John is passionate about coffee and it's rare that he meets others that truly, love coffee as much as he does. On a sunny Saturday morning he wanted to make the journey to America to check out Onyx Coffee Bar, and I was happy to oblige him.
In a completely inconspicuous part of the sleepy border town of Bellingham, resides a green coffee exporter that is quietly raising the bar on craft, micro lot coffee.
Onyx operates normally as an exporter of Guatemala coffee beans but opens their doors to the public on Saturdays as a coffee bar for those seeking an extra special tasting experience.
For the unwashed masses, coffee is consumed in sweet, milky macchiatos, or with a flourish of pumpkin spice but for the enlightened there are pour overs, a method of preparing coffee that celebrates the flavour notes of the single-origin source beans through meticulous quality control during roasting and brewing. The Saturday coffee bar only serves pour overs, though there is an extensive menu of beans to choose from. Sugar and milk is verboten here.
Onyx also offers limited quantity, fresh bags of coffee to go from small batch roasters such as Heart Roasters, Tweed Coffee, Spyhouse Coffee, The Barn, Sweet Bloom, Linea Caffe, Madcap Coffee, Sightglass Coffee, and Coava.
We were cheerfully welcomed and enveloped in shop talk with Seth and the other customers. At one point we asked about great coffee shops in London. Like a magician, Seth pulled his copy of the Independent Coffee Book of London from behind the counter. We're definitely getting a copy of that. It's going to make our London trip so much better!
After about an hour, we grudgingly left to seek food. Even I, a member of the traitorous Tea Lovers fan club, could appreciate their dedication to coffee and the people who love it.