Brian Beyke

Onyx Coffee Lab - Misty Valley Ethiopia - Mistobox - February 2014

Brian Beyke

When it gets to this time of the year I find it nearly impossible to search through Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia offerings from roasters.  Just about any roaster will have a selection or two from the region, with somewhat similar cupping notes.  How do you find the good ones?  How do you stay away from the bad ones?

However in this month’s Mistobox I am glad that Connor and Sam do what they do, and have done some of the sorting work for us and landed on Onyx Coffee Lab’s Ethiopia Misty Valley for me to enjoy.  Let’s break open this month’s box.



Roaster: Onyx Coffee Lab

Origin: Ethiopia, Yirgacheffe

Process: Full Natural

Varieties: Ethiopian Heirloom

Elevation: 1,900 - 2,100m

Brew Method:

V60 no stir | 24g © to 336 g (w) | 3:58 total time | 198 degrees

I actually have no idea how I stretched the time out on this brew so long, but I’m not disappointed in how the cup turned out.  

Dry aroma of strawberry cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting.

Immediately as I start to brew rose and strawberry aromas fly up from the bloom, lime and honey as well.

Nose of cherries and rum.

Whoa.  The first sips while light in body are very silky, deep, and long lasting.  

Strawberry, cheesecake, lime, blueberry, white grape, pear, and apple all dance around higher and more softly present floral notes.  There is a crispness to the finish as well with a juicy mouthfeel in the middle, despite its lack in width overall.  Lower acidity it seems, but it’s there.

A tiny bit of tartness starts to settle in which is where they may be getting their note of black cherry.  I am more inclined to stay with the strawberry, blueberry, and cheese - like cream cheese on a blueberry bagel, but lingering floral finishes with a touch of honey.

It grows sweeter and more floral, with longer finishes and lingering aftertastes with some tea like characteristics and even some caramel or cream.  

An intense cup the entire way, even as it settles down.

Silky, strawberry, floral.  


Brew Method:

Clever | 23g © to 331g (w) | 3:45 then drop | 200 degrees

Rather light for a clever brew, and for going longer than I normally would before dropping.  

The cup has a silky beginning, but it is juicy.  Blackberry, white grape, blueberry, and strawberry jump to the forefront of a chocolate undertone.  It starts similarly to how a lot of other natural processed Ethiopian’s start.  

The middle it decides to take a detour.  Lemon lime notes jump out and steer the profile in a different direction.  A tart acidity is now resting all around the mouth with more of a tea-like finish.

Floral notes arrive and the cup gets sweeter and deeper.  Right before you think it will get too intense, it starts to calm down into an apple crispness and a long sweet finish of a mixed fruits.  

Silky, Juicy, lemon-lime.


What a great offering.  I was worried there that it would get overly intense like natural processed coffees sometimes do, but I think it stopped right before the edge.  That being said, this coffee really pushes all the boundaries.  Prepare yourself before diving it - it’s a rodeo of flavor.  

Co-host of the I Brew My Own Coffee Podcast and always has all the chocolate. I also love to play board games. Yea, let's go do that right now.