Onyx Coffee Lab’s Super Premium Ethiopian Maji Bebeka

First, I would like to tell you a fun fact about me.  Turns out, I am not a “super taster.” This has nothing to do with this post, except that I learned this when trying to figure out if not being a super-taster had anything to do with the fact that, when asked what flavor nuances I detect in a cup of coffee, I tend to answer “Coffee.”

Sadly, as hard as I try, I am not a person who can notice and/or label nuanced flavor profiles in any food. Wine: “It tastes like raisins… and jam.” Chocolate: “It tastes like coffee.” Coffee: “It tastes like chocolate and raisins.” I am not joking around here. That is for real.

Sometimes, if I am trying to challenge myself, I will use my powerful imagination and make up descriptions.  “Oh, this wine?  Yes, yes! Delightful! For me, it starts off with a wiff of the fresh spring breeze from a meadow full of wildflowers, continues on with hints of herbaceous earth, a tinge of manganese, and on the back, there is the faintest essence of burned tobacco.” I will never actually taste any of those things… unless I am actually drinking that wine in a field of wild flowers while some guy smokes a cigar and offers me a handful of dirt.

FYI, I think I inherited this lack of scent and flavor discernment from my dad, Fred Stericker, who – when drinking wine – likes to joke around by quoting Frasier Crane, “This is a good wine…It’s bold but not too presumptuous.” Hahah – I never get tired of that one.

But – wait – I am WAY off topic here because this is a post about the very delicious Onyx Coffee Lab‘s “Ethiopian Maji Bebeka” beans, which are 1000% worth their very dear price.  I discovered Onyx via Mistobox.com, by the way.

This is what I want to tell you… even though I may not naturally be able to define the specific flavor profile of a particular coffee or wine, I do know when it is good, so-so, or terrible. I think that is a helpful skill to have. I have had many terrible and so-so coffees (and wines), but I have also had a few “amazing” coffees, and when I have one that is amazing, I really really appreciate it. That is the case with the coffees I have had from Onyx Coffee Lab, which takes it’s motto of “Never Settle for Good Enough” very much to heart. Onyx’ coffee is sooooooo good. And this Ethiopian Maji Bebeka – at $25 per bag – is both amazing and worth the cost.  I love it so much I am trying to justify how I can make it a regular part of my coffee diet. For now, it has to be a special occasion item (this was a birthday gift), but I am thinking another bag is going to help me ring in the new year.

Just for fun, I did try to come up with which flavor characteristics I picked up when drinking this coffee (and from the beans) and this is what I got: prune, raisin, wine, (don’t make fun of me! I am doing the best I can), and a little bite on the back end. With the beans I picked up the the butter pastry and a little tobacco.  I did not taste the strawberry jam at all, which makes me feel very sad. Whatever, I don’t really care because I am enjoying the coffee so much, and that is all that really matters.

Details of Onyx’ Ethiopian Maji Bebeka: Gesha Varietal; Light Roast; Elevation: 1400m; Cup – strawberry jam, melon shrub, vanilla, pastry, raisin.  And if you want to read a professional cupper’s description of this coffee, click here.

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About The Author

Anne Stericker

City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.


  1. Larry Spinak | 29th Dec 15

    I’m the same way. I know when it’s good. I know when it’s REALLY GOOD. It’s harder for me to get the “strawberry jam.” Your post reminds me of Miles in Sideways:
    “OK? Now, stick your nose in it. Don’t be shy, really get your nose in there. Mmm… a little citrus… maybe some strawberry…[smacks lips] … passion fruit…[puts hand up to ear] … and, oh, there’s just like the faintest soupçon of like asparagus and just a flutter of a, like a, nutty Edam cheese…”

    • Anne Stericker | 8th Jan 16

      Hahaha! You see me… you really see me.
      P.S. And I am NOT drinking merlot!!! Thanks for the laugh, Larry!

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