Onyx is a killing the coffee game in all forms...
Whether its their baristas rocking competitions, their roaster knocking out fantastic coffees on the daily, and their amazing aesthetic online and off. They really are shaping up to be one of the most prolific brands in specialty coffee today. On top of all this they remain humbela (coffee joke), and they are always a pleasure to chat and vibe with. Having met Bear (@neutralbearmotel) at a Latte Art Throwdown in San Diego, or chatting with Dylan (@pouraxial) on Instagram I've always appreciated their approach to coffee and customer service.
I was stoked to see them on the Roasters In Residence list for the La Marzocco Cafe. One, because I want to drink more Onyx, and two, because they deserve it. Their hard work is paying off, and that cafe really is the pinnacle in my opinion. If you aren't familiar with the La Marzocco Cafe they have a new roaster every month, a new menu, and a whole new approach. It's an amazing concept, and as a love of coffee but a creature of habit, it forces me to get outside my comfort zone and try new coffees on the regular.
That being said, I've had many Onyx coffees before. I was very excited to get a couple bags of a brand new coffee that they had just received. After reading about the coffee, and its unique recipe I was excited to try it for myself. From a single farm in Colombia this coffee was noted to have flavors of strawberry, vanilla yogurt, orange peel, and black tea. It was roasted in what Onyx calls a Modern profile, which to me generally means pretty light.
First impressions when cracking open the bag and grinding the first dose was the sweet and nutty fragrance. In the portafilter it looked very light and fluffy. In my experience these types of coffees require an extremely fine grind to get the proper time and flavor development. Yet, the recipe for this coffee has a pretty standard brew ratio, 17.5 grams in, and 35 grams out. The biggest difference was the timeline, which is extremely short at 18 seconds. This means this coffee is intended to flow fast.
Once it was dialed in to the parameters set by Onyx, I dove in. The espresso was very delicate. The shot itself blondes relatively quickly, and by the end of the shot its very thin and watery. The flavors of orange peel and vanilla yogurt really stood out. The aftertaste lingered with that yogurt-like bitterness. This espresso itself doesn't lend itself well to milk-based drinks. Overall this espresso is best served straight, if you are looking for a flavor profile that lends itself to all types of espresso drinks I'd look more at Onyx's blends like Geometry or Monarch. I'd say it scores a 'Try It' on my rating scale.
Colombia La Palma Cristian Monroy
Origins: Cundinamarca, Colombia
Brew Ratio: 1:2
Grams In: 17.5
Grams Out: 35
Duration: 18-20 seconds