Tasting: Onyx, SCC Oktoberfest and The Occasional Bakery

The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping and sometimes its just easier to stay at home and brew a cup of coffee or pull a shot of espresso on the home machine. Autumn is a great time tap into the abundance of coffees harvested from around the world and roasted near and far. This time we are featuring an Ethiopian coffee roasted in the Ozarks and a special October blend from local, Stone Creek.


Onyx Coffee Lab, a roaster from Northern Arkansas, is no stranger to Instagram, but we first got a real glimpse into this roaster during a cupping last year at Pilcrow in Milwaukee. Our in-home experience was brought to us by beans purchased at an up and coming establishment in Sturgeon Bay in Door County, Wisconsin.

We found these beans at LAWLSS, and this is a must stop and see and taste location if you are headed up to Door County for apple picking and to see the fall color on the peninsula. LAWLSS finds its home in a historic downtown bank building. It’s coffee by day and food and drinks by night (Heist). Heist has recently partnered with Interval bringing their tasting menu down to the big city.

Our next sampling was Stone Creek Coffee’s Oktoberfest blend; a washed-process combo of Guatemalan and Colombian coffees with fruity notes of berry and citrus paired with rich milk chocolate. It has a medium body.  It’s seasonal, so we knew we had to try this while we had the chance! (And while it’s October.)

Paired with these coffees today was some creative bakes from one of our faves: The Occasional Bakery. Whenever we sample from TOB we always struggle with these fundamental questions:  Can you actually eat something that cute?  Will it taste as good as it looks?  We did and it does.


Just one more thing – we invited guest barista and Mama D’s (Waukesha) Mananger Ali Thomas in to pour us some rad latte art.  She not only kills it as a barista, but she also spends her time singing, playing guitar, and generally being nice to the world. 10/10 would hang out with again. Like, tomorrow.


Onyx’s Ethiopia Gedeb Beriti Natural – Our first drink was a pour-over of Onyx’s Ethiopia Gedeb Beriti Natural. This pour-over was very, very fruity and tea-like, and was packed with flavor that took us by surprise. We could definitely pick out the tasting notes (and smelling notes) of raspberries.  We could have made this even more flavorful if we used an AeroPress. We tried this both hot and cold and it didn’t diminish the flavor profile. Just like tea!


Cinnamon Maple Latte – Does it get any more seasonal than this?  Nicknamed the French Toast Latte by Ali, we tried Stone Creek Coffee’s Oktoberfest blend in with steamed milk, a dash of cinnamon and a swirl of maple syrup.  Warm and sweet, this was a huge hit and had us feeling all the feels of fall.


Espresso shot – Medium-bodied and bright, this shot of Stone Creek Coffee’s Oktoberfest blend had notes of chocolate and berries with a surprisingly light taste to it.  Plus we still can’t get enough of this handmade espresso mug from Aeris Coffee Roasters! (Read our Aeris review HERE). 


Cortado – Half espresso, half steamed milk, this SCC Oktoberfest blend makes a great cortado! We found this to be well-balanced and again, the notes of chocolate and berries are easily detected! This paired great with a happy llama, stay tuned…


Cinnamon Espresso – Ali suggested adding a little cinnamon and steamed milk foam to “spice” up this SCC Oktoberfest espresso, and we were surprised at how it transformed the shot! Still bold and earthy, the cinnamon transformed this into a seasonal mini-drink perfect for a cool fall day. Well done!


Caramel Latte – Ahhhh, the traditional caramel latte!  Well-balanced, delicious, and gone too quickly. This wasn’t sugary sweet and the flavor pairing was great with the SCC Oktoberfest blend. And that latte art!


Applesauce Cake- This dense but lightly sweet bread is the perfect early morning breakfast, especially when coupled with a latte!





Brown Sugar spice cookies- a flavorful cookie with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves, then iced with incredibly sweet and artful designs, this paired very well with the fruity notes in the pour over we enjoyed from Onyx.  And look!  The llamas are wearing their fall sweaters! 


Cranberry Orange Mini Bundt Cakes- These were definitely our favorite. A light and fluffy cake bursting with tart cranberries and a beautiful hit of citrus from navel oranges was the perfect compliment with our shots of espresso. Topped lightly with icing it was the perfect balance and it looked beautiful on our plate.


We’re living at the height of the coffee culture, with so many coffees available in local cafes and online sources, we’re sure that you’ll find something you’ll “fall” for! We’d love to hear your suggestions!



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