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Onyx Coffee Lab

Colombia Jesus Muñoz 2018

Peach, panela, red apple.

This coffee launches with a triple whammy—peach, panela, and red apple. Add a chaser of sweet tea, a juicy mouthfeel, and a silky-light, fresh finish for a stellar cup from first sip to last lingering drip.

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Country
Colombia
Region
Nariño
Farm
La Ondulada
Farmer
Jesus Muñoz
Elevation
2035m
Variety
Bourbon
Process
Washed Process

Meet Jesus Muñoz

Finca La Ondulada is not just “in the mountains.” It sits as astounding 2035 meters above sea level—nearly 7000 feet! Coffee grown at such high altitudes ripens slower than those lower on the mountain, and this extra time lends more density and flavor to the beans. This is Onyx’s third year of working with Jesús, and his is the highest elevation farm on which they’ve seen Caturra trees growing.

Onyx Coffee Labs says flying into the region is “straight-up crazy,” sometimes taking 2-3 attempts to land the small prop plane on an airstrip running along a 3000-meter-high sheared mountain terrace. Besides tending approximately 7000 coffee trees on his 2 hectares of land, it turns out, Jesus is also an avid cyclist and has won several amateur races in Nariño.

Nariño, Colombia

It has been said, “The heart of Colombian coffee sits in the mountains of Nariño.” In fact, Nariño is the first coffee region in Colombia to earn recognition as as a regional denomination of origin. According to the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, Origin Status Denominations mark agricultural products whose qualities are associated with their place of origin. The CCGF states, “Besides natural features like climate and soil conditions, denominations of origin also involve human, cultural and traditional attributes which are reflected on the development and harvesting processes of the product.” Nariño coffees are known for their intense aroma, high acidity and sweetness.

Here farms are small, and families have been growing coffee for generations. Since the area is so large, infrastructure minimal, and the crop cycle extended, most growers wash, ferment, and dry their own coffees, taking them to be sorted and graded once they have large enough lots.

Links
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Location
Springdale, AR
Contact
Email
479-799-6552

Onyx Coffee Lab

Lest the myth perpetuate that specialty coffee does not come from Arkansas, Onyx Coffee Lab is blowing that particular urban legend out of the water while creating a few of their own. Husband-wife owners Jon and Andrea Allen have rapidly taken the coffee world by storm with their combination of art and science.

The magic starts with sourcing, with countless small sample batches from coffee importers and with direct visits to farms around the world. "I know direct trade means a lot of different things to different people, but for us if we don’t put money in the producers hands we won’t call it direct trade," says Jon. Once found, the coffees are carefully roasted in twenty-pound or smaller batches, then shared with the three Onyx cafés and over 150 wholesale customers in thirty states.

Clearly Onyx Coffee Lab knows what they're doing: not only were they named Imbibe Magazine's 2016 Coffee Bar of the year, this northwest Arkansas matrix of coffee know-how routinely cleans house at the U.S. Coffee Championships; Andrea Allen placed second in the Barista Championship in 2017, 2018, and 2019 while Dylan Siemans won first in Brewer's Cup 2017 and 4th in the Barista category, 2019. Roaster Mark Michaelson took place first in the Roaster Championship, 2017 and 3rd in 2018. Already in 2019, Onyx has garnered a Good Food Award, was chosen by Architectural Digest as Arkansas' most beautiful coffee shop, and placed in 4 of the 5 categories at the U.S. Coffee Championships.

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