Review: Onyx Coffee Lab Ethiopia Guji Uraga (Springdale, Arkansas)

I’ve reviewed coffee from Onyx before; they are a roaster that’s making a name for themselves nationally, being featured in lists like Gear Patrol’s 25 Best Coffee Roasters in America (June 2018) and Thrillist’s 2017 list of the Best 21 Coffee Roasters in the Country. When I was contacted recently by Javaya to do a review of their coffee delivery service, the fact that they partner with Onyx Coffee Lab was a big factor in my willingness to try their service out; Onyx has a reputation for excellence so I knew that these guys at Javaya had to be quite serious about their coffee. This was the bag I received from that order.

Whole bean: light tea scent; delicate and subtle. Ground up, the beans released a hint of lime, vanilla wafers, and butterscotch. Unusual!

V60: Complex cup – I tasted sweetness ranging from lychee, hibiscus, and toffee.

AeroPress: Bright and lively cup that tasted mainly of lime and caramel. Kind of a weird combination of flavors on paper but it did work – easy to sip and I didn’t think there was a need to any additional water to mute this.

Chemex: This was my favorite of the four methods for these beans. The coffee had a smooth and subtle creaminess. There was less fruit in this and more toffee/caramel notes, much like the caramelized sugar topping on a crème brûlée.

French press: Not creamy like the Chemex cup. Strangely, considering this was an immersion method, the result in the french press tasted more bland and nondescript than the other cups. Not unpleasant but just more generically light roast… I didn’t taste anything distinctive or special about this coffee.

Summary: So many personalities! This coffee tasted significantly different in all four methods. I think it worked best in the pourover methods, with the Chemex being my personal favorite for the sugary, caramel flavor. Looking at the tasting notes, I tasted pretty much none of this, but perhaps it is a sign of how complex the coffee is. Or, my palate is really broken!!

From the roaster: Orange blossom, fresh peach, assam tea, cocoa

This particular coffee is not currently available on Onyx’s website, but here’s a link to their online shop:

Coffee – Onyx Coffee Lab

Review conducted 4-5 days post-roast.

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