Monarch is one of two blends we recreate year-round specifically designed for espresso. This is the darker roasted, more chocolatey counterpart to Geometry Blend. We wanted an espresso that intentionally worked with higher amounts of milk and would represent a more traditional style of espresso. Monarch is bold and defiant and tends to stand out in beverages of milk that have a volume of 12oz or more. When tasted as pure espresso or in large amounts of milk this coffee shows sugar caramelization in coffee roasting to the fullest. Roasting and human-made flavors in coffee are what Monarch represents. It’s a beautiful image of what traditional espresso truly is even when we are sourcing at a modern level. It’s higher in sweetness and developed in the roast to take fruit flavors to caramels, brown sugars, and chocolates. For this blend, we use a combination of seasonal natural processed coffee from Ethiopia and a washed coffee from Latin America to showcase sugar and complexity. When tasting find bittersweet dark chocolate, a mulled wine acidic sweetness, molasses, and a hint of dried berries on the finish. The coffee is extremely heavy and dense with a velvety-like mouthfeel.
Our approach to creating blends is a bit different at Onyx. Instead of choosing coffees from specific countries or regions that will, in theory, intertwine well to create complex & cohesive flavors like most, we start from the end and work our way back. This perspective means we choose to create a particular flavor profile first, deciding which acidities, sugars, and fats we want to accentuate for the coffee. Once a flavor profile has been set- in this case, dark chocolate, red wine, molasses, and orange peel for Monarch- we then start cupping blind through many coffees to find these specific attributes. For Monarch, we use a natural Ethiopia roasted longer than normal to take bright fruits to a wine-like sweetness. Then we use Guatemalan coffees to find extra chocolate and caramel notes and create a dense, heavy body. The purpose is that once a flavor profile is created, we update the coffees that make up Monarch every 3-4 months. This allows us to have a year-round blend and flavor profile of high quality while retaining our commitment to seasonal coffees. This vigorous amount of cupping and blending takes a considerable amount of time, but we think it makes the difference and is a system we use for all our blends. Currently, this blend is Ethiopia Beriti and Colombia La Union.
Feel excited that the coffee you are drinking is always in season, and therefore, it is cupping and tasting to its full potential. We will never compromise our commitment to high-quality coffees and blends, whether it’s a single origin release or a blend component. You will not find Onyx buying “blender” coffees to save cost or prolong a good coffee. We also always keep blends to three coffees or less and maintain ratios in the build. This way what you extract is the flavor profile we designed.
Monarch is in the hopper at all our Labs and is our house espresso for beverages 12 ounces and larger. Used by many cafes as a both an espresso and a more developed drip option.