to ferment overnight slightly. The coffee goes through sorting and density channels which separates the lots, and then it is taken to raised beds to dry. Once it reaches 11.5-12% moisture content, the coffee is brought to conditioning bins to rest until it goes to the dry mill.
FILTER - Hario V60
20.0g Coffee : 340g Water 208°F
~2:30 Drain Time
Start timer, pour 50g bloom; at 30s, pour 150g of water; at 1 minute, pour 70g of water; and at 1:30, pour 70g of water.
Make sure your bloom pour is light. All of the other pours should be heavy nickel-sized circles in the middle of the brew bed.
We liked to V60 for this coffee to highlight the black currant and the distinct acidity of the pink grapefruit note. This ratio of 1:17 stretches out the sweetness and provides a mouthwatering and long-lasting cup. Tighter ratios will provide more brightness. The Kalita Wave highlights the body and pink grapefruit, but the V60 provided more balance between the grapefruit and black currant flavors. Great sweetness and acidity as a pour-over. Definitely a great fresh harvest from Kenya.
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).
ESPRESSO - Modbar EP
Brew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 bars,
Pressure Profile: T0: 4s, T1: 4s, T2: 42s, T3-6: 0s
19.5g in : ~ 59g out @ ~25 seconds
This is a pretty intense single origin espresso. Look for an intense pink grapefruit and brown sugar. As it cools, it intensifies with black currant and grapefruit with a lingering sweetness. From 19g-20g you’ll get a good espresso, but watch out for underextraction, this coffee wants to be more salty if you don’t pull it long enough.
A bright coffee, the more milk you add, the more you hide the acidity in this coffee. We liked it with up to 4oz of milk in a cortado, developing a nice creamy pink grapefruit with burnt sugar. We really recommend this coffee as a 1-and-1.
We worked with our friend Kevin Morales at Royal Coffee in Oakland to find this beautiful early harvest Kenya coffee. We visited Kenya in February and while we wait for all our offerings we purchased to arrive (the first week in July, fingers crossed), we were really hoping to find something to offer in the meantime. Marshall, our assistant green buyer and roaster, talked with Kevin and came up with this jewel. We paid Royal Coffee $5.50 per pound for the coffee and cupped it at an 88. We purchased ten 69 kilo bags.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.20/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 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.