Onyx Coffee Lab, as mentioned before, is one of my favorite coffee roasters. They are a small batch coffee roasting company who sources coffee ethically and skillfully mixes science and artisanship to bring about great coffees. Onyx Coffee Lab is based out of Springdale, Arkansas, with cafés also in Fayetteville and Bentonville. They are definitely a coffee roaster that you want to be familiar with. For a fuller analysis of Onyx Coffee Lab as a whole, please refer to my review on their Kenya Nyeri Barichu.
As also mentioned before, I received four different coffees from Onyx Coffee Lab in return for coffee reviews. One of the many things that is quite impressive about Onyx Coffee Lab is that their desire for perfection does not end with coffee. From the packaging to shipping to the way that they prepare and serve beverages, Onyx Coffee Lab is extremely intentional. One example of this is that I received these four coffees 2 days after they were roasted! Anyway, to say the least, they are good.
For this review, I will be looking at Onyx Coffee Lab’s Sugar Skull blend, which is a two-origin coffee: Guatemala and Colombia. It is made up of four different varietals: Bourbon, Typica, Castillo, and Pache. It is a direct trade coffee that was exported by Royal NY. And, Onyx Coffee Lab considers this coffee to be in the middle range on their scale of traditional and modern.
Brew Method: Because this was a blend, I ran it as espresso, on a La Marzocco 3-group Linea, grinding it on a Mahlkönig Peak. For this blend, I dosed 18.5 grams of coffee and pulled shots from 20-30 seconds. And, surprisingly, all of them were great. While the shorter pulled shots seemed a little under-extracted, being a little sour, they were still quite nice, though not as great as the longer pulled shots.
Analysis: Very bright and sweet! It completely covered my mouth with sweetness. Orange zest and maybe even lemon in the aftertaste. My wife said that it reminded her of orange juice, which I think is a great description. There was also a chocolatey-ness and a nuttiness that seemed more prominent as it cooled. I was truly blown away by the sweetness; it seemed to be prominent citrus with maybe a hint of cherry. The body was wonderful as well, a nice heavier body, with such a long aftertaste. As in, I literally remember tasting it 3 hours later!
The Sugar Skull Blend can be purchased on Onyx Coffee Lab’s website for $14.50! Definitely check it out! As Onyx Coffee Lab rightly says, “Sugar Skull embodies the wonderful relationship between a citric acidity balance and wonderful, full bodied chocolates.” And, actually, FYI, Onyx Coffee Lab serves this coffee every day, using it with all sorts of brewing methods.
Although I did not get a chance to brew this as a pourover, I think that it would be interesting to see what it would have tasted like. I don’t usually prefer blends as pourovers, but I think that this could be a fairly nice one.
Thanks again for the review beans, Onyx Coffee Lab!