Onyx Coffee Lab

Ethiopia Bombe Bensa Natural

Raspberry, lavender, milk chocolate.

Exceptionally fruit-forward, raspberry and lavender partner with black tea and chocolate notes in this beautiful, clean coffee. Velvety, with a sweet, winey acidity, perfect terroir and intentional processing unify to create a one of a kind coffee.

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Smallholder Farmers
Bombe Washing Station
Ethiopian Heirloom
Natural Process

Meet Bombe Washing Station

Bombe washing station is a culmination of several years of preparation for Sidama coffee man Assefa Dukamo (shown here with his son, Keneon) and his family. Not only is the mill well-organized and run by a top-notch team, but the community of smallholder producers achieved several levels of certification, including NOP and JAS Organic as well as C.A.F.E. Practices. The allows the local coffee cherries, which are already grown with organic practices, to reach new markets around the world.

In 2018, Bombe washing station has focused on specialty micro-lots in conjunction with Catalyst Trade, a boots-on-the-ground American-Ethiopian partnership that is involved at every level of processing, cupping, sampling and importing. For the 2017/2018 production cycle, they implemented drying tables with shade mesh canopy for slower and more gentle drying. “Cup characteristics of these shade dried naturals enhance fruit juice character and sweetness” (Catalyst Trade).

Sidama, Ethiopia

The land of the Sidama people in the SNNPR region is one of the most green and fertile lands on the African continent, and because of that, its people were stable and self-sufficient, an independent nation-state until annexed to Ethiopia in 1891. And a word on the name Sidamo vs Sidama: the Sidama do not refer to themselves as Sidamo. They feel it is a label that represents the the conquest of their independence and the suppression of their identity as a people. They prefer Sidama.

While washed and unwashed coffees are typically produced here, some killer naturals are also being produced. The beans are of medium size and green/grey in color. Washed Sidama coffee is particularly appreciated for its round cup, balanced acidity, body, and characteristic flavor, which is sweet in taste and a vital component of many roasters' lists.

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 not only cleaned house at the April 2017 U.S. Coffee Championships, Andrea Allen placed second in the Barista Championship both 2017 and 2018, Dylan Siemans won first in Brewer's Cup 2017, and 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, and was chosen by Architectural Digest as Arkansas' most beautiful coffee shop.

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