After a long day of Spring Youth Football, I stopped by Elevate Coffee Company in North Phoenix in preparation for my long drive home to Prescott. I waver sometimes having coffee so late in the evening, but I needed something to keep me awake. And the mocha I enjoyed didn’t keep me up any later than I needed to. During my visit, I caught a little bit of live music and decided to pick up a bag of beans as well.
My counter clerk was very nice, but knew next to nothing about the whole beans for sale. My questions about the honey processed El Salvadorian coffee I brought up to the counter elicited a blank stare. Yeah, that’s a honey process, he assured me. I assumed that’s what the honey meant, but you can’t ever be a hundred percent certain unless the packaging or an employee spells it out for you. So, he opened the bag, smelled the coffee, and assured me again- yeah, that’s honey.
If I didn’t trust Elevate Coffee to roast a good bean, I wouldn’t bought the coffee. Had that been my first attempt to buy, I would’ve told him to keep it. But it wasn’t, and awkward purchasing experience aside, this coffee was awesome.
The Packaging. The bag wasn’t sealed very well at the top. In fact, the clerk just had pulled a little bit on it and the top popped right open. I’m no expert, but I don’t think that’s the way the bag is supposed to work. It had a one-way valve to let the beans off-gas, so the top should’ve been sealed. But whatever, it was only one day off the roast. The white sticker with ‘Special’ printed and ‘El Salvador Honey’ hand-written on it told me so.
The Coffee. I thought about going into honey processing here. But then I found Sebastian Bach’s article on honey processing over at Seattle Coffee Works’ Blog. He did a much better job than I could have, and if you’re interested- he covered it all. In a nutshell, after picking, the coffee cherry’s skin and pulp are removed using some measure of water.
Honey processing produces a unique flavor profile that is recognizable. If I had to describe it (and I do so poorly, I know), I would say it’s bright, crips, refreshing, and maybe even… Juicy. Unlike previous coffees, I actually shared this one with Mikey and he agreed that this coffee was very good. So far, I’ve used the Blue Bottle dripper to brew pour-overs exclusively and every cup has been brewed with Third Wave Water.
The Conclusion. Unfortunately, I haven’t found Elevate’s coffees for sale online. Since I don’t want to be a total jerk and leave you hanging completely, let me make another honey processed coffee recommendation that will give you a similar flavor profile. I have loved all the coffee i’ve tried from Onyx Coffee Lab. Still not happy with me? Shoot me an e-mail and the next time I’m down there I may very well pick you one up and ship it out. Maybe one or two. Not 100, though.