Onyx Coffee Lab, located on the corner of Gregg Avenue and Township Road, is coffee to the extreme. For Fayetteville’s newest coffee house addition, the goal is simple: make the world’s best cup of coffee. At Onyx, the owners, Jon and Andrea Allen, are making their dream of a precise cup of coffee a reality. They are achieving this through meticulous methods and opening up their shop to the public, on a regular basis, to provide free coffee education.Onyx had humble beginnings in the mind of Andrea Allen. Allen began working in the Fayetteville coffee industry ten years ago as a barista for Arsaga’s.
“Working as a barista I just got more and more interested in what was going on with the coffee business. I managed several of the Arsaga’s stores. Then, five years ago my husband and I bought two of their stores,” said Allen.
After learning how to run a business, the Allens decided to roast their own coffee beans and start their own brand of coffee. They then had to decide on the image they wanted. They had to ask why they were rebranding and figure out what all of it meant. They had to figure out what kind of logo they wanted to have and how to market their new venture. Altogether, the rebranding process took six months, and they had the entirely new product that Onyx serves today.
Any business that has the word “lab” tacked on the end of the name is undoubtedly serious about the science of its product. Onyx Coffee Labs is no exception.
“We do our own roasting at our store in Springdale,” said Allen. “In coffee, there is a lot of science that goes into taking a green bean and getting the whole flavor profiles of it.”
Onyx Coffee Lab’s beans begin their journey by being shipped from one of Onyx’s many sources.
“We buy from Columbia, Honduras, Brazil, Kenya, Ethiopia and our direct trade right now is from Brazil and Honduras,” said Mrs. Allen.
Next, the beans are roasted locally. In fact, all of the beans inside both Onyx locations are roasted by Onyx employees.
“From the beginning to the supply train to the end, we’re super meticulous about how and where we buy our beans, how we roast our beans, how all of our employees are trained. The training process is several months long. I think all of that attention to detail from start to finish is what sets us apart from other coffee shops,” said Allen.
To display their unique take on coffee, Onyx offers a variety of different workshops that are all open to the public.
“Every Saturday, we do a tasting of our coffees where my husband, Jon, who is the head roaster, he brings out samples of our coffees and just talk about our coffees talk about the processes that go into roasting,” said Allen.
In these workshops, coffee lovers are given an in depth explanation of brewing techniques and the way these techniques affect the way the coffee tastes. The point of these workshops is to show people all about what Onyx does without requiring any commitment on the part of the customer. The tastings are held on both of the Onyx Coffee Lab locations every week in their relaxed coffee shop environment.
Onyx Coffee Labs is effectively combining the art and science of coffee into one amazing brew. “We start with ethical buying and trading and meticulous roasting and tasting,” said Allen. “We’ll often go back and redo things until we have exactly the right profile. We combine that with our knowledge of brewing to make just a really, really nice cup of coffee.”