Ethiopia Agaro Family

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For those of you familiar with the Ethiopian washed offerings, you've probably seen the name Nano Challa once or twice. This coffee comes from a brand new sibling mill just a few miles from Nano Challa. Production has been pushed to the limits the past few harvests, creating the need for a second station under the name Nano Genji. Six hundred thirty members are split between the two washing stations now, creating even more room to grow, meaning that we'll be seeing amazing coffees from both stations for years to come.This is both our first coffee from the Nano Genji mill, as well as our first fresh crop Ethiopian offering for the year of 2019.    


The washed process begins with coffee cherries delivered to the washing station, both from the primary market or from farmers bringing their coffee directly to the mill. The cherries are inspected, and an initial quick round of hand sorting separates the defective coffees before placing them into the hopper. They are then funneled to the disc pulper, which removes the fruit from the seeds (beans). After that phase is done, the coffee is fermented under water for approximately 36 hours, with the water drained and refreshed once in that cycle. Then, the parchment is emptied into the washing channels, where it is agitated with rakes. During this step, the water is refreshed twice. Once the washing is complete, the coffee undergoes the traditional “double wash,” where it rests in the soaking tank for another 12 hours, before being taken to the raised drying tables for sun drying.    


ESPRESSO - Modbar EPBrew Temp: 198°F, Line Pressure: ~3.5 bars, Max Pressure: 9 barsPressure Profile: 0 sec to 4 sec - line pressure, from 4 sec till done - 9 bars


Ethiopia Agaro Family This coffee is from our friends at Red Fox Coffee Merchants. It’s our third year with our first Ethiopian fresh crop coffee of the year. We purchased this coffee for $4.45/lb, and we purchased fifty 69-kilo bags.   - The Coffee Commodity purchase price was $0.95/lb when we purchased this coffee. - The Fair Trade Coffee minimum price was $1.60/lb when we purchased this coffee.    We as a company believe transparency is unbelievably important. However, we decided only to list what is shown here because we don’t know where to stop. Do we list the amount of coffee lost in roasting due to moisture loss? Should we list our roaster Mark's salary? The warehouse rent? The utilities? The point of listing things above is not to justify what we charge or what we profit, but to give a realistic snapshot of the industry and how Specialty Coffee can be different than other commodity industries. If you have concerns feel free to email us and I’ll write you back when I’m available.  - Jon  


Relationship Coffee is an initiative we, at Onyx, have purposely created to describe our sourcing and buying practices and how we document them. Certifications like Direct Trade, Fair Trade, and others have impacted the coffee communities in mostly positive ways but also in some negative ways. We find that blanket terms and applying them to a multitude of business models no longer describes what we do.   In reality, every company is different, and we wanted to step out from the mold and create a new set of standards that exceeds in every department from quality to transparency to pricing. The growers, exporters, importers, associations, cooperatives, and other entities are always a set of relationships. To be honest, many are our friends as much as they are our producers and partners. We share information, family news, meals, housing, many faiths, and argue politics. Oh, and we love it. Relationship Coffee for Onyx is the mark of an honest exchange ethos that permeates our company, and we hope it encourages the growth of specialty coffee for the future.  


We visited the farm or cupping lab and listened to the producer/agronomist or head cooperative/association to ascertain better knowledge about the culture and practices. We cupped the coffee, and it scored to our industry-high standards. We do not buy futures or multiple harvests to ensure that what we cupped for that year is what we serve. We do not ask for exclusivity from producers, binding their options. We pay what the coffee is worth. This always is at least double Fair Trade minimum due to the quality we buy, and many times is three to ten times the amount. We do not finance any coffee. Cash flow is just as important as the final price. Coffee is paid in full upon delivery, and we pay a percentage up front upon contracting.  We are completely transparent from price to logistics to cupping score, to who we work with buying and shipping coffee. We work to set premiums after a contracted price to incentivize quality and community building. This can be .10¢ - .25¢ extra per pound or community projects such as school supplies in the growing village, sports jerseys, vented chimneys for kitchen fires, etc.

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