Today, we're chatting with Andrea! She is the founder of Elementary Coffee Co. in Harrisburg, PA. I had the pleasure of working with her for a few months this last year where I learned all about coffee and different brewing methods. My love for coffee has always been strong but after working with her and with my teammates at Elementary, it has grown even more!
Oakmoss: Describe yourself in 3 words.
Andrea: Creative, diligent, and curious.
OM: Describe Elementary Coffee Co. in 3 words.
A: Genuine, honest, homegrown.
OM: How did Elementary Coffee Co. get started? How long has it been in existence?
A: Elementary grew out of a cold brew coffee recipe I developed and began selling at a local outdoor market in 2014. It then morphed into the concept of full craft coffee “lab” at the Broad Street Market as a means to bring diversely crafted and creatively roasted coffee to Harrisburg. We opened on November 20, 2014.
OM: Aside from serving coffee, what is one thing you want to bring people?
A: My goal is to bring a sense of transparency to craft coffee. This realm, in many ways, has gotten exclusionary over the past years. Current coffeeshops tend to be for only a specific type of customer. I wanted to open craft coffee back up to everyone by locating Elementary in the heart of Harrisburg and the one great meeting place of the city. The idea is that coffee was made to be enjoyed by everyone and should be enjoyed by everyone, without exclusion.
OM: What is your favorite region for coffee beans?
A: Ethiopia (Sidamo or Harrar) single origins. Every time.
OM: Where do you see Elementary in the next couple of years?
A: Grown organically into whatever space the community supports and desires. Whether that is to stay locally at the market or develop into something larger, my goal is to move in the direction where we have the most support.
OM: Did you create your own menu? What is your favorite drink that you've ever created?
A: I did make my own menu from scratch. I am very proud of the Elixir which is a latte with a brown sugar, vanilla, anise, and black pepper base with allspice on top. I was dedicated to creating a winter drink that was different and unique took a lot of work to pull together, but I think I achieved just what I set out to do. And that achievement is just about as satisfying as the latte itself.
We hope this interview inspired you and taught you a little more about this great coffee shop in Harrisburg, Pa. If you're ever in the area be sure to stop by and try one of Andrea's signature drinks and tell her Oakmoss Collective sent you! Happy sipping!