I’m a long-time admirer of the Onyx Coffee Lab brand. They have the most beautiful, boxed coffee ever and the most die-hard loyal customers.
But, considering there isn’t an Onyx anywhere near me (or even in my state), the only way I was going to get my hands on some Onyx coffee was going to be online. No problem there, except we’ve gotten a little spoiled lately with buying beans from a local roaster or using super ultra concentrated coffee like Jot.
Luckily, the good people at Onyx sent me a couple of blends to try and I am very happy to report that the time in transit did not diminish the flavor or freshness of my Onyx Coffee Lab experience.
So, while it was very difficult to keep the Onyx blends in the house long enough to get these pictures (it was love at first sniff), I was able to snag a few and, more importantly, got to taste and experience Onyx for myself and I’m going to share all the deets with you.
What is Onyx Coffee Lab?
Onyx was started by Andrew and Jon Allen in Arkansas where they had a vision to bring better coffee to the people with transparency at their core. They have thought through every detail, including their bag design when crafting their iconic coffee blends and I believe it’s part of why people can’t get enough of it.
Their motto is “never settle for good enough” and you can tell that they never do. First, they travel all over the world to find the best coffee and then maintain super high standards for how their coffees score and taste.
Coffee is roasted and shipped every weekday, utilizing solar energy from the roof of their facility and a sample of every roast is tested for quality. Then, they share all of this information on their website for their customers to view, too.
In addition, every coffee has its on pricing and trade data, so you can see what they paid for it, what it was scored at, who they bought if from and more.
If you’re lucky enough to live close to a cafe, you’ll see that they’ve cultivated an environment that is warm, welcoming, and coffee obsessed.
Onyx Southern Weather & Tropical Weather:
The two coffee blends we were able to try were the infamous Southern Weather in the black box and Tropical Weather in a dusty rose box.
When we started unpacking them, I was impressed to see so much information about the coffee right there on the box.
They also include the notes of the coffee, too, which I have to tell you – were spot on. We drink a lot of coffee around here and while we can smell and taste subtle differences in coffee, especially freshly roasted coffee, it’s not always a super distinct difference.
These Onyx blends had very clear notes when you smelled them. The Tropical Weather blend, for instance, has notes of mixed berries and you can absolutely smell and taste this in the coffee. The box also shares that the blend is composed of two coffees from Ethiopia. One is naturally dried, resulting in the fruit forward flavor and the other is washed and fermented, which creates the light floral characteristics. This coffee uses seasonal micro-lots to recreate the same flavor profile year round.
In contrast, the Southern Weather blend has notes of milk chocolate, plum, and candied walnuts and you can actually catch each of these when you smell and taste it. Southern Weather is a blend of washed coffees from East African and Latin America. It is served as a refined house blend for quality cafes around the world. Similar to Tropical Weather, this blend also uses seasonal micro-lots to recreate the same flavor profile year round.
It was actually quite remarkable how distinct the smell and taste of the blends were. This made for a really fun coffee tasting experiment as we made both blends and drank them side-by-side, both black and with cream.
I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite, honestly. They were both delicious and they did not last long in my house. In a place with no shortage of coffee, it’s always a good sign when a particular type vanishes almost as quickly as it arrived.
In the case of Onyx, the only think I wish was different was that we had a bigger box.
Onyx Coffee Lab & Sustainability:
Something I really respect about Onyx is their efforts to be more sustainable. Their coffee bags aren’t just beautiful, they’re also made from 60% compostable and all renewable film layers, utilizing Biotre 2.0 packaging. The bags include a one-way gas valve to ensure longer lasting shelf stability and freshness.
The boxes, too, are made from unbleached, uncoated paperboard. They are food-grade certified and easily recyclable.
Oh, and their roastery is carbon neutral and their use of infrared gas burners reduces natural gas usage by about 60%.
From sourcing to serving coffee, Onyx has thought about every step and brings excellence and transparency to the entire process.
I’m so glad I was finally able to try Onyx for myself. Then, after receiving these two coffee blends, I also had the chance to try Cometeer, which is partnering with Onyx on one of their flash frozen coffee pods.
I used the Onyx/Cometeer pod to whip up a delicious cinnamon oatmilk latte and shared the whole recipe in this post.
Then, I put Cometeer and Jot head-to-head in the ultimate showdown. Check that one out here.
That’s all for today. If you ever have a chance to try Onyx Coffee Lab – I hope you jump at it.