ONYX Coffee Lab, headquartered in Rogers, is the subject of a docuseries that is gaining traction on the film festival circuit.

 

Produced by the Seattle-based studio Wildly, “The Road to Milan” was featured at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival on March 12, where it received an award for Best Series Episode and was nominated for Most Inspirational Film. A trailer for the series can be viewed here: https://www.madewildly.com/the-goods/theroadtomilan.

 

The work is part of the Pacific Foods Barista Series and follows ONYX co-founder Andrea Allen’s journey to the World Barista Championship competition in 2021.

 

It is a story of grit, determination and creativity, beginning with Allen’s first experience in the U.S. Coffee Championships almost 10 years prior to entering the world stage.

 

“Having the opportunity to be a part of the World Barista Competition was one of the most rewarding and challenging things I’ve ever done,” Allen said. “To have the Wildly team along for the ride over the years has resulted in this fun, poignant little film that sums up what it means to be a woman, a mom and a human in the pursuit of excellence.”

 

Episode I of the series details ONYX’s strategy to use competitions to help establish itself as a world-renowned industry leader in coffee.

 

“[As] a small roaster in Arkansas where we could not get people to take us seriously, to try our coffee, we needed competition to be that shiny, showcase piece to say, ‘Hey we’re actually very serious about coffee,’” ONYX co-owner Jon Allen said in a voiceover on the docuseries trailer,

 

“The Road to Milan” also sheds light on the fast-paced, high-intensity world of coffee competition, largely unknown to those outside of the industry. The film gives an inside look into the U.S. Barista Championship, where competitors in one round share show-stopping signature beverage creations and in another prepare espresso drinks to exacting standards while delivering TED Talk-like presentations.

 

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