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Onyx Coffee Lab

Guatemala El Olvido

Black cherry, almond, apple.

Deep fruits. Exotic sweetness. Aromas include maple syrup, plum, apricot and root beer. In the cup, flavor notes of black cherry, almond, and apple pair with toffee and toast. Sweet acidity and velvety, juicy body round out this supremely drinkable coffee.

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Country
Guatemala
Region
Huehuetenango
Farm
El Olvdo
Farmer
The Perez Family
Elevation
1750m
Variety
Pacamara
Process
Washed Process

Meet The Perez Family

For almost 80 years now, the Perez family has been exploring and perfecting the art of producing exemplary coffee. Starting back in 1940 with a small acreage, they founded Finca Isnul. Hard work, commitment to excellence, and a never-give-up attitude has stood them in good stead. Not only have they placed in the prestigious Cup of Excellence competition five times (the latest being in 2017 and 2018), over the years, their farm has grown to 160 hectares. This includes a small neighboring farm, El Olvido, acquired some years ago.

That’s where this superb coffee was grown. It’s a Pacamara, a specialty of the Perez family. They’ve kept this El Olvido micro-lot separate, processed it meticulously, and produced a fruit-forward coffee that challenges the concept of what traditional Guatemalan coffees taste like.

Huehuetenango, Guatemala

In many places in the world, coffee grows in volcanic soil. Here in the Huehuetenango region in the western highlands of Guatemala, that is not the case. Located near Cuchumatanes, the highest non-volcanic mountain range in Central America, currents of hot air sweep up from Mexico’s Tehuantepec plain, intercepting the colder air flowing down the mountain and protecting the region from frost. This phenomenon, along with natural shade from the highland jungles, provides the perfect growing environment, allowing coffee cultivation as high as 2,000 meters.

Coffees from Huehuetenango (pronounced “way-way-ten-an-go”) present a fruitier profile than other most other Guatemalan regions. Some speculate that this is due to how high producers stack their beans on the drying patios. This common practice may not be the most efficient way to dry the coffees, but the Huehue profile is distinctive.

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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