Onyx, NBA All-Star collaborate on coffee

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 1,135 views 

Jon Allen, co-founder of Onyx Coffee Lab, and Jimmy Butler, Bigface Brand founder and NBA player for the Miami Heat, explore coffee production at La Palma y El Tucán coffee farm in Colombia.

Jon Allen, co-founder of Onyx Coffee Lab, and Jimmy Butler, Bigface Brand founder and NBA player for the Miami Heat, explore coffee production at La Palma y El Tucán coffee farm in Colombia.

An international partnership led Rogers-based Onyx Coffee Lab to team up with NBA player Jimmy Butler for a limited-release, competition-level coffee.

Onyx co-founder Jon Allen said Butler reached out to Onyx after visiting the Hummingbird Cafe in Amsterdam. The cafe, one of Onyx’s wholesale partners, told Butler about Onyx. According to the cafe’s website, Onyx became its home roaster at the beginning of 2021.

After the 2020 NBA season, the six-time All-Star forward of the Miami Heat established the coffee and lifestyle company Bigface Brand. During the season, which took place in the NBA bubble amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Butler opened an impromptu coffee shop from his Orlando, Fla., hotel room.

Less than two years later, Onyx co-founders Jon and Andrea Allen joined Butler at a Colombia coffee farm to taste and evaluate coffee and choose beans for the Bigface collaboration.

“We tried the four best coffees in Colombia,” Jon Allen said. “The processes they use at the La Palma y El Tucán farm are unlike anything that is being done anywhere else in the world today.”

According to a news release, they selected multiple World Coffee Championships-winning Gesha coffee, for which production starts with a 100-hour pre-fermentation. The result is a complex and velvety-bodied cup with bright, tropical notes. Onyx has selected competition-level coffee from the farm since 2013.

“We at Bigface are big fans of Andrea and her team over at Onyx Coffee Lab,” Butler said. “Getting to know them over the last year has been really cool. Now being able to work and go to Colombia with Onyx and pick out this special, super limited, legendary coffee is something that we are all excited about.”

The majority of the coffee’s $200 cost comprises the 8-ounce bag of coffee, but it also comes with a 12-ounce mug with Bigface and Onyx branding. It’s only available online to determine specific roast dates to ensure coffee freshness. Onyx looks to offer more limited-release coffees.