It was some years ago that we, Jon and Andrea, began to dream of serving a sweet, black cup of coffee to our customers in Arkansas. This coffee, the mythical bridge between the blended chocolate drink and a strong black cup, needed to combine the delicate flavors only present when coffee is grown and processed with love and care, roasted to enhance but not mask flavor, and brewed to highlight those flavors, with the kind of customer service that meets people where they are- a solid, kind approach built on a desire to please them not only in the exchange at the counter, but with the drink they sip over meetings, laptops, and books.
Out of this dream is how Onyx Coffee Lab was born in October of 2012. Back then, we were struggling to get access to the kind of green coffee samples we were interested in. When no one knows who you are, no one wants to take a chance on you. We came out blazing with siphons, Kyoto cold brew towers, and weekly cuppings and classes, anything we could do to get customers asking why. Today we consist of a roasting facility, three stores with another on the way, 59 baristas, two roasters, a delivery guy, a warehouse grandpa, and a toddler. No matter what beverage is created with coffee in our cafes, it all starts with the green coffee.
We believe that no amount of roasting expertize or beverage mixology can take the place of the kind of green coffee that’s the result of intentionality at the farm level. Coffees that are grown and harvested to maintain quality and consistency from cherry ripeness to density then processed to continue that quality create a coffee that is clean, flavorful and interesting from cup to cup.
Our commitment to seeking out quality green coffee ranges from trips to origin were Jon, part owner, and green buyer, cups hundreds of coffees in search of the one or two that fits what we are looking for. At times this yields small, one bag micro-lots, picked and processed specifically for Onyx that has gone on to win Good Food Awards and place in regional and national barista competitions. At times this yields bringing in a container to split within buying groups we work with in order to offer a great coffee for an extended time. We can’t visit every farm we would like to in the world, so the rest of the sourcing work is done in our lab. We roast and cup dozens of coffee samples a week – narrowing them down to coffees that taste great
Onyx roast Tusday-Friday and dispatch the next business day.