StepFramily - A Spring Onyx Origin
The Gora Kone washing station situated in the Arsi region, next to the Nensebo river and the village of Werka; the station provides an income for 700 to 800 coffee smallholders. On the premise of these family farms, 3 hectares per farm on average, you find wanza and acacia trees that shade their coffee trees. Cherries are handpicked between November and January and delivered to Gora Kona washing station.
The water from the Gerenbicho river, an affluent of the Nensebo river is used for the washing process and changed fresh every twelve hours. They have an extended fermentation time, some of their washed lots can extend up to 42-46 hours. Coffee is raised-bed dried on a steep hillside where the wind is prevalent.
WASHED PROCESSED COFFEE
The washed process begins with coffee cherries delivered to the washing station, both from the primary market or from farmers bringing their coffee directly to the mill. The cherries are inspected, and an initial quick round of hand sorting separates the defective coffees before placing them into the hopper. They are then funneled to the disc pulper, which removes the fruit from the seeds (beans). After that phase is done, the coffee is fermented under water for approximately 42-46 hours, with the water drained and refreshed once in that cycle. Then, the parchment is emptied into the washing channels, where it is agitated with rakes. During this step, the water is refreshed twice. Once the washing is complete, the coffee undergoes the traditional “double wash,” where it rests in the soaking tank for another 12 hours, before being taken to the raised drying tables for sun drying.
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
~3:40 Drain Time
Our Spring Origin coffee comes from Ethiopia. Reminiscent of our other Ethiopian offerings, but with a little more spring sweetness and cheer. Think warmer and sweeter notes than you’ll usually find with our coffees. We tasted berries with lovely earl grey and a pleasant, long dark chocolate finish. We enjoyed this coffee on the Kalita Wave, and are likely to serve our customers the same. The Kalita brings the fruitiness through the caramelized sugars and leaves us with a nice rich body as well. This coffee wants to brew right. It plays nicely with other brew methods as well. If under-extracted expect it to be slightly tart, woody, and burnt without the long lasting sweetness to balance it out. If over-extracted expect drying cocoa and bitter tea to overwhelm the pleasant fruity notes.
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 : ~47g out @ ~25s
Berries and lemon zest with cocoa, that’s what you get with this espresso! This coffee is pretty strong, so we liked 19.5g in vs. a traditional 20g to give us a little more approachable brew. As strong as it is, it didn’t carry through milk very well. Even a single cappuccino seemed to drown out the cocoa and lemon, leaving a slight berries and cream flavor that was tasty but lacking in the complexity we experienced with the espresso. If over-extracted you’ll get a watery brew that loses acidity. If under-extracted the coffee was tart and thick without a pleasant aftertaste.
Ethiopia Gora Kone
This coffee we found with the help of our friends at Trabocca. We paid $3.60 per pound and we purchased thirty 60-kilo bags.
- The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $1.10/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.