Review: Rise Up Coffee Roasters Organic House Roast
Calling an item the ‘house’ offering invokes images of a ‘good enough’ feel to it. A restaurant offering house wine will sometimes describe it as either red or white. It’s what a person gets when dependable matters. A ‘house’ anything will be straight down the middle in its effects. Or is it always that way?
To set the scene consider Rise Up Coffee Roasters, an ever-growing independent small batch roaster since 2005, moved into a shuttered 711 convenience store location in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. To move into a building that could not find success with one of the largest convenience store chains in American is one thing, having a line that goes out the door is another. Rise Up Coffee has found success in a location many vacationers convince themselves to drive past for the sake of beachfront convenience. Not anymore.
In the spirit of obtaining quality beans for a weekend at the beach, many suggestions came as a result of the black and white painted building at the exit of town. It had trendy graphics, it had a full parking lot, it had a bike rack, and it had a line. In my attempt at looking the part of a professional road cyclist, I mounted the carbon steed and pedaled the brief distance to the store. It hardly resembled the convenience store structure of old.
The roasters have covered their bases. To enter Rise Up’s location, one is immediately escorted past the swag. I wanted one of everything. A Rise Up Frisbee? Why Not? Mugs, shirts, hats, and the coveted bags of beans – both in twelve ounce and five-pound offerings – were shelved and ready for purchase. My first trip in was a quick in-and-out nitro coffee purchase. My follow-up visit saw a long line, packed tables, and a Rise Up employee slowly working her way down the line of customers with an iPad. She was taking advanced credit card purchase orders. Rise Up even has a handle on being expeditious. There is also a staffed coffee bar for those who like a little spike in their espresso or latte.
With the purchase of the house roast the excitement built to return home and explore whether Rise Up was clever packaging or web order worthy. The House Roast medium blend beans were matte and without oil or husks. They ground up in an anticipatory way. What dripped into our mug was an aromatic black goodness that demonstrated things were going well. And then we tasted something other than ‘good enough.’ Dependable, yes. Good enough? Hardly. It was the enjoyable blend of caramel and cocoa. Somewhere was enough bite to give it a peppery feel. Hot coffee on a hot day sounds counterintuitive but this House Roast kept us coming back for more. No wonder this coffee is served more than 2000 times per day at their retail locations in Delmarva, according to Rise Up. The bag did not last long, nor will it. Even the packaging is compostable.
During our visits to the Delmarva region we have constantly searched for an enjoyable cup of local coffee and this is it. We sweated out standing in line along with a dozen other customers for their food and drink; we sweated out brewing hot coffee on near triple digit days for delectable flavors and aromas in our mugs; we now sweat out the fact we are out of Rise Up coffee and will have to order more.
Don’t be fooled by the name House Roast. The house version of things may not be quality in other offerings, but I like to think that the House Roast means always have it in the house. It is not a good day when the beans run out and there are no more bags of Rise Up House Roast beans. Luckily the mailman can rush them to our door.