Onyx Coffee Lab

Colombia La Palma Olga Beltrán

Juicy cherry, brown bugar, allspice.

This cup launches with aromas of golden raspberry, malted vanilla, and toffee. Next comes honeydew melon and nectarine paired with strawberry and cherry starburst. A sweet, nippy lemongrass acidity, mild body, and savory finish complete this multifaceted flavor profile.

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San Isidro,
La Abuela
Olga Beltrán
Semi-Washed Process

Meet Olga Beltrán

23 years ago, Olga inherited a two-hectare farm near the village of San Isidro from her much-loved grandmother. Standing on this land, Olga knew she wanted to to name the farm “La Abuela” (the grandmother), and return to the coffee growing tradition of her heritage. When her husband, Guillermo, retired14 years after that, they moved out to La Abuela, and now raise coffee, plantains, and rabbits.

Difficulties in obtaining skilled laborers for harvest has lead the couple to work with La Palma y El Tucán coffee farm and state-of-the-art mill through their Neighbors & Crops project. The folks at La Palma help growers focus on producing highest quality coffee cherries in order to receive a better price per kilo than they had previously received through the FNC. This is Onyx’s second year of buying Olga’s coffee.

Cudinamarca, Colombia

Coffee came to the Cundinamarca region circa 1860, both on the western slopes and down into the llanos (grassy, treeless plains) towards the Magdalena River, and slowly shifting northwest through the next decade or two. More and more farmers began turning from the failing indigo market to cultivation of this promising crop--so much so that in the past, giant estates--some with more than a million coffee trees--sprang up around the capital of Bogotá.

An area of great biodiversity, this region has unique microclimates ideal for endowing its coffee with juicy complexity of flavors. Temperatures average 21°C with a relative humidity of 75 % and a minimum of 1600 hours of sun annually. But even with the perfect soil and climate, many local families are struggling to make ends meet. One way they’re doing that is by improving coffee quality to bring better prices.

Springdale, AR

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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