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: this northwest Arkansas matrix of coffee know-how routinely cleans house at the U.S. Coffee Championships; Andrea Allen placed first in the 2020 Barista Championship, while Elika Liftee placed first in the 2020 Brewers Cup Championship, and they both went on to the 2021 World Coffee Championships to place in 2nd place for Barista and 3rd place for Brewers Cup. Onyx has been chosen by Architectural Digest as Arkansas' most beautiful coffee shop, garnered multiple Good Food Awards, and been described as the "Best bags of coffee you can buy online" in GQ.