I’ve really been enjoying Onyx Coffee Lab’s (Bentonville and Fayetteville, Arkansas) winter line-up of late and today I have a special nano lot of a natural Pacamara from El Salvador to share with you! Links are below and then let’s drink some coffee!
ONYX COFFEE LAB EL SALVADOR FINCA SANTA ROSA NATURAL
I’ve reviewed a lot of coffee from Onyx Coffee Lab and they always do a fantastic job with selection and roasting. It’s the reason they’re one of my favorite roasters and I always enjoy writing about their coffees! If you have a really good memory, you’ll know I reviewed another Onyx/Finca Santa Rosa coffee almost a year ago. That one was a honey process. Today’s coffee is from Jorge Raul Rivera’s Finca Santa Rosa in El Salvador, too. It’s a Pacamara variety grown at 1700 meters above sea level and this one is naturally processed, meaning it was picked, sorted and then dried with the cherry intact rather than being removed as it is in other processes. Finca Santa Rosa is well known for their attention to detail in picking and processing and Onyx Coffee Lab bought several lots from them that they’ll be releasing throughout the winter. Unfortunately, this natural lot was small, so they’ve already sold out, but the washed Pacamara is still available for $18/bag! I’m really sorry you won’t be able to share this coffee with me, but that’s the “problem” in specialty coffee. The lots are often small and sell fast, but it’s still worth writing about these exceptional coffees and roasters.
Onyx gives us flavor notes of, “raspberry, cocoa, dates, white wine” and says that the coffee is fruit forward yet also, “dry and tannin.” I used my standard 1:16 ratio of 28g of coffee to 450g of water in a notNeutral Gino dripper with white Kalita 185 filters and a Handground grinder on the 3.5 setting for my cups and it yielded a really nice, complex cup to say the least. There is a lot of berry tone in the front end of this coffee as well as in the finish. Raspberry is a good descriptor. It’s sweet, a little tart and leaves a little bit of a dry finish and it’s really, really delicious! I would call this a clean coffee with a lot of structure, but there is still a hint of ferment toward the end of the sip that adds a bit of tartness and complexity to the cup. It tastes very “natural” with the fruit flavors in the cup, rather than an obvious product of processing. Either way, I love it!
There is a lot of brightness in this cup, too, but I wouldn’t call it citrusy or malic, but rather more phosphoric. It gives an almost candy-like note to the cup and elevates the sweetness even more. Like raspberry candy in a cup! The coffee finishes a little dry of neutral and leaves a pleasant, fruity aftertaste that lingers for a long time. This is an outstanding coffee and a really good lot selection and roast from my friends at Onyx Coffee Lab. Man, what a coffee! No wonder it sold out so quickly! I’ll be posting the washed version review in the next day or two, so stay tuned for that. Having had two stellar coffees from this farm and roaster so far, I can only imagine the washed lot is excellent, too!