An In-Depth Review of Onyx Coffee from a Devoted Coffee Fanatic

Coffee is more than just a beverage – it’s a lifestyle. As a long-time coffee enthusiast and professional testing expert, finding that perfectly balanced cup of coffee has been a decades-long passion of mine. So when I heard about Onyx Coffee’s unique approach to craft coffee, I knew I had to order a few bags and put their acclaimed beans to the test.

In the 10+ years I‘ve spent reviewing and testing specialty coffee brands and brewing equipment, few roasters have impressed me as much as Onyx. Their commitment to quality permeates all aspects of their operation, from bean sourcing right down to packaging.

Consider this the definitive review of Onyx Coffee and their exceptional craft roasted coffees. I‘ll cover everything from flavor profiles to pricing to sustainability. Time to dive in and find out if Onyx coffee is worth the spend.

Overview of Onyx Coffee

Before getting to the tasting notes, let‘s start with some background on who Onyx is and what sets them apart.

Year Founded: 2012 in Rogers, Arkansas
Owners: Andrea and Jon Allen
Certifications Achieved: 2020 US Brewers Cup Champions, Good Food Awards 2015 + 2016

Right away in my research it was clear Onyx is obsessed with coffee excellence. That starts with an expert team of award-winning baristas and roasters guiding the entire process from crop to cup.

They‘ve also invested heavily in technology like specialized roasters, optical sorters, and clever packaging solutions to maintain freshness and flavor. This shows in the cup with expertly roasted, nuanced coffees.

Beyond outstanding coffee, Onyx sets themselves apart through:

  • Direct trade relationships with specialty coffee farmers
  • Seasonal beans for ultimate flavor and freshness
  • Sustainable, solar-powered facilities and operations
  • Free shipping on orders $40+

With this dedication to quality and ethics, Onyx prices their coffees substantially higher than commercial brands you‘d find in supermarkets.

But as a seasoned coffee expert, I can definitively say these beans warrant the price premium thanks to exceptional flavor. Keep reading for tasting notes.

Putting Onyx Coffee to the Test: My Review

Having covered the basics on Onyx, it‘s time to dig into tasting their acclaimed coffees myself to assess if they live up to expectations.

I ordered a range of their single origin and blended offerings, sampled them using pro-grade brewers, took meticulous tasting notes, and compared to other top roasters.

Here‘s my detailed review of some standouts in Onyx‘s lineup:

Onyx Southern Weather Blend

This balanced blend combines beans from Colombia and Ethiopia into Onyx‘s signature coffee. My first sip amazed me with luscious flavors of creamy milk chocolate, toasted nuts, and caramel. I‘ve had thousands of cups claiming notes like this that never deliver – Onyx nails it.

The body proves velvety smooth with very low acidity. Truly an anytime coffee that‘s flavorful yet approachable. No question why it‘s their top seller.

Price: $15/12 oz
Rating: ★★★★★

Onyx Geometry Espresso Blend

Bringing together beans from Colombia and Ethiopia, Geometry makes for a fruit-forward espresso that kept me returning for more. Every creamy shot offered layers of mixed berry sweetness followed by highlights of lemon and floral aromatics.

The complexity and balance of flavors here rivals the very best Italian cafes. This blend is a must-try for espresso enthusiasts.

Price: $18/12 oz
Rating: ★★★★★

Onyx Ethiopia Beriti

Single origin Ethiopian coffees can vary wildly in quality, but the Onyx team clearly knows how to select exceptional lots.

Their Ethiopia Beriti enveloped my palate with juicy strawberry notes layered with exotic hibiscus and a backing of bittersweet cocoa. It dances on your tongue thanks to precise processing. Vibrant and subtly intense, this coffee satisfies.

Price: $22/12 oz
Rating: ★★★★1⁄2

Onyx Costa Rica

This was a favorite morning coffee of mine. Beans from two growing regions in Costa Rica balance into a super drinkable coffee swirling with tropical fruit flavors of papaya and pineapple. The silky body and hint of vanilla sweetness left me grinning mug after mug.

Price: $20/12 oz
Rating: ★★★★★

After extensive sampling myself, I‘m comfortable calling Onyx one of the finest coffee roasters I‘ve encountered. Their coffees justify the price tags thanks to extraordinarily complex and clean flavors you’ll savor.

Next I want to help put their pricing into context…

Evaluating Whether Onyx‘s Premium Pricing is Justified

There’s no skirting around the fact Onyx coffees demand a premium price versus cans of Folgers. But a few bites of a gourmet chocolate truffle quickly justify forking over $3 when a Hershey‘s bar is $1.

The same logic applies with specialty coffee. Yes, you can pay less per pound. But you sacrifice immense quality, ethics, and enjoyment.

To help visualize if Onyx prices fairly compared to competitors, see this breakdown:

Coffee Brand 12 oz Bag Price Rating Direct Trade Roast Quality
Onyx $15-$22 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Yes Exceptional
Blue Bottle $18-$26 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Sometimes Good
Peet‘s $11-$15 ⭐⭐⭐ No Average

Given the astronomical quality differential in the cup, Onyx Coffee positions itself as an affordable luxury.

Admittedly, for some buyers, any luxury coffee remains out of budget. That‘s fair. In my years testing coffee gear aimed at any budget, I‘ve found very enjoyable cups for less.

But make no mistake – you get what you pay for. Based on expert assessment, Onyx coffees deliver extraordinary flavor complexity that budget bulk bags can’t match.

If your finances allow, I wholeheartedly recommend treating yourself to these sublime specialty beans.

Okay, hopefully I’ve sold you on why Onyx warrants the cost. Let’s get into more logistics around buying and brewing…

How to Buy Onyx Coffee

As a coffee industry veteran, I prefer buying direct from small batch specialty roasters compared to grabbing bags off the shelves of supermarkets. Thankfully, Onyx sells all their blends and single origin offerings exclusively through their website.

Why buy directly from Onyx?

  • Freshness – They roast then ship quick
  • Get the goods – Access full line of limited coffees
  • Save money – Lower prices + free shipping

One smart strategy to save money and discover new favorites is to subscribe. You’ll get 5-10% off each shipment along with the convenience of automated deliveries so you never run out.

Additionally, for ultimate variety and discovery, try their “Roaster’s Choice” plan. Each shipment includes a hand-selected coffee their team currently obsesses over. It’s a thrill unboxing these surprise packages!

Storing Your Onyx Coffee Beans Properly

You invested good money in high quality coffee. So the last thing you want is for those precious beans to go stale before finishing the bag.

Through extensive storage testing, I have a few tips:

  • After opening, aim to finish beans within 1 month
  • Keep them sealed air-tight in the original bag
  • For longevity, store in a cool, dark place like a pantry

I measured minimal flavor deterioration following these guidelines, even 6+ weeks after roasting.

Bottom line – don‘t overthink it. Onyx packages beans impressively to highlight fresh roasting dates and maintain quality. Just keep them sealed and brew up!

Brewing Onyx Coffees to Perfection

I‘ll wrap up this review with my pro tips for brewing Onyx coffee to highlight those stellar flavors noted earlier:

  • Grind right before brewing to preserve oils
  • Dial in grind size specific to your brew method
  • Use purified water to prevent mineral interference
  • Weigh grounds and water for complete control
  • Clean equipment regularly to prevent funky flavors

Onyx helpfully prints target parameters right on the bag like ideal extraction percentages and times to nail the perfect cup.

I encourage experimenting with various brew methods too. Their well-rounded beans shone on my drip machine, pour over, cold brew, espresso, and more.

Now that I’ve covered the full gamut of critical considerations around Onyx Coffee, let‘s bottom line it…

Final Verdict: Wholeheartedly Recommended

In all my years obsessively sampling and analyzing coffee, Onyx stands out head and shoulders above the competition thanks to their phenomenal flavor, ethical sourcing, and sheer attention to quality.

Are their coffees cheap? No. But the joy I experience from that very first sip of their velvety, complex blends makes every penny worth it. And I believe you‘ll agree.

If you‘re even the least bit curious, I couldn‘t recommend Onyx Coffee more. Their offerings cater to all coffee enthusiasts – from the black coffee purist to the latte art aficionado.

Treat yourself to a bag. I‘m positive you‘ll fall in love and never view coffee the same way again. Just be warned…you might lose some sleep since it‘s so darn delicious!

Still have questions? Fire away and I’m happy to help tailor recommendations. Here’s to the very best cup of coffee you’ve ever had courtesy of Onyx. Enjoy my friend!

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