onyx coffee lab coffee bag

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Onyx Coffee Lab’s Decaf Colombia Huila

One of the first things to accept concerning specialty coffee is that you might not get every flavor note listed on the bag. Seems odd, right? It’s one of the primary reasons why you buy in the first place.

The thing is…there are just too many variables for something as subtle as coffee. Your own unique tastebuds are a huge factor in what you taste or don’t, for starters. The freshness of the roast and grind is another, literally grounded in the science behind flavor chemicals. Then there are the unique brewing methods, up to and including whether you use filtered water! As such, I’ve learned not to be entirely disappointed if I miss out on one or two of the coffee’s features. Maybe I won’t give it a round of applause, but I won’t necessarily deem it a failure, either.

So we transition into Onyx Coffee Lab and their specialty decaf variety, advertising an impressive medley of flavors that include apple, brown sugar, almond and dark chocolate. Even better? They boast some of the most beautiful packaging I’ve ever seen. If you’ve missed my previous decaf coffee reviews, check out my breakdown of Sightglass Coffee’s Hunky Dory or Counter Culture Coffee’s Decaf Kuichi.

You’re going to love this one:

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Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Sightglass Coffee’s Hunky Dory

Is that the cutest name or what?

We’re already at the fourth entry in the Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series. That’s more than enough beans to start feeling the differences in quality. What caught my eye with this one (aside from the roaster’s adorable naming conventions) was the promise of a bergamot flavor note. For those that don’t know, that’s the tea leaf that gives Earl Grey its distinctive flavor. My tea cabinet is a pretty impressive creation, so this was something I had to check out for myself.

Does Hunky Dory truly live up to its title? Let’s take a look at this charming little bag and what it has to offer to both coffee lovers and tea fanatics. If you’re new to the series, check out my previous posts on Counter Culture Coffee’s Slow Motion or Partners Coffee Roasters’ Ghost Town.

Without further ado!

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child coloring

Explore Coffee From The Comfort Of Home: Loring’s Roasting Coloring Book

As an illustrator and a coffee enthusiast, I appreciate this on several levels.

Loring, a coffee roaster manufacturer based in California, recently crafted a coffee roasting coloring book to keep people occupied during the pandemic. Not only is it a good way to keep children occupied when phone time’s up, it’s a neat look into the ins-and-outs of roasting facilities. It’s stuffed with all sorts of lineart illustrations, from the beans to the machines. It’s currently available for download on their website and can be perfect for digital painting or filling in with marker. If you’re in need of a little therapy, look no further.

Painting is one of my most reliable forms of calming down and cooling off. Has been for most of my life. Something I love about this idea is not just the clever way of keeping people in touch with their local coffee businesses, but the unabashed appreciation of fun. Miserable news circulates more consistently than the air we breathe: inviting people’s artistic spirit is a pitch-perfect idea that will leave a positive impact.

Small Roaster, Big Potential: How A New Roasting Business Emerges

Carving out your path means refusing to walk down certain trails.

This sounds like conventional wisdom, and yet, you’d be surprised by how easily the prospect of a juicy sale gets in the way of it. As a new roaster you have the unenviable position of having to market to thousands of cafes who are then trying to market to millions of people. However…quality, not quantity, is what sets one roaster apart from the next. You wouldn’t expect to see a chocolate factory with the highest quality cocoa beans advertising their products for children’s birthday parties. Likewise, you wouldn’t expect an instant noodle brand to aim at five-star restaurants in upscale New York City.

Why would your roasts be a one-size-fits-all?

When you sell your roast you create a path for cafes and customers to wander down. Your specialty roast tells cafes which customers they appeal to. Customers are then told how this cafe will intersect with their busy lifestyle. Keeping this path clear of proverbial pitfalls means learning about every step of the way: getting in touch with the why and the how of your new microroasting business so you can sell that plain, ever-so-coveted what. We’re going to take a journey through all the little details that go toward creating a delicious and memorable specialty roast people want to buy.

Emphasizing the peripheral information surrounding your new roasting business, promoting lifestyle benefits and stressing the unique traits of your coffee are all small steps that add up to an unforgettable experience.

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