Fruit-forward sweetness is the main story of this coffee. Aromas range from lemon meringue to peaches and cream while apple nectar and fresh strawberry notes carry a hint of maple-drizzled cranberry-vanilla scone. It’s clean and superbly sweet, with caramelized body and sweet-sour fruity acidity.
Chalatenango, El Salvador
About Jorge Raul Rivera of El Salvador
Finca Santa Rosa occupies "Sitio Viejo" ("The Old Site") of Ilobasco before it was moved 150 ago. No traces remain of that old town, and in 2000, only pine trees grew on Finca Santa Rosa. But in 2002, Jorge Raul Rivera and his brother Jose’ Roberto learned about the Cup of Excellence awards and decided to plant the farm to Pacamara coffee with the express goal of ultimately placing in the COE awards. Utilizing the pine trees for shade, the brothers began their journey to coffee excellence.
Twelve years later, Jorge passed away in May, the month when coffee flowers bloom. But Jose’ carried on with their dream and in 2014, Finca Santa Rosa lot 2 won first place in the Cup of Excellence contest. 2015 found them placing once more. Jorge would be so proud.
Chalatenango, El Salvador
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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